Gladstone Essay What was Gladstone's liberalism and to what extent was it applied during his first ministry? This question focuses on Gladstone's liberalism and to what extent he applied it during his first ministry, 1868-74. Liberalism is a political philosophy that stresses individual liberty, equal opportunity and rights, Victorian liberalism was a mixture of ideology, morality and self-interest, and it advocated civil and religious liberty. Gladstone was the embodiment of Victorian liberalism, he tried to put forward his liberalism but he often found that he fought a lone battle in the cabinet. To assess the extent of how much Gladstone's liberalism was applied during his first ministry, I will be looking at the acts that were passed during this period and looking at how liberal in nature they were. His attention was mainly focused on Ireland as he said in his own words "It is my mission to pacify Ireland".
He put forward 3 acts and bills concerning Ireland, at the time these were fairly controversial, as he was one of the first Prime Ministers to address the Irish question.
The first act that Gladstone passed as Prime Minister was The Disestablishment of the Irish Church Act. This broke the connection between church and state and ended the Anglican church's status as the established church of Ireland, this aimed to reduce endowments and redistributing a third of its annual reserve to non-religious ends, e.g. improving hospitals. This was quite a liberal act as it allowed people to freely attend whichever church they wanted. This however showed Gladstone's willingness to solve a problem without appreciating its background and not understanding its immediate practical requirements. Th Irish Church Act was Gladstone's first liberal move and gave an indication of the path his future acts would take.
His second act in 1870 was...