Robert Peel

Robert Peel Described as one of the th century s most dynamic prime ministers Robert Peel transformed Great Britain into a modern nation He invented the police force steered through legislation that allowed C

  • Title: Robert Peel
  • Author: Douglas Hurd
  • ISBN: 9780753823842
  • Page: 448
  • Format: Paperback
  • Described as one of the 19th century s most dynamic prime ministers, Robert Peel transformed Great Britain into a modern nation He invented the police force, steered through legislation that allowed Catholics to sit in Parliament, reorganized the criminal justice system, and invented the Conservative Party as it exists today Above all he tackled poverty by repealing theDescribed as one of the 19th century s most dynamic prime ministers, Robert Peel transformed Great Britain into a modern nation He invented the police force, steered through legislation that allowed Catholics to sit in Parliament, reorganized the criminal justice system, and invented the Conservative Party as it exists today Above all he tackled poverty by repealing the Corn Laws and, thanks to Peel, Britain chose free trade and opened the door for globalization For all his achievements, however, Peel was not all politics he built two great houses, filled them with famous paintings, and was devoted to his beautiful wife Yet he was widely regarded as stiff and strange, with Queen Victoria describing him as such a cold, odd man while Disraeli attacked him for dishonesty But when in 1850 he was carried home after a fall from his horse, crowds primarily composed of working people gathered outside his house to read the medical bulletins When he died a few days later, factories closed, flags flew at half mast, and thousands contributed small sums to memorials in his honor Like Peel, Douglas Hurd served as Home Secretary and lived through a time of conflict in the Conservative Party With one eye on the present, Douglas Hurd charts Peel s life and work through the dramas of 19th century politics.

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    1. While 2007 was dominated by the misery memoir, a time when any tale of depravation and a terrible childhood was a sure-fire bestseller, so 2008 could well be shaping up to be the year of the chart topping political biography. William Hague has considered William Wilberforce while his wife Ffion opted for Lloyd George, Richard Holmes has tackled Lord Marlborough, Alastair Campbell as chronicled The Blair Years, and now Conservative elder statesman Douglas Hurd has taken a turn with his biography [...]

    2. Robert Peel is often seen as the first "middle class" prime minister of Great Britain. By that we mean that he was not a duke, earl, marquis, etc but rather the eldest son of a hereditary baronet (not a member of the nobility. It still entitled to call himself "sir" once his father died.). He was also the first prime minster to credibly lead a "party" (the Conservative party) rather than a "faction", and was the first prime minister that was put in power by an election -- against the wishes of t [...]

    3. Clear synthesis of the life of an important 19th century politician written by a modern politician. Douglas Hurd does a good job of explaining Peel's career and its significance to both his own times and our own. Sometimes the references to Hurd's own career grate a little but his comments on the differences between politics then and now can be illuminating. The focus is very heavily on Robert Peel as a politician and, though Hurd does touch on the private man and his interests, I would have lik [...]

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