(1809-1898), four times prime minister of Britain (1868-1874, 1880-1885, 1886, and 1892-1894), and one of the dominant political forces in Victorian England. Leader of the Liberal Party after 1867, Gladstone changed the role of government in England. Gladstone supported Peel's movement toward free trade, but in 1846, when Peel rescinded the Corn Laws, which had taxed imported grain, the Conservative Party was shattered, and Peel's government collapsed. Between 1846 and 1859 Gladstone, a Peelite, was politically isolated, although he held some cabinet posts. During this time his views changed from conservative to liberal. He accepted the need for religious freedom, including the admission of Jews into Parliament. He also supported the cause of Italian nationalism and unity, which made him a moral force throughout Europe. In 1859 he joined the Liberals and served as chancellor of the Exchequer under Lord Palmerston. His consequent acceptance of the democratic principle made him a champion of the lower classes. In 1866 Gladstone proposed amending the Reform Acts to further enfranchise the working class by using certain monetary amounts paid to landlords as qualifiers, allowing people without land the right to vote. However, the proposal failed, and the government was forced to resign. Gladstone's great rival, Benjamin Disraeli, presented a stronger amendment to the Reform Acts that decreased financial qualifications and extended the vote to householders, including many urban workers. Disraeli's bill passed in 1867.