William Ewart Gladstone was a Liberal political leader and influential British Prime Minister. He is known as the “quintessential Victorian” for being a perfect example of what people of his time should be like. He wasn’t like that from the beginning though. For example, William Gladstone didn’t start as a Liberal. He didn’t even start as a Politician! William Gladstone was born to his mother; Anne Robertson and his father; John Gladstone. Both of his parents were Scottish originally. John Gladstone was a successful merchant, but moved (with his wife, Anne) to Liverpool, England for work. That is where, on December 29, 1809, William Gladstone was born.
William Gladstone was educated at Eton and Christ Church University of Oxford. After being educated at a religious school, he almost went into a career with the Church. While studying for his religious career, he found that politics interested him. Luckily, he decided to become a politician, or many of his influential and lasting accomplishments would have never happened! However, his religious background did stay with him.
William Gladstone and Catherine Glynne got married in 1839. They had 8 children together. His wife was just one person that helped Gladstone reach his true potential. Another helpful person was William’s father, John Gladstone, who recommended his son for a job to his friend, the Duke of Newcastle. In 1832, the Duke of Newcastle was looking for a representative Member of Parliament, and gave William Gladstone (a Conservative at the time) the job. This brought him into politics.
Another factor that helped Gladstone gain his original job, then keep climbing higher up, was the fact that he was excellent at writing and giving public speeches. Two years after being introduced to a job in politics, he was appointed as the junior lord of the Treasury by the current Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel. The following year (1835), he rose higher still. He became the under-secretary for the colonies. Later that year, Sir Robert Peel resigned, which caused Gladstone to lose his place in office.
Then, the Whigs (Liberals) took power after Peel. However, in 1841 the Whigs were removed from power. William Gladstone was free to step back into office. He became the vice-president of the board of trade. Then, in 1843, two years later, he was promoted to the president of that field. Gladstone held many other positions before he became the Prime Minister of England in 1868. During his positions between 1843 and 1868, he made many lasting reforms. His political views also began to change.
In 1859, William Gladstone officially became part of the Liberal party. This was surprising to many people since he had previously been a part of the opposing Conservative party. Just 8 years of becoming a part of the...