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How liberal was Russell's administration of 1846-152?

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How liberal was Russell's administration of 1846-152? The liberals believed that change was essential to preserve the importance of the political system. This showed they were accepted reform, a lot more than the conservatives. This however was slightly limited to the beliefs of the Whigs. The liberals also believed in free trade, as did the Whigs and therefore were in favor of disposing of the Corn Laws. They had open attitudes to the allowing the middle class into the framework, and hence worked on the franchise. The middle class was the liberals target vote and so they were also in favor of a cheap government, remaining keen on low taxes due to their economic policies. They had a respect for the rights of the ordinary Englishman. Also taking into account their laissez-faire approach, less emphasis on the role of the government. The liberals saw the political system superior to those of the European countries and the democratic excess of USA. ...read more.


Russell also attempts to reform Ireland by improving the electoral system, which increases the number of people who can vote from 4,000 to 163,000, and also showing his support for religious freedom by setting up the non-demonical university. However during the time of Russell's ministry there was no political reform. The religious census illustrated that half of church attendance was to the nonconformist churches, and Russell's ministry made no effort to reform this. Also along these lines Russell introduced the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, which prevented English Roman Catholics bishops from taking up titles with the same name as their Church of England counterparts. This bill however failed but does not diminish the fact that Russell's ministry was less liberal than it claimed to be. An important fact to take into account was that Russell referred to himself as Whig indicating that his actions had some conservative tendencies to them. ...read more.


The public health act although a liberal measure, was not all that useful and had been Chadwick's idea, not Russell's. Most of the Liberal acts had been done earlier in 1932, like the Great Reform Act and the Corn laws. Since these were such major Liberal acts, the Conservatives probably would not have tolerated another. 20 years later Russell formed another government, this was much more liberal. The government at the time was much more liberal for its time, in comparison to the second one. Many Liberal occurrences happened however; these were not all to do with the Russell, and more to do with the demands of the people Consequently in conclusion, for the time it was the most liberal government, however in comparison to the later Liberal government, it was hardly liberal. Russell had many factors to consider, like what was good for the people at them time, as they weren't as educated 20 years later in the later Liberal government. Also there was the Queen who was a deciding factor in how liberal Russell's ministry could go. Aditya Patel ...read more.

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