How far do sources 1 and 2 agree with Source 3 about Disraeli’s reasons for passing the 1867 Reform Act?
In source 3, it is evident that Viscount Cranbourne sees Disraeli’s acts as purely personal gain, rather than achievement and principles of his own party. This is clearly stated by his use of language such as ‘startling’ as if to say that Disraeli’s action came of a shock to the rest of the party, supporting the idea in Source 2 that others did not have a say. Therefore, taking all the sources together at face value, it is more obviously that Disraeli was increasing the franchise in attempt of personal gain more than anything else.
On the one hand, Source 2, a cartoon published in punch, named ‘A leap in the dark’, clearly supports Cranbourne’s opinion in Source 3. The source shows Disraeli, as a horse, riding off into the unknown distance accompanied by Lady Britannia. The darkness Disraeli is striving for is clearly labelled ‘Reform’, suggesting the fact that he doesn’t know where the Reform will lead Britain; however he continues to ride on. This source undoubtedly supports Source 3 as he is far in front of all the other horses, depicting the fact he wants all the glory from the successes of the Reform. Lord Derby, is seen to be further behind, riding a horse in this source, this also suggests that Disraeli was trying to advance over Derby by not collaborating ideas or achievements with the Tory PM at the time (Derby). In addition to this, the fact that Disraeli is in the foreground of this image, whilst the others as struggling to catch up ties into the fact that Reform is all for personal gain as others haven’t had a say in the matter. Thus all supporting Cranbourne’s interpretation in Source 3. ‘Denial of all the principles of his party.’ Furthermore, Source 1 also identifies Disraeli’s actions to be that of personal gain, for instance he includes that phrase ‘we might take a step which would destroy the present agitation and extinguish Gladstone...
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