Skip to main content

economical reform

economical reform. Demands for government economy have a long pedigree. Christopher Wyvill's Yorkshire Association was launched in 1779 when taxation was biting as a result of the American War. A programme of retrenchment, with the abolition of sinecures, was bound to have wide appeal and was taken up by the Rockingham opposition, partly to embarrass North's ministry, partly to weaken the influence of the crown. The triumph of the campaign was the carrying in April 1780 of Dunning's motion that the influence of the crown ‘ought to be diminished’. The Rockinghams achieved a modest measure of reform when they came to power in 1782: Crewe's Act disfranchised revenue officers; Clerke's Act declared that government contractors could not serve as MPs; Burke's Civil List Act abolished 47 places tenable with a seat in Parliament. Though the campaign faltered after the end of the American War, economical reform was continued by Pitt, whose maiden speech had been on the subject, largely by administrative action. A further drive by Liverpool after the Napoleonic wars led some to argue that government had been fatally weakened. But the difficulties caused to ministers by persistent pruning of places was compensated, partly by patronage in other forms, partly by better party discipline. ‘Cheap government’ continued to be a most popular programme during the 19th and 20th cents. See also place Acts.

J. A. Cannon

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"economical reform." The Oxford Companion to British History. . 16 Feb. 2019 <>.

"economical reform." The Oxford Companion to British History. . (February 16, 2019).

"economical reform." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved February 16, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.