Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Michael Thompson

Second Advisor

Dr. Johnathan Dresener

Third Advisor

Dr. Donald Viney


The aim of this thesis is to discuss the significance of William Gladstone and his political administration which demonstrated a unique approach to social representation in nineteenth-century Britain. Most of the research for this thesis focused on historians who examine both the variable nature of the term democracy in Victorian Britain as well as Gladstone’s bureaucratic achievements as an MP. A large portion of the thesis employs information extracted from nineteenth-century British newspapers to convey the firsthand viewpoints of Britain’s political administration. Secondly, a plethora of modern perspectives provide varying outlooks on Gladstonian Liberalism as a gradually progressive form of societal management implemented within a consistently transitioning imperial system. Although the general consensus of both contemporary and secondary historic accounts does not typically portray Gladstone as a revolutionary for democracy they concede that his endeavors in Liberal reform included elements of democratic changes that encouraged Parliamentary policy to be more supportive of underrepresented social groups.



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