Joseph Chamberlain(redirected from Chamberlain, Sir Joseph)
See E. E. Gulley, Joseph Chamberlain and English Social Politics (1926); W. L. Strauss, Joseph Chamberlain and the Theory of Imperialism (1942, repr. 1971); biography (to 1903 only) by J. L. Garvin and J. Amery (6 vol., 1932–51); studies by R. V. Kubicek (1969) and M. Balfour (1985).
Born July 8, 1836, in London; died there July 2, 1914. British state figure.
A manufacturer by profession, Chamberlain began his political career as a member of the radical wing of the Liberal Party. He was mayor of Birmingham from 1873 to 1876, when he entered Parliament. He served in W. Gladstone’s cabinets from 1880 to 1885 and in 1886. In 1886, Chamberlain opposed the home rule bill, which was designed to grant autonomy to Ireland, and thereby split the Liberal Party; the separate, influential group that emerged under his leadership, the Liberal Unionists, later merged with the Conservatives.
From 1895 to 1903, Chamberlain was colonial secretary in Conservative cabinets. During the Boer War of 1899–1902 he was a major spokesman and organizer of British expansionist policy. Beginning in 1903 he conducted an extensive campaign aimed at replacing free trade, which did not suit the interests of the monopolies, with a policy of protection. In 1906, illness forced Chamberlain to retire from politics.