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Benjamin Disraeli
Earl of Beaconfield
1868, 1874-80

Known as a dandy, a novelist, a brilliant debator and England's first and only Jewish prime minister, Disraeli is best remembered for bringing India and the Suez Canal under control of the crown. A Conservative, he was elected to Parliament in 1837 after failing to win election in four earlier elections. After Robert Peel formed a government in 1841, Disraeli was on the outs until 1846. He wrote a trilogy "Coningsby", "Sybil" and "Tancred" expounding his ideas and formed the Young England group as watchdogs over Peel's brand of conservatism. When Peel's government feel, Disraeli gradually became known as the leader of the Conservatives in the Commons.

Disraeli served as chancellor of the Exchequer under Lord Derby as prime minister in Conservative governments of 1852, 1858-59 and 1866-68. The 1858-59 Parliament made the admission of Jews to Parliament legal, clearing the way for a Disraeli's prime ministership following Lord Derby's retirement in 1868. Defeated in a general election by William Gladstone that same year, Disraeli faced another six years of opposition which produced another novel entitled "Lothair" in 1870. He also established the Conservative Central Office, considered by some as the forerunner of modern party organization.

Disraeli became prime minister for the second time in 1874 at the age of 70. Acting on his own, he purchased a controlling interest in the Suez Canal conferring the title of Empress of India upon the Queen and in so doing earning himself the title of Earl of Beaconfield in 1876. During the next two years, Disraeli and liberal Leader William Gladstone, clashed over issues surrounding the Bulgarian revolt and the Russo-Turkish War (1877-78). Disraeli represented British interests in the Congress of Berlin, 1878, which brought peace as well as Cyprus under British flag. His government was defeated in 1880. Disraeli died the following year.


1868 - Ulysses S. Grant is elected president of the United States. Japanese Shogun Kekei abdicates. The shogunate is abolished and the Mejii dynasty of emperors is restored. Louisa May Alcott publishes "Little Women." The Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball Club is formed. Badminton is invented at the Duke of Beaufort's home, Badminton Hall, Gloucestershire. The skeleton of Cro-Magnon man is found in France.

Second Ministry
1874 - Winston Churchill is born. The Impressionist painters stage their first exhibition in Paris. The first zoo in American is established in Philadelphia. Pressuring cooking is introduced in the food canning process.
1875 - Britain purchases 176,602 shares in the Suez Canal. Thomas Mann, German author, is born. Hans Christian Anderson dies and Mark Twain publishes "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." London's first roller skating rink opens. Monet paints the painting entitled, "Boating at Argenteuil."
1876 - The telephone is invented by Alexander Graham Bell. Korea becomes a nation, Colorado a state, and Disraeli, Earl of Beaconfield. Pablo Casals, Spanish cellist is born; Robert Koch discovers anthrax bacillus, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore opens its doors and U. S. National Baseball League is founded. First U. S. tennis tournament is held. Rutherford B. Hayes is elected president of the United States
1877 - Hermann Hesse, author of "Steppenwolf" and "Siddhartha" is born in Germany. Edison invents the phonograph. Wimbledon is the venue for the All-England Lawn Tennis Championship for the first time.
1878 - The microphone is invented. Electric street lighting in London. The Paris World Exhibition is held.
1879 - Zulu warriors massacre British soldiers in Isandhlwana. Joseph Stalin, communist dictator and Leon Trotsky, communist leader, are born. Paul Klee, Swiss painter, is born. Rodin sculps "John the Babtist." Albert Einstein is born in Germany. First electric tram is debuted by E. W. Seimens in Berlin Exhibition. The British Museum grants access to the public at large. London's first telephone exchange is created.

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