Representation of the People Act 1832

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  • 1832 Reform Act
    • Factors
      • Conditional Factors
        • Reformist ideals had become widespread and were especially supported by those excluded from the franchise.
        • working people were becoming increasingly politicised
      • Contingent Factors
        • Tory Party Unity started to fragment in the late 1820s
        • the country faced severe economic rises in the late 1820s
        • agricultural distress was widespread in southern and eastern counties
        • extra-parliamentary protests became increasingly organised, such as the Birmingham Political Union, created by Thomas Attwood in 1830
    • Lord John Russell intended to get rid of all existing voter qualifications in the boroughs and replace them with a uniform franchise of £10 householders
    • On the 22nd of March 1831 the bill passed its second reading by just one vote, meaning it probably wouldn't pass into law
    • The third reform bill in June 1832
    • Impact of Reform Act on the Franchise
      • male householders with a house worth £10 a year were enfranchised
      • In English counties the electorate was increased by 55%
      • In Scotland the electorate increased from 4,500 to 64,000
      • Many men in industrial towns often moved around a lot and so didn't qualify
      • the borough franchise of £10 was too high for many of the skilled working class


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