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Encyclopedia > Reform Act 1832
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The Representation of the People Act 1832, commonly known as the Reform Act 1832, was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of the United Kingdom. According to its preamble, the act was designed to "take effectual Measures for correcting diverse Abuses that have long prevailed in the Choice of Members to serve in the Commons House of Parliament." This is a list of Acts of the Scottish Parliament. ... This is a list of Acts passed by the Parliament of Northern Ireland. ... This is a list of Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly passed by that body from its establishment in 2000 until its suspension in 2002 and from its re-establishment in 2007. ... This is a list of Measures of the National Assembly for Wales. ... The is a list of Orders in Council for Northern Ireland which are primary legislation for the province when the it is being directly ruled from London and also for those powers not devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly. ... Statutory Instruments (SIs) are parts of United Kingdom law separate from Acts of Parliament which do not require full Parliamentary approval before becoming law. ... An Act of Parliament or Act is law enacted by the parliament (see legislation). ... Type Lower House Speaker Michael Martin, (Non-affiliated) since October 23, 2000 Leader Harriet Harman, (Labour) since June 28, 2007 Shadow Leader Theresa May, (Conservative) since May 5, 2005 Members 659 Political groups Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats Scottish National Party Plaid Cymru Democratic Unionist Party Sinn Féin...


Calls for reform had been mooted long before 1832, but perennially without success. The Act which finally succeeded was proposed by the Whigs led by the Prime Minister Lord Grey. It met with significant opposition from the Tories, especially in the House of Lords. Nevertheless, as a result of public pressure, the bill eventually passed. The Act granted seats in the House of Commons to large cities that sprang up during the Industrial Revolution, and took away seats from the "rotten boroughs"—those with very small populations. The Act also increased the number of individuals entitled to vote, increasing the size of electorate by 50–80%, and allowing a total of 653,000 adult males (around one in five) to vote, in a population of some 14 million. The Act also specifically disenfranchised women, sparking the British suffrage movement. The Whigs (with the Tories) are often described as one of two political parties in England and later the United Kingdom from the late 17th to the mid 19th centuries. ... The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is, in practice, the political leader of the United Kingdom. ... The Right Honourable Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, KG, PC (13 March 1764–17 July 1845), known as Viscount Howick between 1806 and 1807, was a British Whig statesman and Prime Minister. ... The term Tory derives from the Tory Party, the ancestor of the modern UK Conservative Party. ... This article is about the British House of Lords. ... A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ... The term rotten borough referred to a parliamentary borough or constituency in Great Britain and Ireland which, due to size and population, was controlled and used by a patron to exercise undue and unrepresentative influence within parliament. ... Elections Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Suffrage (from the Latin suffragium, meaning vote) is the civil right to vote, or the exercise of that right. ... Disenfranchisement or disfranchisement is the revocation of, or failure to grant, the right of suffrage (the right to vote) to a person or group of people. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


The full title was: "An Act to amend the representation of the people in England and Wales." Its formal short title and citation were: "Representation of the People Act 1832 (2 & 3 Will. IV, c. 45)." The Act only applied in England and Wales; separate reform bills were passed in the same year for Scotland and Ireland. Other reform measures were passed later during the 19th century; as a result, the Reform Act 1832 is sometimes called the First Reform Act, or the Great Reform Act. For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... This article is about the country. ... The Scottish Reform Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the election laws of Scotland. ...

Contents

The unreformed House of Commons

The House of Commons in the 18th century The unreformed House of Commons is the name generally given to the British House of Commons as it existed before the Reform Act of 1832. ...

Composition

The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

The unreformed House of Commons was composed of 658 members, of whom 513 represented England and Wales. There were two types of constituencies: counties and boroughs. County members were supposed to represent landholders, while borough members were supposed to represent the mercantile and trading interests of the kingdom.[1] Counties were historical national subdivisions established between the eighth and sixteenth centuries. They were not merely parliamentary constituencies; many components of the government (including courts and the militia) were organized along county lines.[2] The members of Parliament chosen by the counties were known as Knights of the Shire. In England, each county elected two members of Parliament; in Wales, only one. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (846x622, 113 KB) Summary The House of Commons at Westminster as drawn by Ausgustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (846x622, 113 KB) Summary The House of Commons at Westminster as drawn by Ausgustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house. ... Originally, a county was the land under the jurisdiction of a count (in Great Britain, an earl, though the original earldoms covered larger areas) by reason of that office. ... A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... Lebanese Kataeb militia The term Militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary [1] citizens to provide defense, emergency, law enforcement, or paramilitary service, and those engaged in such activity, without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. ... In English and British politics from mediaeval times until the Representation of the People Act 1884, Knights of the Shire were representatives of counties sent to advise the government of the day. ...


Boroughs were towns or cities that had been granted representation in Parliament by royal charter. Theoretically, the honour of electing members of Parliament belonged to the wealthiest and most flourishing towns in the kingdom. Boroughs that ceased to be successful could be disenfranchised by the Crown.[3] In practice, however, many tiny hamlets became boroughs, especially between the reigns of Henry VIII and Charles II. Likewise, boroughs that had flourished during the Middle Ages, but had since fallen into decay, were allowed to continue sending representatives to Parliament. The royal prerogative of enfranchising and disfranchising boroughs fell into disuse after the reign of Charles II; as a result, these historical anomalies became set in stone.[4] Most boroughs in England elected two members of Parliament each. (Some elected only one, but the City of London and Weymouth and Melcombe Regis elected four.) Each of the Welsh boroughs returned one member. For the ship of the same name, see Royal Charter (ship). ... Henry VIII redirects here. ... Charles II King of England, Scotland and Ireland Charles II (29 May 1630–6 February 1685) was the King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 30 January 1649 (de jure) or 29 May 1660 (de facto) until his death. ... Motto: Domine dirige nos Latin: Lord, guide us Shown within Greater London Sovereign state Constituent country Region Greater London Status City and Ceremonial County Admin HQ Guildhall Government  - Leadership see text  - Mayor David Lewis  - MP Mark Field  - London Assembly John Biggs Area  - Total 1. ... Weymouth and Melcombe Regis was a borough in England. ...


The franchise

The right to vote in both counties and boroughs was restricted to men above the age of twenty-one, provided they met property qualifications. Those who owned property in multiple constituencies could vote multiple times; there was normally no requirement for an individual to actually inhabit a constituency in order to vote there. The plurality electoral system (or first past the post electoral system), is a voting system for single-member districts. ...


Statutes passed in 1430 and 1432, during the reign of Henry VI, standardized property qualifications for county voters. Under these acts, all men who owned freehold property or land worth at least forty shillings in a particular county were entitled to vote in that county. This requirement was never adjusted for inflation; thus, the amount of land that it was necessary for one to own in order to vote was gradually diminished over time.[5] Nevertheless, the vast majority of individuals were unable to vote; the size of the English county electorate in 1831 has been estimated at only 200,000.[6] Furthermore, the sizes of the individual county constituencies varied significantly. The smallest counties, Rutland and Anglesey, had fewer than a thousand voters each, while the largest county, Yorkshire, had more than twenty thousand.[7] Henry VI (December 6, 1421 – May 21, 1471) was King of England from 1422 to 1461 (though with a Regent until 1437) and then from 1470 to 1471, and King of France from 1422 to 1453. ... Fee simple, also known as fee simple absolute or allodial, is a term of art in common law. ... Oakham Castle Rutland is traditionally Englands smallest county and is bounded on the west and north by Leicestershire, northeast by Lincolnshire, and southeast by Northamptonshire. ... Anglesey (historically Anglesea; Welsh: , pronounced (IPA)) is a predominantly Welsh-speaking island off the northwest coast of Wales. ... Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England. ...


In the boroughs, qualifications were much more varied. In some cases, the right to vote belonged to all male resident householders not receiving poor relief. In others, payment of taxes or property ownership constituted the chief criterion. Several boroughs used a system of indirect election, under which members of Parliament were selected by the town corporation, instead of the people. Others employed various combinations of the aforementioned qualifications, often subject to special rules and exceptions.[8] The largest borough, Westminster, included approximately twelve thousand voters, while the smallest constituencies or "rotten" boroughs included fewer than a hundred each.[9] The most famous rotten borough was Old Sarum, whose electorate in 1800 amounted to only eleven voters (all of whom were landowners who resided elsewhere).[10] Other examples include Dunwich (thirty-two voters), Camelford (twenty-five), and Gatton (seven).[11] A Municipal Corporation is a legal defintion for a local governing body, including (but not necessarily limited to) cities, counties, and towns. ... Westminster was a former parliamentary constituency in the Parliaments of England to 1707, Great Britain 1707-1800 and the United Kingdom from 1801. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... Dunwich was a parliamentary borough in Suffolk, one of the most notorious of all the rotten boroughs. ... Camelford was a rotten borough in Cornwall which returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons in the English and later British Parliament from 1552 to 1832, when it was abolished by the Great Reform Act. ... Gatton was a parliamentary borough in Surrey, one of the most notorious of all the rotten boroughs. ...


Corruption

William Hogarth's Canvassing for Votes depicts the corruption endemic in election campaigns prior to the Great Reform Act.
William Hogarth's Canvassing for Votes depicts the corruption endemic in election campaigns prior to the Great Reform Act.

A large number of House of Commons constituencies, especially those with small electorates, were under the control of rich landowners. These constituencies were known as nomination boroughs or pocket boroughs, because they were said to be in the pockets of their patrons. Most patrons were members of the nobility or the landed gentry who could use their local influence, prestige, and wealth to sway the voters. This was particularly true in rural counties, and in small boroughs situated near a large landed estate. Some noblemen even controlled multiple constituencies; for example, the Duke of Norfolk possessed eleven, while the Earl of Lonsdale owned nine.[12] Writing in 1821, Sydney Smith proclaimed that "The country belongs to the Duke of Rutland, Lord Lonsdale, the Duke of Newcastle, and about twenty other holders of boroughs. They are our masters!"[13] Dr T.H.B. Oldfield claimed in his Representative History of Great Britain and Ireland that, out of the 514 members representing England and Wales, about 370 were selected by nearly 180 patrons.[14] A member who represented a pocket borough was expected to vote as his patron ordered, lest he lose his seat at the next election. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2024x1607, 305 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Reform Act 1832 User:Rl/Images User:Lord Emsworth/Reform Humours of an Election ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2024x1607, 305 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Reform Act 1832 User:Rl/Images User:Lord Emsworth/Reform Humours of an Election ... William Hogarth (November 10, 1697 – October 26, 1764) was a major English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, and editorial cartoonist who has been credited as a pioneer in western sequential art. ... The Most Noble Charles Howard, 11th Duke of Norfolk was born on 15 March 1746, the son of Charles Howard, 10th Duke of Norfolk and Catherine Brockholes. ... James Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale (August 5, 1736–May 24, 1802) was the son of Robert Lowther and Catherine Pennington. ... This article is about Sydney Smith, the English writer and wit. ...


Voters in some constituencies were independent enough to resist domination by powerful landlords. However, they were, in many cases, still open to corruption. Electors were bribed individually in some boroughs, and collectively in others. In 1771, for example, it was revealed that eighty-one voters in New Shoreham (who constituted a majority of the electorate) formed a corrupt organization that called itself the "Christian Club," and regularly sold the borough to the highest bidder.[15] Especially notorious for their corruption were the "nabobs," or individuals who had amassed fortunes in the British colonies in Asia and the West Indies. The nabobs, in some cases, even managed to wrest control of boroughs from the nobility and the gentry.[16] Lord Chatham, Prime Minister of Great Britain during the 1760s, once commented that "the importers of foreign gold have forced their way into Parliament, by such a torrent of corruption as no private hereditary fortune could resist."[17] For the 1974 to 1997 constituency, see Shoreham (UK Parliament constituency). ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ... The Caribbean or the West Indies is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. ... William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham PC (15 November 1708 – 11 May 1778) was a British Whig statesman who achieved his greatest fame as Secretary of State during the Seven Years War (known as the French and Indian War in North America) and who was later Prime Minister of Great...


Movement for reform

Early attempts at reform

William Pitt the Younger was a prominent advocate of parliamentary reform.
William Pitt the Younger was a prominent advocate of parliamentary reform.

During the 1640s, England endured a civil war that pitted King Charles I and the Royalists against the Parliamentarians. In 1647, different factions of the victorious parliamentary army held a series of discussions, the Putney Debates, on reforming the structure of English government. The most radical elements proposed universal manhood suffrage and the reorganization of parliamentary constituencies. Their leader Thomas Rainsborough declared, "I think it's clear, that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government." More conservative members disagreed, arguing instead that only individuals who owned land in the country should be allowed to vote. For example, Henry Ireton stated, "no man hath a right to an interest or share in the disposing of the affairs of the kingdom ... that hath not a permanent fixed interest in this kingdom." The views of the conservative "Grandees" eventually won out. Oliver Cromwell, who became the leader of England after the abolition of the monarchy in 1649, refused to adopt universal suffrage; individuals were required to own property (real or personal) worth at least £200 in order to vote. He did nonetheless agree to some electoral reform; he disfranchised several small boroughs, granted representation to large towns such as Manchester and Leeds, and increased the number of members elected by populous counties. These reforms were all reversed, and the original system of representation reinstated, when the English monarchy was restored in 1660. Download high resolution version (421x721, 84 KB)William Pitt the Younger (May 28, 1759 - January 23, 1806) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (421x721, 84 KB)William Pitt the Younger (May 28, 1759 - January 23, 1806) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... For other uses, see English Civil War (disambiguation). ... Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England, King of Scotland and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution. ... °°°°°°°°°°°→→→→→→→→→→→→§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§ Prince Rupert, an archetypical cavalier For other uses, see Cavalier (disambiguation). ... The Roundheads was the nickname given to the supporters of Parliament during the English Civil War. ... The Putney Debates were a series of discussions between members of the New Model Army and the Levellers, concerning the makeup of a new constitution for England. ... Thomas Rainsborough (c 1610- 29? October 1648) was a leading figure in the English Civil War. ... Henry Ireton Henry Ireton (1611 - November 26, 1651), was an English general in the army of Parliament during the English Civil War. ... Oliver Cromwell (25 April 1599 – 3 September 1658) was an English military and political leader best known for his involvement in making England into a republican Commonwealth and for his later role as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland. ... This article is about the City of Manchester in England. ... For other uses, see Leeds (disambiguation) and Leeds City (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Restoration. ...


Following Restoration, the issue of parliamentary reform lay dormant until it was revived in the 1760s by the Whig Prime Minister William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham ("Pitt the Elder"), who called borough representation "the rotten part of our constitution" (hence the term "rotten borough"). Nevertheless, he did not advocate an immediate disfranchisement of rotten boroughs. He instead proposed that a third member be added to each county, to countervail the borough influence. The Whigs failed to unite behind the expansion of county representation; some objected to the idea because they felt that it would give too much power to the aristocracy and gentry in rural areas.[18] Ultimately, despite Chatham's exertions, Parliament took no action on his proposals. The cause of parliamentary reform was next taken up by Lord Chatham's son, William Pitt the Younger (variously described as a Tory and as an "independent Whig"). Like his father, he shrank from proposing the wholesale abolition of the rotten boroughs, advocating instead an increase in county representation. The House of Commons rejected Pitt's resolution by over 140 votes, despite receiving petitions for reform bearing over twenty thousand signatures.[19] In 1783, Pitt became Prime Minister but was still unable to achieve reform. King George III was averse to the idea, as were many members of Pitt's own cabinet. In 1786, the Prime Minister proposed a reform bill, but the House of Commons rejected it on a 174-248 vote.[20] Pitt did not raise the issue again for the remainder of his term. William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham PC (15 November 1708 – 11 May 1778) was a British Whig statesman who achieved his greatest fame as Secretary of State during the Seven Years War (known as the French and Indian War in North America) and who was later Prime Minister of Great... William Pitt the Younger (28 May 1759 – 23 January 1806) was a British politician of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. ... George III redirects here. ...


Aftermath of the French Revolution

Support for parliamentary reform plummeted after the launch of the French Revolution in 1789. Reacting to the perceived excesses of the revolution, English politicians became steadfastly opposed to any major political change. Despite this reaction, several groups that agitated for reform were established. A group of Whigs led by James Maitland, 8th Earl of Lauderdale and Charles Grey founded an organization to advocate for parliamentary reform in 1792. This group, known as the Society of the Friends of the People, included twenty-eight members of Parliament.[21] In 1793, Grey presented to the House of Commons a petition from the Friends of the People, outlining abuses of the system and demanding change. He did not propose any specific scheme of reform, but merely a motion that the House inquire into possible improvements. Parliament's reaction to the French Revolution was so negative, that even this request for an inquiry was rejected by a margin of almost 200 votes. Grey made a second attempt to raise the subject in 1797, but the House again rebuffed him by a majority of more than 150.[22] The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... James Maitland, 8th Earl of Lauderdale KT PC (January 26, 1759 - September 10, 1839), was a representative peer for Scotland in the House of Lords. ... The Right Honourable Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, KG, PC (13 March 1764–17 July 1845), known as Viscount Howick between 1806 and 1807, was a British Whig statesman and Prime Minister. ... The Friends of the People were a eighteenth century organisation that sought radical political reform in Great Britain. ...


Other notable pro-reform organizations included the Hampden Clubs (named after John Hampden, an English politician who opposed the Crown during the English Civil War) and the London Corresponding Society (which consisted of workers and artisans). But the "radical" reforms supported by these organizations (for example, universal suffrage) found even less support in Parliament. For example, when Sir Francis Burdett, chairman of the London Hampden Club, proposed a resolution in favour of universal suffrage, equally sized electoral districts, and voting by secret ballot to the House of Commons, his motion found only one other supporter (Lord Cochrane) in the entire House.[23] John Hampden John Hampden as depicted in the 1851 Illustrated London Reading Book John Hampden (circa 1595—1643) was an English politician, the eldest son of William Hampden, of Hampden House, Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire, a descendant of a very ancient family of that county, said to have been established... London Corresponding Society; a moderate-radical body concentrating on parliamentary reform in the 1790s. ... Sir Francis Burdett Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Baronet (25 January 1770–23 January 1844) was an English reformist politician, the son of Francis Burdett by his wife Eleanor, daughter of William Jones of Ramsbury manor, Wiltshire, and grandson of Sir Robert Burdett, Bart. ... Rear Admiral Thomas Alexander Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, Marquês do Maranhão GCB RN (14 December 1775 – 31 October 1860), styled Lord Cochrane between 1778 and 1831[1], was a radical politician and naval officer. ...


Despite such setbacks, popular pressure for reform remained strong. In 1819, a large group of individuals held a pro-reform political rally in Birmingham. Although the city was not formally entitled to any seats in the Commons, those gathered decided to elect Sir Charles Wolseley as Birmingham's "legislatorial representative." Following their example, reformers in Manchester decided to hold a similar meeting to elect a "legislatorial attorney." A large number of individuals (between twenty thousand and sixty thousand, according to different estimates) attended the event, many of them bearing signs such as "Equal Representation or Death." The protesters were ordered to disband; when they failed to do so, armed members of the Manchester Yeomenry suppressed the meeting by force. Eleven people were killed, and several hundred injured, the event later to become known as the Peterloo Massacre. In response, the government passed the Six Acts, measures that were designed to quell further political agitation. In particular, the Seditious Meetings Act prohibited groups of more than 50 people from assembling to discuss any political subject without prior permission from the sheriff or magistrate.[24] Print of the Peterloo Massacre published by Richard Carlile The Peterloo Massacre of August 16, 1819 was the result of a cavalry charge into the crowd at a public meeting at St Peters Fields, Manchester, England. ... Following the Peterloo massacre of August 16, 1819, the UK government acted to prevent any future disturbances by the introduction of new legislation, the so-called Six Acts which labelled any meeting for radical reform as an overt act of treasonable conspiracy. Parliament had reconvened on November 23 and the...


Reform during the 1820s

Since the House of Commons regularly rejected direct challenges to the system of representation by large majorities, supporters of reform had to content themselves with more modest measures. The Whig Lord John Russell brought forward one such measure in 1820, proposing the disfranchisement of the notoriously corrupt borough of Grampound in Cornwall. He suggested that the borough's two seats be transferred to the city of Leeds. Tories in the House of Lords agreed to the disfranchisement of the borough, but refused to accept the precedent of directly transferring its seats to an industrial city. Instead, they modified the proposal so that two further seats were given to Yorkshire, the county in which Leeds is situated. In this form, the bill passed both houses and became law. In 1828, Lord John Russell suggested that Parliament repeat the idea by abolishing the corrupt boroughs of Penryn and East Retford, and by transferring their seats to Manchester and Birmingham. This time, however, the House of Lords rejected his proposals. In 1830, Russell proposed another, similar scheme: the enfranchisement of Leeds, Manchester, and Birmingham, and the disfranchisement of the next three boroughs found guilty of corruption; again, the proposal was rejected.[25] John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, KG, GCMG, PC (18 August 1792 – 28 May 1878), known as Lord John Russell before 1861, was an English Whig and Liberal politician who served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the mid-19th century. ... Grampound, was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1821. ... For other uses, see Cornwall (disambiguation). ... Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England. ... Penryn (Cornish: Pennrynn, from Pen-ryn meaning promontory) is a town in Cornwall, England, UK on the Penryn river. ... , Retford is a market town in Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands of England, located 31 miles from the county town of Nottingham, in the district of Bassetlaw. ...


Support for reform came from an unexpected source—a faction of the Tory Party—in 1829. The Tory government under Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, responding to the danger of civil strife in largely Roman Catholic Ireland, drew up the Catholic Relief Act 1829. This legislation repealed various laws that imposed political disabilities on Roman Catholics, in particular laws that prevented them from becoming members of Parliament. In response, disenchanted Tories who perceived a danger to the established religion came to favour parliamentary reform, in particular the enfranchisement of Manchester, Leeds, and other heavily Protestant cities in northern England.[26] Italic text His Grace Field Marshal the Most Noble Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS (c. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... The Catholic Relief Act 1829 (10 Geo IV c. ...


Passage of the Reform Act

First Reform Bill

The Duke of Wellington, who had previously earned fame by leading the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars, strongly opposed reform measures.
The Duke of Wellington, who had previously earned fame by leading the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars, strongly opposed reform measures.

Shortly after the death of King George IV in 1830, Parliament was dissolved, and a general election held. Electoral reform, which had been frequently discussed during the preceding parliamentary session, became a major campaign issue. Across the country, several pro-reform "political unions" were formed, made up of both middle and working class individuals. The most influential of these associations was the Birmingham Political Union, led by Thomas Attwood. These groups confined themselves to lawful, non-violent means of supporting reform, such as petitioning and public oratory, and achieved a great level of public support.[27] Image File history File links Download high resolution version (900x1111, 108 KB) The Duke of Wellington by Francisco Goya File links The following pages link to this file: Enlightenment Spain ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (900x1111, 108 KB) The Duke of Wellington by Francisco Goya File links The following pages link to this file: Enlightenment Spain ... Combatants Austria[a] Portugal Prussia[a] Russia[b] Sicily[c] Sardinia  Spain[d]  Sweden[e] United Kingdom French Empire Holland[f] Italy Etruria[g] Naples[h] Duchy of Warsaw[i] Confederation of the Rhine[j] Bavaria Saxony Westphalia Württemberg Denmark-Norway[k] Commanders Archduke Charles Prince Schwarzenberg Karl Mack... George IV redirects here. ... The Birmingham Political Union was a political organisation in Great Britain during the early nineteenth century. ... Thomas Attwood (born in Halesowen, 6 October 1783, died in Malvern, Worcestershire on 9 March 1859) was a British economist and strong campaigner for electoral reform. ...


Nonetheless, the Tories won a majority in the election. But the party was divided, and support for the Prime Minister (the Duke of Wellington) was weak. When the Opposition raised the issue of reform during one of the first debates of the year, he made a controversial statement defending the merits of the existing system of government, speaking in the formal "third-party" language of the time:[28]

He was fully convinced that the country possessed, at the present moment, a legislature which answered all the good purposes of legislation,—and this to a greater degree than any legislature ever had answered, in any country whatever. He would go further, and say that the legislature and system of representation possessed the full and entire confidence of the country. [...] He would go still further, and say, that if at the present moment he had imposed upon him the duty of forming a legislature for any country [...] he did not mean to assert that he could form such a legislature as they possessed now, for the nature of man was incapable of reaching such excellence at once. [...] [A]s long as he held any station in the government of the country, he should always feel it his duty to resist [reform] measures, when proposed by others.

The Prime Minister's absolutist views proved extremely unpopular, even within his own party. Less than two weeks after Wellington made the above remarks, he was forced to resign following an adverse vote in the House of Commons on a confidence motion. Sydney Smith wrote, "Never was any administration so completely and so suddenly destroyed; and, I believe, entirely by the Duke's declaration, made, I suspect, in perfect ignorance of the state of public feeling and opinion."[29] Wellington was replaced by the Whig reformer Charles Grey, who had by this time succeeded to the title of Earl Grey. A motion of no confidence, also called a motion of non-confidence, a censure motion, a no-confidence motion, or simply a confidence motion, is a parliamentary motion traditionally put before a parliament by the opposition in the hope of defeating or embarrassing a government. ...


Lord Grey's first announcement as Prime Minister was a pledge to carry out parliamentary reform. On 1 March 1831, Lord John Russell brought forward the Reform Bill in the House of Commons on the government's behalf. The bill disfranchised sixty of the smallest boroughs, and reduced the representation of forty-seven others. Some of the seats were completely abolished, while others were redistributed to the London suburbs, to large cities, to the counties, and to Scotland and Ireland. Furthermore, the bill standardized and expanded the borough franchise, increasing the size of the electorate (according to one estimate) by half a million voters.[30] is the 60th day of the year (61st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


On 22 March, the vote on the second reading attracted 608 members (including the non-voting Speaker), more than any previous division. (The previous record was 530 members.) Despite such a large attendance, the second reading was approved by only one vote. But further progress for the Reform Bill proved difficult. During the committee stage, Isaac Gascoyne proposed a motion objecting to the provisions of the bill that reduced the total number of seats in the House of Commons. The motion was carried, contrary to the government's wishes, by nine votes. Thereafter, the ministry lost a vote on a procedural motion by twenty-two votes. As these divisions indicated that Parliament was in fact adverse to the Reform Bill, the ministry decided to request a dissolution and to take their appeal to the people.[31] is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Reading is a mechanism by which a bill is introduced to, and approved by a legislature. ... Isaac Gascoyne (about 17631 - 26 August 1841) was a British Tory politician. ...


Second Reform Bill

The political and popular pressure for reform had grown so great that pro-reform Whigs won an overwhelming House of Commons majority in the general elections of 1831. The Whig party won almost all constituencies with genuine electorates, leaving the Tories with little more than the rotten boroughs. The Reform Bill was again brought before the House of Commons, which agreed to the second reading by a large majority in July. During the committee stage, opponents of the bill slowed its progress through tedious discussions of its details, but it was finally passed in September, by a margin of more than a hundred votes.[32]


The bill was then sent up to the House of Lords, a majority of whose members were known to be hostile to it. Due to the decisive verdict of the electorate in favour of the Whigs at the previous election, some speculated that opponents of reform would abstain from voting, instead of openly defying the public will. Indeed, when the House voted on the second reading of bill after a memorable series of debates, a large number of Tory peers refrained from voting. However, the Lords Spiritual mustered in unusually large numbers; of the twenty-two that were present, twenty-one voted against the bill. Consequently, the bill failed by a margin of forty-one votes. The Lords Spiritual of the United Kingdom, also called Spiritual Peers, consist of the 26 clergymen of the established Church of England who serve in the House of Lords along with the Lords Temporal. ...


Once the Lords rejected the Reform Bill, public violence ensued. That very evening, riots broke out in Derby, where the mob attacked the city gaol and set several prisoners free. At Nottingham, rioters set fire to Nottingham Castle (the home of the Duke of Newcastle) and attacked Wollaton Hall (the estate of Lord Middleton). The most significant disturbances occurred at Bristol, where rioters took control for three days. The mob broke into prisons and destroyed several buildings, including the palace of the Bishop of Bristol, the mansion of the Lord Mayor of Bristol, and several private homes. Other places that saw violence included Dorset, Leicestershire, and Somerset.[33] Derby (pronounced dar-bee ) is a city in the East Midlands of England. ... For other uses, see Nottingham (disambiguation). ... Nottingham Castle is a castle in Nottingham, England. ... Wollaton Hall in the late 18th century. ... This article is about the English city. ... The Bishop of Bristol heads the Church of England Diocese of Bristol in the Province of Canterbury, in England. ... Dorset (pronounced DOR-sit or [dɔ.sət], and sometimes in the past called Dorsetshire) is a county in the south-west of England, on the English Channel coast. ... Leicestershire ( IPA: (RP), IPA: (locally)), abbreviation Leics. ... This article is about the county of Somerset in England. ...


In the meantime, the political unions, which had hitherto been separate groups united only by a common goal, decided to band together to form the National Political Union. Perceiving this group as a threat, the government issued a proclamation pursuant to the Corresponding Societies Act 1799 declaring such an association "unconstitutional and illegal," and commanding all loyal subjects to refrain joining it. The leaders of the National Political Union ignored the proclamation, but the leaders of the influential Birmingham branch decided to co-operate with government wishes by discouraging activities on a national level.[34]


Third Reform Bill

Lord Grey headed the Whig ministry that ushered the Reform Bill through Parliament.
Lord Grey headed the Whig ministry that ushered the Reform Bill through Parliament.

After the Reform Bill was rejected in the Lords, the House of Commons immediately passed a motion of confidence affirming their support for Lord Grey's administration. Because parliamentary rules prohibited the introduction of the same bill twice during the same session, the ministry advised the King to prorogue Parliament. As soon as the new session began in December 1831, the Third Reform Bill was brought forward. The bill was in a few respects different from its predecessors; it no longer proposed a reduction in the total membership of the House of Commons, and it reflected data collected during the census that had just been completed. The new version passed in the House of Commons by even larger majorities in March 1832; it was once again sent up to the House of Lords.[35] Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... A Motion of Confidence is a motion of support proposed by a government in a parliament or other assembly of elected representatives to give members of parliament (or other such assembly) a chance to register their confidence in a government. ...


Realizing that another rejection would be politically unfeasible, opponents of reform decided to use amendments to change the bill's essential character. Their reliance on this tactic became obvious during the committee stage, when they voted to delay consideration of the clauses of the bill that disfranchised the rotten boroughs. The ministers believed that they were left with only one alternative: to create a large number of new peerages, thereby swamping the House of Lords with pro-reform members. But the prerogative of creating peerages belonged to the King, William IV, who recoiled from taking so harsh a step. When the King rejected the unanimous advice of the cabinet, Lord Grey resigned, and the Crown called upon the Duke of Wellington to form a new government.[36] William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death. ...


The ensuing period, known as the "Days of May," created so great a level of political agitation that some feared revolution. Several protesters encouraged a refusal to pay taxes and a run on the banks. The National Political Union and other organizations sent petitions to the House of Commons demanding that they withhold supply (cut off funding to the government) until the House of Lords acquiesced. Some demonstrations called for the abolition of the nobility, and even of the monarchy.[37] In these circumstances, the Duke of Wellington had great difficulty in finding support for his premiership, despite promises of moderate reform. He was unable to form a government, leaving King William IV with no choice but to recall Lord Grey to office. At length, the King consented to swamp the House of Lords with Whigs. However, without the knowledge of his ministers, he circulated a letter among the Tory peers, encouraging them to desist from further opposition, and warning them of the consequences of failing to do so. Threatened with such a fate, opposition peers ultimately relented.[38] By abstaining from further votes, they allowed the legislation to pass the House of Lords, and prevented the Crown and cabinet from resorting to the creation of new peers. The bill finally received the royal assent on 7 June 1832, thereby becoming law. The Days of May, in the history of Great Britain, refers to the period of 9-15 May 1832. ... Loss of Supply occurs where a government in a parliamentary democracy is denied a supply of treasury or exchequer funds, by whichever house or houses of parliament or head of state is constitutionally entitled to grant and deny supply. ... is the 158th day of the year (159th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1832 (MDCCCXXXII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Results

Provisions

Poster issued by the Sheffield Typographical Society celebrating the passing of the Act.
Poster issued by the Sheffield Typographical Society celebrating the passing of the Act.

The Reform Act's chief objective was the reduction of the number of nomination boroughs. Two hundred and three boroughs existed before the act. Of these, fifty-six boroughs, each with a population of less than two thousand, were completely abolished. Thirty two-member boroughs, each with a population of less than four thousand, lost half their representation. Finally, the Act reduced Weymouth and Melcombe Regis' entitlement from four members to two. On the whole, the Act's disfranchising clauses affected 143 seats (one of the abolished boroughs only had a single seat), all in English borough constituencies. Next, the Act increased the number of county members. Twenty-six English counties were divided into two districts, each represented by two members. Eight English counties and three Welsh counties each received an additional representative. Yorkshire, which was represented by four MPs, was given six (two for each riding). Twenty-two large towns received the privilege of electing two members each, and twenty-one more received that of electing one. Thus, the Act's enfranchising clauses created 65 county seats and 65 borough seats. The total number of members representing England and Wales fell by thirteen. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 399 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1071 × 1607 pixel, file size: 424 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 399 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1071 × 1607 pixel, file size: 424 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... For the song by Chamillionaire, see Ridin. In the British Isles since Anglo-Saxon times, a riding is traditionally a sub-division (especially in three) of a county[1]. The term has similar or analogous meanings in other countries. ...


The Act enlarged the county electorate, extending the franchise beyond forty-shilling freeholders. Owners of land in copyhold worth £10 received the right to vote, as did holders of long-term leases (more than sixty years) on land worth £10, holders of medium-term leases (between twenty and sixty years) on land worth £50, and tenants-at-will paying an annual rent of £50. The Act also standardized the borough franchise, sweeping away almost all of the special customs and rules that prevailed in many constituencies. The only exceptions were the freeman boroughs, in which the right to vote remained restricted to recipients of the "freedom of the borough". Elsewhere, the Act granted the right to vote to all men who owned or leased land worth £10. At its origin in mediaeval England, Copyhold tenure was tenure of land according to the custom of the manor, the title deeds being a copy of the record of the manor court. ... A leasehold estate is an ownership interest in land in which a lessee or a tenant holds real property by some form of title from a lessor or landlord. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ...


The Act also introduced a system of voter registration, to be administered by the overseers of the poor in every parish and township. It instituted a system of special courts to review disputes relating to voter qualifications. It also authorized the use of multiple polling places within the same constituency, and limited the duration of polling to two days. (Formerly, polls could remain open for up to forty days.) Voter registration is the shit in some democracies for citizens to check in with some central registry before being allowed to vote in elections. ... In British history, an overseer of the poor was an official who administred poor relief such as money,food and clothing. ...


The Reform Act did not affect constituencies in Scotland or Ireland. However, reforms in those parts of the United Kingdom were carried out by the Scottish Reform Act and the Irish Reform Act. Scotland received eight additional seats, and Ireland received five. While no constituencies were disfranchised in either of these countries, voter qualifications were standardized and the size of the electorate was expanded in both. The Scottish Reform Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the election laws of Scotland. ... The Irish Reform Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the election laws of Ireland. ...


Effects

Although it did disenfranchise several rotten boroughs, the Reform Act did not address all the anomalies in the electoral system. A few small boroughs, such as Totnes in Devon and Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, were spared. However, though nomination boroughs were largely swept away, bribery of the voters remained a problem. As Sir Thomas Erskine May observed, "it was too soon evident, that as more votes had been created, more votes were to be sold."[39] The magnitude of the unreformed electorate is difficult to accurately determine. There was a lack of voter registration, and many boroughs were rarely contested. It is estimated that before the passage of the Act, 400,000 were entitled to vote in 1831, and that after passage, 650,000 Englishmen possessed the franchise, meaning that the Reform Act enlarged the electorate by more than 60%.[40] But the vast majority of the population remained voteless. The term rotten borough referred to a parliamentary borough or constituency in Great Britain and Ireland which, due to size and population, was controlled and used by a patron to exercise undue and unrepresentative influence within parliament. ... , Totnes (IPA: ) is a market town in South Devon, England. ... For other uses, see Devon (disambiguation). ... Great Yarmouth, often known to locals simply as Yarmouth, is an English coastal town in the county of Norfolk. ... Norfolk (pronounced ) is a low-lying county in East Anglia in the east of southern England. ... Thomas Erskine May, 1st Baron Farnborough Thomas Erskine May, 1st Baron Farnborough (1815–1886) was a British constitutional theorist. ...


Most of the pocket boroughs abolished by the Reform Act belonged to the Tory Party. These losses were somewhat offset by extending the right to vote to tenants-at-will paying an annual rent of £50. This clause, proposed by the Tory Marquess of Chandos, was adopted in the House of Commons despite opposition from the Government. The tenants-at-will enfranchised by the Chandos clause typically voted in accordance with the wishes of their landlords, who in turn normally supported the Tory party.[41] This concession, together with the Whig Party's internal divisions and the difficulties faced by the nation's economy, allowed the Tories under Sir Robert Peel to make gains in the elections of 1835 and 1837, and to retake the House of Commons in 1841. The term rotten borough (or pocket borough, as they were seen as being in the pocket of a patron) refers to a parliamentary borough or constituency in the Kingdom of England (pre-1707), the Kingdom of Great Britain (1707-1801), the Kingdom of Ireland (1536-1801) and the United Kingdom... Richard Plantagenet Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos (1797-1861) was a British Tory politician and aristocrat. ... For other people named Robert Peel, see Robert Peel (disambiguation). ...


The Reform Act undoubtedly strengthened the House of Commons by reducing the number of nomination boroughs controlled by peers, but the Lords nonetheless remained powerful. Some aristocrats complained that, in the future, the government could compel them to pass a bill, simply by threatening to swamp the upper House by creating new peerages. The Duke of Wellington lamented: "If such projects can be carried into execution by a minister of the Crown with impunity, there is no doubt that the constitution of this House, and of this country, is at an end. [...] [T]here is absolutely an end put to the power and objects of deliberation in this House, and an end to all just and proper means of decision."[42] But the subsequent history of Parliament indicates that the influence of the Lords was largely undiminished. They compelled the Commons to accept significant amendments to the Municipal Reform Bill in 1835, forced compromises on Jewish emancipation, and resisted several other bills despite public opinion to the contrary.[43] The Municipal Reform Act 1835 required members of town councils (municipal corporations) to be elected by ratepayers and councils to publish their financial accounts. ... Emancipation of the Jews in England (This page is part of the History of the Jews in England) // Freedom for Catholics bodes well for Jews When in 1829 the Roman Catholics of England were freed from all their civil disabilities, the hopes of the Jews rose high; and the first...


Further reform

During the ensuing years, Parliament adopted several minor electoral reforms. Acts of Parliament passed in 1835 and 1836 increased the number of polling places in each constituency, and reduced polling to a single day.[44] Parliament also passed several laws aimed at combatting corruption, including the Corrupt Practices Act 1854, but these measures proved largely ineffectual. Neither party strove for any major reforms; leading statesmen from both the Whig and the Tory parties regarded the Reform Act as a final settlement.


There was considerable public agitation for further expansion of the electorate. In particular, the Chartist movement, which demanded universal manhood suffrage, equally sized electoral districts, and voting by secret ballot, gained widespread following. But the Tories were united against further reform, and the Liberal Party (successor to the Whigs) did not seek a general revision of the electoral system until 1852. The 1850s saw Lord John Russell introduce a number of reform bills to correct the defects that the first act had left unaddressed. However, no proposal was successful until 1867, when Parliament adopted the Second Reform Act. Chartism was a movement for political and social reform in the United Kingdom during the mid-19th century between 1838 and 1848. ... Contemporary cartoon of Disraeli outpacing Gladstone. ...


Assessment

Several historians credit the Reform Act 1832 with cementing the rise of modern democracy in Britain. G. M. Trevelyan hails 1832 as the watershed moment at which "'the sovereignty of the people' had been established in fact, if not in law."[45] Sir Erskine May notes that "[the] reformed Parliament was, unquestionably, more liberal and progressive in its policy than the Parliaments of old; more vigorous and active; more susceptible to the influence of public opinion; and more secure in the confidence of the people," but admitted that "grave defects still remained to be considered."[46] Other historians have taken a far less laudatory view, arguing that genuine democracy began to arise only with the Second Reform Act in 1867, or perhaps even later. Norman Gash states that "it would be wrong to assume that the political scene in the succeeding generation differed essentially from that of the preceding one."[47] E. A. Smith proposes, in a similar vein, that "when the dust had settled, the political landscape looked much as it had done before.[48] George Macaulay Trevelyan (February 16, 1876 – July 21, 1962), was an English historian, son of Sir George Otto Trevelyan and great-nephew of Thomas Macaulay. ... Thomas Erskine May, 1st Baron Farnborough Thomas Erskine May, 1st Baron Farnborough (8 February 1815–17 May 1886) was a British constitutional theorist. ... Contemporary cartoon of Disraeli outpacing Gladstone. ... Norman Gash was the sole biographer of Sir Robert Peel, he published two volumes of his life; the first was entitled Mr Secretary Peel and followed his life up until 1830. ...


See also

The official names of United Kingdom Parliamentary constituencies (some of which originate from the names used for constituencies in predecessor Parliaments) are those given in the legal instrument creating the constituency or re-defining it at a re-distribution of seats. ... This is a list of changes made to English and Welsh constituencies by the Reform Act 1832. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Blackstone (1765), pp. 154-155.
  2. ^ Blackstone (1765), p. 110
  3. ^ Blackstone (1765), p. 168.
  4. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 329.
  5. ^ Blackstone (1765), pp. 166-167.
  6. ^ Phillips and Wetherell (1995), p. 413.
  7. ^ Thorne (1986), vol. II, pp. 331, 435, 480.
  8. ^ May (1896), vol. I, pp. 321-322.
  9. ^ Thorne (1986), vol. II, p. 266.
  10. ^ Thorne (1986), vol. II, p. 424.
  11. ^ Thorne (1986), vol. II, pp. 50, 369, 380.
  12. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 333.
  13. ^ Holland and Austin (1855), vol. II, pp. 214-215.
  14. ^ May (1896), vol. I, pp. 361-362.
  15. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 340.
  16. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 335.
  17. ^ Pringle and Taylor (1840), vol. III, p. 405.
  18. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 394.
  19. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 397.
  20. ^ May (1896), vol. I, pp. 400-401.
  21. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 402.
  22. ^ May (1896), vol. I, pp. 404-406.
  23. ^ May (1896), vol. I, pp. 406-407.
  24. ^ May (1896), vol. II, pp. 352-359.
  25. ^ May (1896), vol. I, pp. 408-416.
  26. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 412.
  27. ^ May (1896), vol. II, p. 384.
  28. ^ Hansard's Debates, 3rd Series, Volume I, p. 52.
  29. ^ Holland and Austin (1855), vol. II, p. 313.
  30. ^ May (1896), vol. I, pp. 421-422.
  31. ^ May (1896), vol. I, pp. 422-423.
  32. ^ May (1896), vol. I, pp. 423-424.
  33. ^ Rudé (1967), pp. 97-98.
  34. ^ May (1896), vol. II, pp. 389-390.
  35. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 452.
  36. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 312.
  37. ^ May (1896), vol. II, pp. 390-391.
  38. ^ May (1896), vol. I, pp. 312-313.
  39. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 433.
  40. ^ Phillips and Wetherell (1995), pp. 413-414.
  41. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 428.
  42. ^ Hansard's Debates, 3rd Series, Vol XII, p. 995.
  43. ^ May (1896), vol. I, pp. 316-317.
  44. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 449.
  45. ^ Trevelyan (1922), p. 242.
  46. ^ May (1896), vol. I, p. 431.
  47. ^ Gash (1952), p. xii.
  48. ^ Smith (1992), p. 141.

References

  • Blackstone, Sir William. (1765-1769). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Gash, Norman. (1952). Politics in the Age of Peel: A Study in the Technique of Parliamentary Representation, 1830-1850. London: Longmans, Green, and Co.
  • Lady Holland and Sarah Austin. (1855). A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith by his daughter, Lady Holland, with a Selection from his Letters edited by Mrs Sarah Austin. 2 vols. London: Brown, Green, and Longmans.
  • May, Sir Thomas Erskine. (1896). The Constitutional History of England Since the Accession of George the Third: 1760-1860. 3 vols. London: Longmans, Green, and Co.
  • Phillips, John A., and Charles Wetherell. (1995). The Great Reform Act of 1832 and the Political Modernization of England. The American Historical Review, vol. 100, pp. 411-436.
  • Pringle, John H., and William S. Taylor, eds. (1838-1840). 4 vols. Correspondence of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. London.
  • Rudé, George. (1967). English Rural and Urban Disturbances on the Eve of the First Reform Bill, 1830-1831. Past and Present, no. 37, pp. 87-102.
  • Smith, E. A. (1992). Reform or Revolution? A Diary of Reform in England, 1830-2. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton.
  • Thorne, R. G. (1986). The House of Commons: 1790-1820. London: Secker and Warburg.
  • Trevelyan, G. M. (1922). British History in the Nineteenth Century and After (1782-1901). London: Longmans, Green, and Co.

Norman Gash was the sole biographer of Sir Robert Peel, he published two volumes of his life; the first was entitled Mr Secretary Peel and followed his life up until 1830. ...

Further reading

  • Brock, Michael. (1973). The Great Reform Act. London: Hutchinson Press.
  • Butler, J. R. M. (1914). The Passing of the Great Reform Bill. London: Longmans, Green, and Co.
  • Cannon, John. (1973). Parliamentary Reform 1640-1832. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Christie, Ian R. (1962). Wilkes, Wyvill and Reform: The Parliamentary Reform Movement in British Politics, 1760-1785. New York: St. Martin's Press.
  • Evans, Eric J. (1983). The Great Reform Act of 1832. London: Methuen and Co.
  • Mandler, Peter. (1990). Aristocratic Government in the Age of Reform: Whigs and Liberals, 1830-1852. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Newbould, Ian. (1990). Whiggery and Reform, 1830-1841: The Politics of Government. London: Macmillan.
  • O'Gorman, Frank. (1989). Voters, Patrons, and Parties: The Unreformed Electoral System of Hanoverian England, 1734-1832. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Phillips, John A. (1982). Electoral Behaviour in Unreformed England: Plumpers, Splitters, and Straights. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Trevelyan, G. M. (1920). Lord Grey of the Reform Bill: Being the Life of Charles, Second Earl Grey. London: Longmans, Green, and Co.
  • Veitch, George Stead. (1913). The Genesis of Parliamentary Reform. London: Constable and Co.
  • Warham, Dror. (1995). Imagining the Middle Class: The Political Representation of Class in Britain, c. 1780-1840. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • White, R. J. (1957). From Waterloo to Peterloo. London: Heinemann and Co.
  • Wicks, Elizabeth (2006). "The Evolution of a Constitution: Eight Key Moments in British Constitutional History." Oxford: Hart Pub., pp. 65-82.
  • Woodward, Sir E. Llewellyn. (1962). The Age of Reform, 1815-1870. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

External links

Electoral reform in the United Kingdom
Parliamentary Reform Acts
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Municipal Reform Acts
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Representation of the People Acts
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Other acts
Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 | Ballot Act 1872
Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act 1883
Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000
Electoral Administration Act 2006
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Reform Club | Carlton Club | Rotten borough | Women's suffrage
The Scottish Reform Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the election laws of Scotland. ... Contemporary cartoon of Disraeli outpacing Gladstone. ... The Representation of the People (Scotland) Act 1868 (31 & 32 Vict. ... A police burgh was a Scottish burgh which had adopted a “police system” for governing the town. ... The Municipal Reform Act 1835 required members of town councils (municipal corporations) to be elected by ratepayers and councils to publish their financial accounts. ... Representation of the People Act can refer to the following acts: Representation of the People Act 1884 Representation of the People Act 1918 Representation of the People Act 1928 Representation of the People Act 1948 Representation of the People Act 1969 Representation of the People Act 1983 Representation of the... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Representation of the People Act 1884 In the United Kingdom, The Representation of the People Act of 1884 (48 & 49 Vict. ... The Representation of the People Act 1918 widened suffrage by abolishing practically all property qualifications for men and by enfranchising women over 30 who met minimum property qualifications. ... The Representation of the People Act 1928 is an act of parliament of the United Kingdom. ... The 1948 Representation of the People Act was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... The 1949 Representation of the People Act was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... The Representation of the People Act 1969 increased suffrage to 18 year olds. ... The Representation of the People Act 1981 provides (a) for the disqualification of any person who is detained anywhere in the British Islands or the Republic of Ireland (or who is unlawfully at large at any time when he would otherwise be detained) for more than a year for any... The Representation of the People Act 1983 changed the British electoral process in the following ways: Amended the 1969 Representation of the People Act. ... The Representation of the People Act 1985 was a piece of legislation passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom concerning British electoral law. ... The Representation of the People Act 1989 is an act by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... The Representation of the People Act 1990 (RPA 1990) added a minor amendment to previous Acts. ... The Representation of the People Act 2000 changes the British electoral process in the following ways: Amends the 1983 Representation of the People Act. ... The Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 (48 & 49 Vict. ... The Ballot Act 1872 required British Parlamentary elections use the secret ballot. ... The Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act of 1883 was a continuation of policy to make votes free from the intimidation of landowners and politicians. ... The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 is an Act of Parliament that sets out how political parties, elections and referendums are to be regulated in the United Kingdom. ... The Electoral Administration Act 2006 is an Act which was passed by Parliament of the United Kingdom on 11 July 2006. ... This 1840s drawing shows the corridors around the central saloon at first floor level The Reform Club in London viewed from Pall Mall, with the Travellers Club immediately to its left The Reform Club is gentlemens club on the south side of Pall Mall (at number 104), in central... The Carlton Club is a gentlemens club in London. ... The term rotten borough referred to a parliamentary borough or constituency in Great Britain and Ireland which, due to size and population, was controlled and used by a patron to exercise undue and unrepresentative influence within parliament. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

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The Great Reform Act of 1832 (965 words)
The Great Reform Act of 1832 was one of the most important changes in the history of British politics, conceding to radical demands for the changing of the electoral system.
Demand for reform had grown as the Industrial Revolution had grown, and in addition to the demand for the fairer distribution of voting towns there were also calls for a change in the voting process.
Although the Act had been conceived as a final resolution of the reform question, pressure was exerted by groups like the Chartists, and the Great Reform Act was very far from being the last Reform Act in British politics.
Campaign Finance Reform Act (1514 words)
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act - The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) is U.S. Campaign finance reform - Campaign finance reform is the common term for the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns.
Reform Act 1832 - The Reform Act of 1832 (known also as the Great Reform Act and The Parliamentary Reform Act 1832) introduced wide-ranging changes to electoral franchise legislation in the United Kingdom.
Reform Act 1867 - The Reform Act 1867 (also known as the Second Reform Act) was a piece of British legislation that greatly increased the number of men who could vote in elections in the UK.
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