Curzon of Kedleston, George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess

Curzon of Kedleston, George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess

(kûr`zən, kĕd`əlstən), 1859–1925, British statesman. A member of the minor aristocracy, he attended Eton and Oxford. From his university days onward, he earned a reputation for an unusually high intelligence mingled with an enormous ego, snobbery, and pomposity. Entering Parliament as a conservative in 1886, he showed early brilliance in politics and was undersecretary of state for India (1891–92) and undersecretary for foreign affairs (1895–98). Three trips to Asia resulted in several books—Russia in Central Asia (1889), Persia and the Persian Question (1892), and Problems of the Far East (1894). As viceroy of India (1898–1905) he championed the imperial colonial ideal, achieved important reforms in administration, transportation, education, and currency, and set up (1901) the North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber PakhtunkhwaKhyber Pakhtunkhwa,
formerly North-West Frontier Province,
province and historic region (1998 pop. 17,554,674), c.41,000 sq mi (106,200 sq km), NW Pakistan, bounded on the N and W by Afghanistan. Peshawar is the capital.
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, Pakistan). He also partitioned (1905) BengalBengal
, region, 77,442 sq mi (200,575 sq km), E India and Bangladesh, on the Bay of Bengal. The inland section is mountainous, with peaks up to 12,000 ft (3,660 m) high in the northwest, but most of Bengal is the fertile land of the Ganges-Brahmaputra alluvial plains and delta.
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, an action that angered Indian nationalists. He resigned (1905) after a quarrel with Lord KitchenerKitchener, Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl
, 1850–1916, British field marshal and statesman. Trained at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich (1868–70), he had a brief period of service in the French army
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, commander of the army in India, who was supported by the home government.

After his return to England, Curzon became (1907) chancellor of the Univ. of Oxford and was created (1911) an earl (raised to marquess in 1921). During World War I he served in the coalition cabinets of Asquith (see Oxford and Asquith, Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st earl ofOxford and Asquith, Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st earl of,
1852–1928, British statesman. Of a middle-class family, he attended Oxford, became a barrister in London in 1876, and was elected to Parliament as a Liberal
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) and Lloyd GeorgeLloyd George, David, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor
, 1863–1945, British statesman, of Welsh extraction.
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. As foreign secretary (1919–24), he presided over the Conference of Lausanne (see under Lausanne, Treaty ofLausanne, Treaty of,
1922–23. The peace treaty (see Sèvres, Treaty of) imposed by the Allies on the Ottoman Empire after World War I had virtually destroyed Turkey as a national state.
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), disapproved of the French occupation of the RuhrRuhr
, region, c.1,300 sq mi (3,370 sq km), W Germany; a principal manufacturing center of Germany and formerly known as one of the world's greatest industrial complexes. In the 1980s the coal and steel industries declined, leading to serious unemployment.
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, and paved the way for the Dawes PlanDawes Plan,
presented in 1924 by the committee headed (1923–24) by Charles G. Dawes to the Reparations Commission of the Allied nations. It was accepted the same year by Germany and the Allies.
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 for settling German war reparations. He expected to succeed Andrew Bonar LawLaw, Andrew Bonar
, 1858–1923, British statesman, b. Canada. He went to Scotland as a boy and in 1900, after a business career, was elected to Parliament as a Conservative. He soon became known as a spokesman for tariff reform.
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 as prime minister in 1923 and was bitterly disappointed at being passed over in favor of Stanley BaldwinBaldwin, Stanley,
1867–1947, British statesman; cousin of Rudyard Kipling. The son of a Worcestershire ironmaster, he was educated at Harrow and at Trinity College, Cambridge, and entered the family business. In 1908 he was elected to Parliament as a Conservative.
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.

Bibliography

See biographies by Lord Ronaldshay (1928), K. Rose (1969), and D. Gilmour (1994, U.S. ed. 2003); D. Dilks, Curzon in India (2 vol., 1969).