Joseph Chamberlain (8 July 1836 – 2 July 1914) was a British politician and statesman, who was first a radical Liberal then a leading imperialist. He opposed Home Rule for Ireland, and formed a Unionists faction that undermined Liberal Party power when he switched to supporting the Conservatives.


Chamberlain was a businessman with a strong interest in the rights of the industrial worker and small farmer. Historians have especially hailed his work on the Education Act of 1870 and the Workmen's Compensation Act of 1897. He led the battle against home rule for Ireland, and became a dominating figure in governing the British Empire, he was one of the leading imperialists of his day. He had some responsibility for causing and directing the Second Boer War (1899–1902), and for Promoting tariff reform that divided the Unionist (Conservative) Party.

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