Journal Article

Alexander Tulloch and the Chelsea Out-Pensioners, 1838–43: Centralisation in the Early Victorian State

J.E. Cookson

in The English Historical Review

Volume CXXV, issue 512, pages 60-82
Published in print February 2010 | ISSN: 0013-8266
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-4534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehr/cep409
Alexander Tulloch and the Chelsea Out-Pensioners, 1838–43: Centralisation in the Early Victorian State

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This article does not attempt to re-litigate the idea of an administrative revolution in nineteenth-century Britain. But it does draw attention to a reform that is at odds with the generally received view of the piecemeal and pragmatic nature of administrative change in the period and of public opinion's important role in the process. In relieving Chelsea Hospital of the day-to-day administration of the out-pensioner population, the War Office, with Tulloch the chief architect of the reform, carried out a kind of inter-departmental coup. Old arrangements that were highly dependent on local officials were overturned and replaced by a system of bureaucratic and centralised control. Moreover, the War Office rejected the pension as designed to confer independence and self-reliance on old soldiers and instead regarded them as men too morally degenerate and too socially alienated and threatening to fit back comfortably into the civilian world. Such a new order primarily sought to reproduce the heavy-handed paternalistic authority that officers had largely come to exercise over the rank and file in the army.

Journal Article.  11392 words. 

Subjects: world history ; British history ; European history ; international history

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