civil service

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Government posts were filled by patronage until well into the reign of Victoria. The Northcote–Trevelyan Report (1854) recommended changes, including entry to a civil service by competitive examination, promotion by merit, improved pay and pensions, and the division of the service into administrative, executive, and clerical grades. The incompetence revealed by the Crimean War hastened the implementation of these reforms, which were largely complete by 1870.

Subjects: History — Politics.

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