The Civil Service and Army Reforms 1870-1873

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  • Civil Service and Army Reforms
    • Edward Cardwell's reforms
      • He was the Secretary of War and charged with rooting out incompetence and inefficiency in the army
      • So, what were the reforms?
        • The Army Enlistment Act 1870
          • Changed the 12 years active service to six years active service and six years in reverse
            • Following the Prussian Model
        • The purchase of commissions was abolished - selection and promotion of officers was to be on merit
          • This allowed in candidates with intellect and ability to be promoted
            • Improved professionalism and efficiency at a min. cost to the government
              • Won the approval of many middle-class Liberals as it allowed bright young men from ordinary backgrounds the chance of a steady career with good prospects
        • The Commander-in-Chief was made answerable to the Secretory of War
          • Established political control of the Army
        • Peace-time flogging was abolished
          • The more humane and civilized conditions of service encouraged a better type of recruit and made a large and efficient reverse possible
        • War Office divided into three main departments but all housed in one building located at Whitehall
          • Allowed more efficient working
    • What happened?
      • The Civil Service and Army Reforms created ill feeling towards the government from the traditional Whigs
        • The aristocracy felt as though their privileges were being threatened
          • So naturally opposed the reforms
            • Only passed because Gladstone showed he was prepared to bypass the Lords by persuading Queen Victoria to issue a royal warrant of the same effect
      • Why reforms?
        • The disasters of the Crimean War had underlined the need for improvement/the competency and professionalism of the army
        • But more recently, British Newspapers had carried reports of the crushing victories of the Prussian Army over Austria (1866) + France (1870)
          • Bismark's reform of the Prussian Army had produced a well-disciplined, well-equipped fighting force that could be seen as a potential future threat to Britain
    • 1870-1873
      • Gladstone first ministrey
        • When?


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