• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent can Gladstones first ministry be considered a great reforming ministry?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent can Gladstone?s first ministry be considered a great reforming ministry? Gladstone?s first ministry could be considered as great reforming ministry due to all the changes he established from 1868. The reforms he made were able to meet his three main aims, which he focused on; desire for a good government, efficiency and economy. Particular acts had moved away from unfair privileges, meaning there was now equality for all, which hadn?t been seen before. Although not everyone benefited from all the acts and reforms, it seemed to bring more success than unsuccess as it also brought many changes for the better. A great reforming ministry should be to improve an existing institution or law by alteration or correction. One of the first reforms that Gladstone introduced was the Education Reform. Within this reform there were three major acts; Public Schools Act (1868), Elementary Education Act (1870) and the University Tests Act (1871). The Public Schools Act meant that the government would revise the deeds of schools such as Eton and Harrow. This portrayed a more efficient government, as they were more willing to get involved. However, although this did improve the schools, this wasn?t a massive change as it only played a minor role in the whole reform. ...read more.


British troops were withdrawn from the self governing colonies such as Canada and New Zealand, as Gladstone believed these colonies would only be self governing if the looked after themselves. However, this caused huge opposition in Canada, which feared US invasion. The Army reform suggested that it caused more serve problems then it was facing before. The Civil Service Reform was in 1871 after the Crimean War which pointed out the inadequacies of this service. Workers were lazy, incompetent, inefficient and lacking in initiative. However, it was imperative that a more efficient Civil Service was introduced to accommodate the complex administration of the company. A liberal pressure group, founded in 1855, petitioned for the talented middle class to be able to be recruited to the Civil Services. Due to Gladstone?s aims he was keen to implement the terms of the 1855 report. Gladstone made it compulsory to take a competitive exam in order to enter the Civil Service, which was open to all who desired to sit it. This meant that there was an equal opportunity for all and places were now based on capability and merit rather than status. However, the Civil Service was divided into grades, corresponding to social class. ...read more.


The act was also very illiberal because it doesn?t support the laissez faire attitude in which people thought the government should not interfere. The overall act did make towns and cities safer places, but could be seen more of reorganisation rather than a great reform. The last reform that Gladstone introduced was the Legal Reform. The Judicature act, within this reform, was introduced in 1873. In this time period there were too many different types of courts, so it was decided to simplify the system to understand it. This was done by making one Supreme Court, which was kept fairly small. Before the Supreme Court it was long, complex and a very slow system. For Gladstone this removed unjustified privileges, set trade unions and gave non-conformists full legal equality. Overall, Gladstone?s idea reduced waste and was a more efficient way, as before it was too complicated. This was the last major reform of Gladstone?s first ministry, reforming the speed, complexity and cost of the laws. To conclude, I believe that Gladstone?s first ministry was a great reform as many of the Acts were changed for the better and were majorly improved, with only the minority not playing a major role and just being reorganised instead. Furthermore, Gladstone?s first ministry gave people an idea of what they should be working towards, so that things can always be improving. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How liberal were Gladstone's domestic reforms during his first ministry?

    5 star(s)

    In 1871 Army regulations bill was introduced resulting in people starting to be appointed on merit, the minimum period of service was reduced and the army received better equipment. This resulted in increasing the efficiency of the army and her reputation which helped to strengthen foreign negotiations.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Assess how far the success of Gladstones first ministry was due to ...

    3 star(s)

    These rights are the basis on which modern trade union laws have been set out, according to Gladstone's trade union act of 1871. As well as increasing peoples rights though, his reforms were fundamentally to enhance society and he saw alcohol as a wrecker of society and detrimental to the

  1. Henry II (1154 - 1189) is generally seen as the main catalyst in the ...

    Dr Mike Ibeji BBC History -Monarchs and Leaders The Character and Legacy of Henry II Page 1-2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/state/monarchs_leaders/henry11_ibeji01.shtml (Visited 17/12/2002) 5. Baker, J.H [2002]'An Introduction to English Legal History', 4th Edition, Chapter 2 ' Origins of the Common Law page 13 6.

  2. To what extent were Gladstones social and economic reforms in his first ministry a ...

    However, the short-term drawbacks are dwarfed by the protracted consequences and the benefits therein. It is clear at this juncture that Gladstone's ministry was committed to extensive reform. The Cardwell Reforms of 1872 concerning the British Army were more focused on making the Army a more efficient Imperial force, and

  1. Disraeli's second ministry deserves the title a great reforming ministry Discuss how far you ...

    Additionally although due to his promise of alleviating the condition of the people he was forced to create social legislation to ensure minimal government intervention he aimed to make the acts permissive weaken their impact and focussed on areas which were non-controversial and where mild reforms could be implemented.

  2. Why was The Great Reform Act passed in 1832 ?

    was already on his way to France having been elected in the National Convention. Paine's influence in causing the Revolution in France had added to the government's distresses of the worry of a working class uprising. Paine was a widely read political thinker and made the government feel more cautious of a working class rebellion.

  1. To what extent was the second Reform Act passed to "extinguish Gladstone and co"?

    Such backing could only come from the radicals, and therefore Disraeli opted for a bold stroke to take the old enemy completely by surprise. This was, above all, a tactical coup. We must further look at the issue of extinguishing ?Gladstone and co?.

  2. Considered assessment of the Great War career of Field Marshal Douglas Haig.

    A Battle of the Somme timeline compiled by gommecourt.co.uk says that on the 23rd January 1916 whilst preparing for the preliminary attacks on a 20,000 yard front on the Somme to commence on 20th April, General Joseph Jaques Cesaire Joffre, Commander in Chief of the French Army suggested to Haig

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work