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Word Count: 938
The almighty seems to sustain and spare me for some purpose of his own deeply unworthy as I know myself to be The above words come from Gladstone himself and portray his unscrupulous devotion to Christianity Religion was the single most significant influence on Gladstonian Liberalism but his opinions were shaped by a number of other factors as well Firstly he believed in simple and efficient government He was not a supporter of radical state intervention and preferred the idea of individualism the belief that the government should not become over strong or over directing and that the state should create the atmosphere in which the individual can flourish and achieve Gladstones politics were underpinned by a sense of transforming his religious moral and philosophical thoughts into political decision making He basically endeavoured to guide a society gradually straying towards secularism to follow simple moral lines and so therefore much of his first ministrys domestic legislation was centred on the promotion of justice in society An example of this is Gladstones abolition of the purchase of commissions in the army meaning that aristocrats no longer had the right to run the army irrelevant of their aptitude to do so Gladstones belief in individualism can be seen in the way that his policies reflect his desire to create a state in which the individual can flourish and achieve While he believed that the individual should be self-sufficient and independent of state support he was anxious to ensure that institutions within the state should assist and not impede his efforts in achieving this This can be seen in the simple fact that almost all of this periods measures were about the reform of governmental institutions Examples of this include the introduction in 1870 of a public competitive examination to determine
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