William Ewart Gladstone

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William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898)
Noted English Liberal statesman and debater, Gladstone served his country in a variety of positions beginning with a seat in parliament at age 23 and continuing on to prime minister in four separate governments. Under his first tenure as premier, a national system of education was established; and The Ballot Act was passed; among other achievements. During his second stint as prime minister, Gladstone worked for parliamentary reform but wars in Africa and other events culminated in Gladstone's again leaving power. He was twice more elevated to the prime ministership (1886 and 1892) but created a split in his party by advancing the notion of Home Rule for Ireland. His bill was rejected by the house of Lords in 1893. Citing his age as the reason, Gladstone resigned in 1894.