Joseph Chamberlain

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Chamberlain, Joseph,

1836–1914, British statesman. After a successful business career, he entered local politics and won distinction as a reforming mayor of Birmingham (1873–76). Entering Parliament as a Liberal in 1876, Chamberlain advocated radical social reform and served under William GladstoneGladstone, William Ewart,
1809–98, British statesman, the dominant personality of the Liberal party from 1868 until 1894. A great orator and a master of finance, he was deeply religious and brought a highly moralistic tone to politics.
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 as president of the Board of Trade (1880–85). In 1886, however, he broke with Gladstone, leading the defection from the Liberal party of the Liberal Unionists (those Liberals who opposed Home RuleHome Rule,
in Irish and English history, political slogan adopted by Irish nationalists in the 19th cent. to describe their objective of self-government for Ireland. Origins of the Home Rule Movement
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 for Ireland). In 1887–88 he negotiated a treaty with the United States to settle the fisheries dispute between that country and Canada. Chamberlain became leader of the Liberal Unionists in the House of Commons in 1891, and in 1895 he joined the Conservative government as colonial secretary. While maintaining his interest in social reform at home, he pursued a vigorous colonial policy aimed at imperial expansion, cooperation, and consolidation. Although a parliamentary inquiry cleared him of complicity in the Jameson Raid (see Jameson, Sir Leander StarrJameson, Sir Leander Starr,
1853–1917, British colonial administrator and statesman in South Africa. He went to Kimberley (1878) as a physician, became associated with Cecil Rhodes in his colonizing ventures, and was appointed (1891) administrator of Mashonaland. On Dec.
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), there is some evidence that he was at least aware of the conspiracy. His subsequent attempts to reach a settlement with the Boers failed, resulting in the South African WarSouth African War
or Boer War,
1899–1902, war of the South African Republic (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State against Great Britain. Background
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 (1899–1902). After the war he worked for a conciliatory peace. Chamberlain's belief in the need for closer imperial union led him to espouse the cause of imperial preference in tariffs. However, this proposed abandonment of Great Britain's traditional free trade policy provoked great controversy, and in 1903 he resigned from office to spend three years in an attempt, through the Tariff Reform League, to convert the country to his views. His campaign split the Liberal Unionist–Conservative bloc and contributed to its defeat in the election of 1906. Ill health ended Chamberlain's public life in 1906, but his tariff policy was adopted (1919, 1932) within the lifetime of his sons, Austen and Neville.


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).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chamberlain, Joseph


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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Joe Chamberlain and Jack Raine ran with the lead group up to the final 700m, when Joe stumbled and lost momentum, but still managed to finish third, just two seconds adrift of the winner, and Jack held on for fourth.
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He wrote: "This might be called Joe Chamberlain economics, after the radical-turned-Tory politician and Mayor of Birmingham - where she made the speech; the choice of location was no accident - who has been studied and praised on this site by our columnist and her principal aide, Nick Timothy."
He makes reference to 'dapper Joe Chamberlain, with orchid and monocle and outspoken republican sentiments, known by the nickname 'the gas and water socialist' because of his contribution to put the city's gas and water supply into municipal ownership.
FUN: Peter Mathews, eight, and Phyl Oliver waves her Union flag at the VE Day celebrations in Thornton Hough Pictures: JAMES MALONEY/JM080510V MEMORIES: Ronnie Black, John Shanahan, John Dennedd, Joe Chamberlain and Albert Dillow admire the large replica of a Spitfire aeroplane at the VE Day celebrations in Thornton Hough
War veterans, from left: Joe Chamberlain admire FAMILIES flocked to attend VE Day celebrations at a gala held last weekend.
Stockwell (November) have done a good deal to clarify a puzzle - how far were political decisions in the twentieth century influenced by the imperialism that Joe Chamberlain revived in the 1890s?
A tragic figure, at the end for 'all political careers end in failure' as Enoch Powell pointed out, and none more than Joe Chamberlain's.
The year Cold Marble ran, Orpheus became the first three-year-old to win the Plate since Joe Chamberlain in 1900, and there was a hard-luck story involving the Haggas horse.
With a ready-made career on his return, he started out as a Tory before he clashed with Birmingham's Joe Chamberlain over the free trade issue and duly decamped, along with his friend Winston Churchill, to the Liberals.
JOE CHAMBERLAIN, Mount Nod Primary School, Ettington Road, Coventry
Golcar Con lost 5-1 at home to Meltham Victoria Park at Longfield Avenue Both sides were missing key players with Golcar without Elliot Chambers, Danny Murray, Aaron Baxter, Levi Brown, Sean Maloney, John Laycock and Joe Chamberlain, while Meltham were missing Gareth Cooper and captain Daniel Tindall.