Chamberlain, Joseph


Sentiment Signed by the late 19th-early 20th century major British imperialist



Autograph ID: 6464
Condition: Very good, some slight scratches and light soiling to print.
Description: “(1836-1914) British politician and statesman, first a radical Liberal then, after opposing Home Rule for Ireland, a Liberal Unionist, eventually serving as a leading imperialist in coalition with the Conservatives. He split both major British parties in the course of his career. A self-made Birmingham businessman (he produced 2/3 of all metal screws made in England), he never attended university and had contempt for the aristocracy. He entered the House of Commons at 39, rising to power through his influence with the Liberal grassroots organization. He was President of the Board of Trade in Gladstone's 2nd Government (1880–85), notable for his attacks on Conservative leader lord Salisbury and in the 1885 general election for proposing benefits for newly franchised farm workers. He resigned from Gladstone's 3rd Government in 1886 in opposition to Irish Home Rule and helped engineer a Liberal Party split, becoming a Liberal Unionist, a party which included a bloc of MPs based in and around Birmingham. From the 1895 election, Liberal Unionists were in coalition with the Conservatives under Chamberlain's former opponent Lord Salisbury. He served as Secretary of State for the Colonies (Colonial Secretary), using the Colonial Office to gain international recognition amidst European competition for territory and popular imperialism. He wanted to expand the British Empire In Africa, the Americas and Asia, reorder imperial trade and resources, and foster closer relations between Britain and the settler colonies. Chamberlain took formal charge of the Colonial Office on 1 July 1895. He had major responsibility for causing the 2nd Boer War (1899–1902) in South Africa and was the government minister most responsible for the war effort. He became a dominant figure in the Unionist Government's re-election at the 1900 "Khaki Election", the Boer War the dominant issue. In 1903, he resigned from the Cabinet to campaign for tariff reform. He obtained support of most Unionist MPs for this stance, but they suffered a landslide defeat at the 1906 general election. Shortly after public celebrations of his 70th birthday in Birmingham, he was disabled by a stroke, ending his public career. Although never becoming Prime Minister, he was one of the most important British politicians of his day, as well as a renowned orator and municipal reformer. He was arrogant, ruthless and much hated. He never succeeded in his grand ambitions but he was a highly proficient grassroots organizer of democratic instincts, and played the central role in winning the 2nd Boer War. He was father of future PM Neville Chamberlain and Foreign Secretary/Nobel Peace Prize laureate Austen Chamberlain. The University of Birmingham is considered his greatest legacy as he proposed the university's establishment, regarded as its main founder.

1 3/4 x 3 piece with "I am,/Yours faithfully," in another hand, signed by Chamberlain. With 1908 15 1/2 x 10 color Vanity Fair portrait by "W.H. O." captioned "War-worn". Because of size of print, extra $10 will be charged to cover shipping if print is desired.”

Type: Signed sentiment

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