Reform Crisis 1830-1832

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  • Reform Crisis 1830-1832
    • Catalyst
      • The Catholic Emancipation Act 1828
        • Caused a huge rift within the Tory Party
          • Tories stood for Church, State and Monarchy- any change would result in REVOLUTION
            • The official church was Anglican
        • Whigs (Earl Grey) took advantage of this and formed a government in November 1830
        • Led to the Duke of Wellington losing power after a long period of rule
          • Caused a huge rift within the Tory Party
            • Tories stood for Church, State and Monarchy- any change would result in REVOLUTION
              • The official church was Anglican
        • Accession of King William IV
    • Why Reform was required
      • Women didn't have rights, such as the right to vote
      • Middle and working classes weren't enfranchised
      • 60 000 people in Manchester with no one to represent them
      • MPs were representing rotten boroughs
        • 60 000 people in Manchester with no one to represent them
      • No secret ballot so the system was open to corruption
    • Whig Response
      • Promised the £10 householder qualification would only allow those with property and intelligence to vote
      • Earl Grey wanted to attract the middle class and split it from the working class
        • This would maintain stability as the working class would be powerless without the leadership of the middle class
      • Middle class should join the landed class
      • Revolution could be prevented with moderate reform
        • 'Reform in order to preserve'
    • Opposition
      • Tories worried great men like Robert Peel would lose their seats
      • Tories believed reformers wouldn't be satisfied- they'd expect more and more
      • Consistency would be a problem as boroughs had their own method- reform was unwelcome
      • Radical MPs such as Henry Hunt thought the reforms weren't enough
    • Swing Riots 1830-1831
      • Agricultural unrest- started in Kent, but quickly spread
      • Government scared of revolution because of the French Revolution
      • Rioters destroyed harvests, which could have resulted in a famine.
      • Government react harshly- they hang a 12 year old boy and perform a public exececution
    • Merthyr Riots 1831
      • Main causes: Reduction in wages, overcrowded, life expectancy was 19
      • 1801- largest town in Wales. 8000 people
      • 1820s- focal source of 40% of iron exports
      • Rising starts May 30th 1831 at Waun Hill
        • June 2nd-Court of Assize attacked
          • June 3rd-Soldiers arrive at Castle Inn and battle with 10 000. 20 die.
            • June 13th-Lewis Lewis and Richard Lewis charged
      • Important as radical ironworkers seized the towns for 4 days
        • The ironmasters' powers had been questioned. They 'locked out' the workers owing to rumours of union activity
    • June 1832- Act passed
      • King William creates new Whig Lords so the Bill will pass
      • Stabilised Britain- avoided revolution
      • Extra 400 000 votes from towns
        • Electoral roll rose from 500 000 to 800 000
      • Radicals thought it was a tame Bill
      • Working class not enfrachised
      • Some working classes lost the vote as the Pot Walloper Law had gone
    • Results of the Act
      • South still over represented at the North's expense
      • 1/5 of the population could vote
      • Still no secret ballot
      • Parliament still dominated by landowners
      • People are disappointed, but it paved the way for future reforms

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