The Growth of Parliamentary Democracy

HideShow resource information
View mindmap
  • The unreformed parliament and its critics
    • The pre-reform electorate, parliamentary seats and elections
      • to become an MP, a candidate has to own property worth at least £300 a year
      • MPs didn't receive a salary
      • patronage was practised: where peers sponsor MPs which allowed for corrpution
      • the franchise that could vote was split into boroughs and counties, that had different requirements and weren't proportional
      • there was no secret ballot for voting, which allowed bribery and threats
      • pocket boroughs allowed landowners to threaten voters and control their votes
      • rotten boroughs allowed very small populations to send two MPs to Westminster
    • The Growth of Parliamentary Democracy
      • Pressure for change and reform (1820-52)
        • Economic and social distress: emerging popular pressure (1820-32)
          • Britain prospered after the Six Acts, so that the GDP rose and manufacturing increased
          • while Britain prospered, the government relaxed, radicals released from prison and brought in more liberal minds
          • reform still in need though, as government reluctant to disenfranchise boroughs or redistribute seats
          • voices of reform, while muted after 1819, started to rise again during bad harvests in 1828-9
          • in urban areas there was decline and the increasing number of middle class people wanted more political recognition
        • Reasons for the passing of the Great Reform Act (1832) and its significance
          • Tory party collapsing: conflicts over Catholic Emancipation; between Peel and Canning; resignation of Liverpool
          • Tory split into ultras and liberals, weakened party
          • middle class pressure increasing, and Whigs wanted their favour
          • 'Days of May', public withdrew £1.8 million within 10 days
          • took Earl Grey 3 bills, a lot of rioting, the failure of Wellington and some help from the king to pass the Reform Act
          • Act included: disenfranchising 56 boroughs, creating 42 more, more seats in Scotland and Ireland, changing the electorate
          • led to Chartism
            • Chartist demands and the failure of Chartism
              • Chartism founded in 1836, published People's Charter in 1838
              • Charter meant that working class would be listened to and be able to vote and stand for election
              • most chartists were working class and fluctuations occurred when prosperity of Britain improved
              • split into physical and moral force, conflict between leadership and method
              • passed 3 petitions to parliament; land plan 1845; Newport rising 1839; Chartist Convention 1858
              • weaknesses included; lack of farmers; spies infiltrating; no MP support; clash between leaders, goals and methods
        • Chartist demands and the failure of Chartism
          • Chartism founded in 1836, published People's Charter in 1838
          • Charter meant that working class would be listened to and be able to vote and stand for election
          • most chartists were working class and fluctuations occurred when prosperity of Britain improved
          • split into physical and moral force, conflict between leadership and method
          • passed 3 petitions to parliament; land plan 1845; Newport rising 1839; Chartist Convention 1858
          • weaknesses included; lack of farmers; spies infiltrating; no MP support; clash between leaders, goals and methods
        • Change and continuity in the new electoral landscape
          • by extending the franchise to the middle class, this destroyed any alliance with the working class
          • corruption still present, with no secret ballot
          • more people could vote, and clubs around to encourage registration
          • political parties became more definitive; growth of the two party system
          • Municipal Corporations Act introduced elected councils
          • subtle changes relating to reform; abolition of slave trade, new poor law
      • Further parliamentary reform (1852-70)
        • The significance of the National Reform Union and the Reform League
          • National Reform Union formed in 1864 to extend franchise
          • NRU had a respectable lobby group
          • 1865 Reform League set up, with more ambitious and radical aims
          • acted in an acceptable manner (using speeches and discussions) to take advantage of the open political climate
          • Lord Palmerston's death in 1865, allowing Gladstone's reform bill to be passed in 1866
        • Changing political attitudes in the 1860s and the impact of the Reform Act of 1867
          • liberals in power in 1859 under Lord Palmerston, who opposed reform
          • MP John Bright (Birmingham), founded Anti-Corn Law league, made speeches to promote reform
          • American Civil War led to 'Cotton Famine' and showed how people could be active against slavery
          • divisions in the liberal party from reform bill 1866, caused amendments to be made which lead to the Hyde Park Riots
          • the second reform act meant tories lost the next general election, and there were now over 2.46 million voters
          • after 1867 more variety in voters, skilled working class and about 1/3 of adult male population
          • areas in Midlands and north under-represented, property still determined franchise, a system of 'plural voting'
    • Demands for reform
      • revolution in France gives people in Britain ideas
      • societies formed to inform people through political pamphlets
      • died out before 1815 during French wars
      • end of French wars and harvest failed in 1816, so hunger politics dominated
      • momentum increased with protests, petitions and marches
      • 'Six Acts' passed by government to squah more rebellions
    • The political demands of the manufacturing interest
      • due to industrialisation, a new middle class was forming
      • the new factory owners, and commercial men favoured a laissez-faire approach
      • a new Corn Law was passed to potect British farmers from foreign competition
      • the corn laws brought up prices of bread, which affected working classes, and middle classes who were forced to increase wages

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Modern Britain from 1750 resources »