1st Student's Major


1st Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Students' Professional Biography

Justin Vossen is a senior History major and Political Science minor at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Born in Minnesota in 1982, he graduated from Mankato West High School in 2000. He will graduate from MSU in the spring of 2005.

Mentor's Name

Larry Witherell

Mentor's Email Address


Mentor's Department


Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences


This research project investigated the rivalry between William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli, and how that rivalry resulted in the Reform Act of 1867. The competition between these two over expansion of the franchise led to a more radical reform than expected. Gladstone, a converted Liberal, encouraged moderate changes like a reduction in the householder qualification from ₤ten to ₤seven. Disraeli, a moderate Conservative, embraced more expansive reform for political advancement rather than as an extension of the suffrage. It was Disraeli’s hope that an enlarged electorate would vote Conservative as a reward for their new privilege. Although many historians give Disraeli credit for the second Reform bill, most fail to connect Gladstone’s initial attempts at reform with the bill’s final shape. True credit for the passage of the Reform Act of 1867 lies with Disraeli and Gladstone. The Reform bill was created out of political infighting as opposed to popular opinion. An examination of the rivalry between Gladstone and Disraeli raises the question of what the bill would have looked like without these two politicians. This project used primary materials such as the parliamentary debates, the London Times newspaper, memoirs, and letters of public figures as well as secondary materials such as books, journals, and dissertations.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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