Lord Salisbury was a Conservative politician, prime minister from 1885-1886, 1886-1892 and 1895-1902, and the last to hold that office in the House of Lords. Foreign affairs were always Salisbury's main interest, and he acted as his own foreign secretary during most of his administrations. The great issue of the time was the expansion of the empire, and competition with other colonial powers, particularly in Africa. His last term as prime minister saw the initially disastrous Second Boer War, which shook British confidence and heralded the end of 'Splendid Isolation'.