The Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli was one of the great political minds of the nineteenth century. He helped bring Great Britain through effects of the Industrial Revolution, and maintain a large empire. Though his efforts the workers’ rights were enlarged, and England was able to peacefully transition to democracy. Disraeli, a commoner by birth, was yet an aristocrat in ideology. Through this unique combination of ideals, Disraeli was able navigate Britain through the mid nineteenth century, restore prestige to the monarchy and aristocracy, and enlarge the rights of the commoner.
Disraeli sought to preserve the interests of the ruling aristocracy, and maintain the English predominance and freedom in the world. In this regard Disraeli was similar to many of the Tory aristocracy of the eighteenth and nineteenth century who sought to hold onto their power. Members of this class, such as James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardiganand George Bingham, 3rd Earl of Lucan, disliked any kind of political reform, and sought to hold their power in parliament against the radical Whigs.
As a member of a noble family that sought to protect him, James Brudenell was discouraged from entering into military service, but instead, though his father’s influence, obtained and place in the House of Commons. Brudenell was a Member of Parliament for several years, until the 1832 election, when, because of the passage of the Reform Bill, he had to fight a difficult and bitter fight and campaign to hold his seat in Parliament . From Parliament, Bundenell was able to make use of the purchase system to fulfill his lifelong ambition of making a career in the army. From there he took control of the 15th Hussars and made them into his model infantry. “Even the food eaten by the officers of the 15th earned the new lieutenant-colonel’s [Bundenell] scorn, and he ordered that in the mess, French dishes should replace plain roast to boiled.” Similar to his brother in law, George Bingham was able to quickly raise through the ranks of the army by use the purchase system and the vast sums of money and prestige of his family.
Although similar in many ways to these great noble families, Disraeli was different. Disraeli grew up during the same time as both James Brudenell and George Bingham, but had completely different prospects. Disraeli’s father was the son of a Jewish immigrant to England. By the time Disraeli was born, he “grew up as a son of a mildly celebrated, comfortably-off author, with wide contacts in a certain society. But he did not grow up with the sense of security that so solid a middle class background might seem to imply.” Disraeli grew up with little maternal affection, and estranged to his family and Jewish culture. Although he was brought up in the Jewish faith, when he was thirteen, his father had his children baptized into the Church of England.
Although his membership in the Anglican Church was to play an important role in Disraeli’s...