Gladstone's reforms

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  • Gladstone's reforms
      • Before this act, education was carried out by voiuntary schools, which were run either by the Church of England or by Non conformists. Education had not been compulsory and there were not enough placed for the growing population.
      • Gladstone wished to reform education to improve national efficiency and move towards a meritocratic society.
      • The act divided the country into school districts and board schools were to be built which would provide an education from ages 5-12. These were to be paid for out of local rates. Religious schools could continue to run their own schools.
      • The act angered both Anglicans and non conformists. The act was important in that it represented a move away from an entirely laissez faire attitudes towards the role of the state in education.
      • for years, entry to the officer class of the army had been based on wealth and family connecions. The commander in chief was appointed by the monarch. Positions for officers were for sale and went to the sons of the aristocracy.
      • There were concerns over army efficiency by 1870. There had been difficulties getting supplies to the troops during the Crimean war, and some serious mistakes made.
      • The gov. gained control over the army by making the commander in chief directly responsible to the secretary for war. Men could enlist for a shorter time and new rifles were introduced for the infantry. Commissions were no longer for sale.
      • fierce opp. from house of lords and queen Victoria. The reforms created a modern army, research suggests that there was little change in reality in the social class of the officers being recruited. The Boer war 1899-1902 revealed lots of problems with army efficiency.
    • PUBLIC HEALTH 1872
      • Industrial towns were very unhealthy places by 1868. Life expectancy of a working class man in 1871 was as low as 17 years.
      • squalid conditions included back to bacjk housing with shared toilets. Repeated outbreks of cholera with major epidemics in1831, 1848 and 1866 demonstrated the terrible quality of public health.
      • Gladstone passed the health act which set up boards of health in every area of the country which each had to appoint a medical officer. however the act was not complusory so many areas didnt appoint an officer.
      • Entrance to the civil service had been based on wealth and family connections.
      • Gladstone introduced competitive entrance exams for the civil service instead. Bright young men from 'ordinary' backgrounds could now enter the civil service.
      • As a result, the civil service became more efficient and professional, at a minimal cost to the gov. Middle class liberals were satisfied with the reform however both whigs within the party and the tories were angry at the attack on their traditional views.
    • LICENSING ACT 1872
      • The act gave magistrates the power to issue licenses to publicans, impose opening and closing hours and prohibit the watering down of beer.
      • satisfied noone. The United Kingdom alliance felt it didnt go far enough but the brewing industry percieve it as a personal attack.
      • Gladstone determined to improve the 'morality' of the working class. Alcohol often viewed as 'evil', damaging family life and work ethics.


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