Although the bill left the working classes and large sections of the lower middle classes without the vote, it gave the new middle classes a share in responsible government and thus quieted political agitation.
The two subsequent bills provided a more democratic representation by expanding voting privileges from the upper levels of property holders to less-wealthy and broader segments of the population.
There were two types of constituencies; counties and boroughs. The most significant disturbances occurred at Bristolwhere rioters controlled the city for three days.
Some demonstrations called for the abolition of the nobility, and some even of the monarchy. In this form, the bill passed both houses and became law.
The bill disfranchised 60 of the smallest boroughs, and reduced the representation of 47 others. The Second Reform Act,largely the work of the Tory Benjamin Disraeli, gave the vote to many workingmen in the towns and cities and increased the number of voters toIn 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.
These groups confined themselves to lawful means of supporting reform, such as petitioning and public oratory, and achieved a high level of public support. Instead, they modified the proposal so that two further seats were given to Yorkshirethe county in which Leeds is situated.
This was a response to many years of people criticising the electoral system as unfair. Yet towns like Manchester that had grown during the previous 80 years had no MPs to represent them. He did nonetheless agree to some electoral reform; he disfranchised several small boroughs, granted representation to large towns such as Manchester and Leedsand increased the number of members elected by populous counties.
He would go further, and say that the legislature and system of representation possessed the full and entire confidence of the country. However, the Act of was in essence a conservative measure designed to harmonize upper- and middle-class interests while continuing traditional landed influence.
In Reply to Mr.
The mob broke into prisons and destroyed several buildings, including the palace of the Bishop of Bristolthe mansion of the Lord Mayor of Bristoland several private homes. Thereafter, the ministry lost a vote on a procedural motion by 22 votes. The first Reform Bill primarily served to transfer voting privileges from the small boroughs controlled by the nobility and gentry to the heavily populated industrial towns.
Because parliamentary rules prohibited the introduction of the same bill twice during the same session, the ministry advised the new king, William IVto prorogue Parliament. This time, however, the House of Lords rejected his proposals. The most radical elements proposed universal manhood suffrage and the reorganisation of parliamentary constituencies.
Some protesters advocated non-payment of taxes, and urged a run on the banks ; one day signs appeared across London reading "Stop the Duke; go for gold! As these divisions indicated that Parliament was against the Reform Bill, the ministry decided to request a dissolution and take its appeal to the people.
The riots in Bristol were some of the worst seen in England in the 19th century. They looked to the July revolution in France, which overthrew King Charles X and replaced him with the more moderate King Louis-Philippe who agreed to a constitutional monarchy.
Inthe Prime Minister proposed a reform bill, but the House of Commons rejected it on a — vote. It failed by 41 votes. Many constituencies, especially those with small electorates, were under the control of rich landowners, and were known as nomination boroughs or pocket boroughsbecause they were said to be in the pockets of their patrons.
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 Reform Bill was again brought before the House of Commons, which agreed to the second reading by a large majority in July. After the Acts of Union became law on 1 January the reason they are sometimes incorrectly referred to as a single Act of Unionthe unreformed House of Commons was composed of members, of whom represented England and Wales.
Nevertheless, he did not advocate an immediate disfranchisement of rotten boroughs. Rotten boroughs were removed and the new towns given the right to elect MPs, although constituencies were still of uneven size.
When Wellington tried and failed, the king yielded to Grey and pledged the authority for the creation of new peers. The franchise[ edit ] Statutes passed in andduring the reign of Henry VIstandardised property qualifications for county voters.
The threat was enough. Of people arrested and tried, 31 were sentenced to death. Eventually the king consented to fill the House of Lords with Whigs; however, without the knowledge of his cabinet, Wellington circulated a letter among Tory peers, encouraging them to desist from further opposition, and warning them of the consequences of continuing.
Despite this reaction, several Radical Movement groups were established to agitate for reform. That very evening, riots broke out in Derbywhere a mob attacked the city jail and freed several prisoners.
InRussell proposed another, similar scheme: This was particularly true in rural counties, and in small boroughs situated near a large landed estate.Importance of the Reform Act Essay Words | 8 Pages To what extent was the Reform Act the most important development in politics and government between and (36) Overall, the Reform Act was a major development in politics and government between and ; however it was not the most important development.
Explain why the great reform act of was passed A major factor in the passing of the great reform act was the old electoral system, which was extremely unorganised and unfair. In cities like Manchester there was little representation but Old Sarum, a town with a population of just 15, could get two seats in.
Not as important as threat of rev or Whigs gaining in electoral support. But, Hunt and Cobbett campaigning for reform showed there was a desire for change.
Lord John Russell (leading Whig - party who passed it) first proposed GRA and his idea was to sort out the socio-economic problems through more moral elections.
There was still, of course, a demand for reform after the act of The "Great Act" did not, in fact, do much to expand the electorate at all. However, it created a precedent- it could be said to have opened the door for further reform. The Representation of the People Act (known informally as the Reform Act, Great Reform Act or First Reform Act to distinguish it from subsequent Reform Acts) was an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom (indexed as 2 & 3 Will.
IV c. 45) that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of England and Wales. Why was the Great Reform Act passed in ? What were the short term causes of the Great Reform Act?
Given that the atmosphere of reform that had been growing since the early s had been met with serious opposition and repression, what changed in the s which brought about reform?Download