Liberal Party won the general election in 1868 with a big majority. Also, marked Gladstone's first term as Prime Minister.
After 1846, politics settled down into a two party contest ( Liberals and Conservatives) and a personal rivalry between the two leaders (Gladstone and Disraeli).
Gladstone's nickname- 'The People's William'
The Principles of Gladstonian Liberalism (Not views of the Liberal Party)
- Christian morality- Gladstone had a very moral attitude to politics. He was a devout Anglican, so was his Christian morality. To him religion and politics were closely releated. His politics were determined by what as moral, fair and right.
- Equality of Opportuity and the abolition of privilege- Gladstone was not a believer in equality but he did believe in equality of opportunity. He tried to get rid of special privileges in the army, civil service and universities.
- Efficient and Active government- Gladstone thought it was important for a governement to actively govern the country which meant reforms should be passed where necessary.
- Economy and Retrenchment- Gladstone loathed waste and believed it was the duty of the governements to use money entrusted. Low expenditure and low taxation would help the government 'balance the book'.
- Religious Toleration- Gladstone himself was very religious, but he believed in toleration of other religions and beliefs. He felt no-one should force their beliefs/views on anyone else.
- Self Help- Gladstone did not believe in the necessity of social reform to improve living and working conditions. Thought it was too expensive but he also thought too much government intervention would damage the 'moral fibre' of the nation. Instead, he believed in Self Help: the government would create the right environment in which the individual could make the best of the circumstances.
- Free Trade and Laisser Faire- Gladstone continued to believe in freeing trade from duties and restrictions. He also believed there should be little government intervention in the economy.
- Foreign Affairs- Gladstone favoured a policy of peace. Wars were expensive and to be avoided. He also respected the rights of other countries.
One of the problems Gladstone faced was that the Liberal Party was a 'coalition of interest groups'- not everyone agreed with these principles.
Elementary Education Act (Fosters Act) 1870 By the late 1860s, it was clear that schools provided by religious volunteering societies was inadequate and unable to cope with the rapidly increasing population. The act established a system of elected school boards which had the power to levy rates locally and use the funds to build schools and emply teachers. Increased education by having more schools. Supporters= Industrialists. Opponents= Upper classes and Religious groups. Liberal Principles= Equality of Opportunity, Efficient & Active government, Retrenchment
University Test Act 1871 …