- Published: November 20, 2022
- Updated: November 20, 2022
- Language: English
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To a certain extent Gladstone’s 1st administration was successful in that he achieved so many reforms in such a short amount of time however you could also argue that his first administration was a failure because he wasn’t re-elected in the next election, he resigned after the failure of the university reform act in 1874. In order to judge success or measure successfulness you will need to compare the impact with the objectives he had set out to do. Generally speaking one of his missions was to ” pacify Ireland” which he failed to accomplish with his reform acts. Gladstone’s first administration was a great reforming administration. There was eleven reform acts in his first administration however the majority of these reforms were introduced between 1868-1872. The rate that the reform acts were being introduced drastically fell after 1872. Gladstone’s reforms had ran out of steam by 1872. Gladstone however did manage to reform the country in many ways by changing systems such as the judiciary, civil service and army. Gladstone believed that Ireland had three major grievances which was church land and education. Gladstone had introduced three different Irish reform acts in his first administration although it was clear what his intentions were for Ireland furthermore he had good intentions, sadly there are distinct differences between his objectives for Ireland and the impact it had on Ireland. The first reform act was the disestablishment of the church of Ireland, before the act was introduced the official church was catholic although only 12% were Anglican the majority was catholic this clearly discrimination against Catholics, so the disestablishment of the church of Ireland act was a success and was effective. The second reform act was the Irish land act. The terms of the Irish land act were: 1. No tenant could be evicted provided he paid his rent on time2. when a tenant gave up his farm at the end of a lease the landlord had to pay the tenant for whatever improvements the tenant might have made on the farm (e. g. by adding buildings, drainage, roads). This did not apply if the tenant was evicted for non-payment of rent. 3. The ” Bright Clauses” attempted to help tenants to buy land, so that they would no longer be tenants. Not many could take advantage of thisAlthough Gladstone had good intention, this act was a failure it was a disaster, there were not enough safe guards. This act had too many holes and made the situation worse. The problems of the reform act, was it failed to define clearly the rights of tenants and landlords. Landlords could raise the rent at the end of a lease and if the tenant could not pay the new rent, the landlord could evict him – so no compensation could be claimed for improvements. Landlords made tenants go without compensation or made them fight for it in the courts: often tenants could not afford to do this. The Act came too late to provide an acceptable solution: it offered ” Too little, too late” it failed to prevent unreasonable rent increases. This was the major problem: the government was unable to legislate for control of Irish rents because property was considered to be sacred and government could not – dare not – interfere in private property. The third bill was the university test act. It was an attempt to reorganize higher education in Ireland. It failed to pass parliament by three votes because of a religious controversy over the syllabus. Gladstone had also reformed the key institution of this country. The army, the civil service, education and the judiciary were all reformed. The army had highlighted a few major problems during the Crimean war which was there weapons were poor and insufficient, the officers were promoted on commission rather than merit so they were inexperienced and not adequate for there positions. Gladstone introduced meritocracy to the army which meant that you were only promoted on merit. The civil service was lazy and inefficient Gladstone proposed that entry exams should be taken to work for the civil service. Previously it was the sons of the landowners except for the oldest son who worked for the civil service also the civil service employed more diversely. The army reforms, the civil service reforms and the disestablishment of the church of Ireland were all removal of unjustifiable privileges. The education acts introduced school board and compulsory education between 5-13. The vote had been extended to the working class so the working class had now needed to be educated. The judiciary system was long and complicated and most important factor was it was cost to much money so the system was simplified and so was the cost. Gladstone also introduced other reforms such as social reforms which tackled alcohol. Alcohol was the main cause of poverty, crime and violence. The reforms offended the laissez fair principle, however it was a success in tackling main causes of crime and especially violence. In conclusion Gladstone was successful to a certain extent he did manage many reforms however he did not manage to stay in government the following election which does indicate, that he did fail in the end. He also failed his mission to ” pacify Ireland” all though he had one good reform the rest of the reforms were failures. However Gladstone did have success as a great reforming government he managed to reform Ireland, key institutions and removed unjustified privileges. Society was also reformed.
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