Lord Aberdeen forms a coalition government of Whigs, Peelites and Radicals

The government consisted of the groups who had voted against Lord Derby’s Conservative government. The cabinet was composed of six Peelites, six Whigs and one Radical. On paper the ministry was a strong one and included Gladstone, Palmerston, Russell, Lord Granville and Sir James Graham; however, it was never the sum of its parts. Russell resigned as Foreign Secretary after barely two months in office and the government allowed itself to drift into the Crimean War which destroyed the administration and left Aberdeen’s reputation in tatters. Perhaps the most significant legacy of the Aberdeen Ministry was that it brought together for the first time all the elements that were to form the Liberal Party eight years later.