Les conservateurs et la loi Forster : sauvegarde des valeurs et combat politique

Catherine Wintrebert

Abstract :
The Forster Act (1870) was a landmark in the development of the English education system. For the first time, state authorities intervened and started to set up schools, whereas this had previously been the prerogative of voluntary bodies, often churches. The Conservatives could no longer deny the necessity of this intervention but fought hard during the parliamentary debates to preserve their values, embodied by the place of anglicanism and more generally of religion in the education system. They supported Forster's Bill, although it emanated from a Liberal government, because it was precisely a compromise on these issues and did not aim at replacing the voluntary system by a state one but merely at complementing the former. The Tories opposed the establishment of secular, free and compulsory schools for all, advocated by the Radicals, since they regarded universal and compulsory measures as contrary to national traditions. Voting in favour of the Bill, but against radical amendments, was a way of avoiding these revolutionary steps ; it was also meant to show that the governing majority composed of Liberals and Radicals, was divided and that the governement did not control its Radical allies.
Published : 2008-07-11


Catherine Wintrebert, « Les conservateurs et la loi Forster : sauvegarde des valeurs et combat politique », Cycnos, 2008-07-11. URL : http://epi-revel.univ-cotedazur.fr/publication/item/358