Tories attitude towards reform

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  • Tories attitude+ reasons for so much opposition to reform
    • Rotten boroughs useful as allowed both parties to introduce promising young men into Commons
      • Essential to provide seats for unpopular ministers
    • Landowners afraid their interests would not be well served by Commons dominated by m/c
      • especially as some were advocating repeal of Corn Laws
    • Worked perfectly well in the past so no need to change it
    • All people who benefited in anyway were reluctant to have system changed
      • corporation members + free men opposed extension of franchise because the more electors meant it was less likely they could expect bribes
    • If small boroughs abolished, resulting loss of franchise would interfere with property rights
      • would be like taking away house or land and once this was allowed- no property safe
    • Majority of Tories wanted to uphold system because the boroughs provided basic care for MPs
    • Even small changes must be restricted as would encourage more demands + appetites would not be satisfied until full democracy introduced
      • would upset constitution + make Commons more powerful than Lords
      • Peel against reform

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