THE GREAT REFORM ACT 1832

The great reform act in 1832

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THE GREAT REFORM ACT 1832

  • After 3 attempts the act was finally passed on the 7th June 1832
  • It made two key changes- it extended the number of people who were allowed to vote (the franchise) and it redistributed seats
  • English counties: Vote given to males who rented land/property worth £10 and leaseholders of land worth £50 a year
  • English boroughs: one new qualification-all male householders occupying property worth £10 a year
  • Some boroughs gained two MPs, others gained one
  • Some boroughs lost their MPs or were only able to return (send) one member to parliment 
  • 56 rotten boroughs abolished
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PROBLEMS WITH THE OLD SYSTEM

  • English countries elected 82 MPs-only men who owned property worth over 40 shillings a year could elect these MPs (only the ruling classes)
  • Boroughs or towns elected 394 MPs-most voters were in southern England therefore new industrial cities such as Birmingham & Manchester had no MPs to represent them.
  • There were rotten boroughs and pocket boroughs- corruption and bribery
  • In some areas there was no competition about who to elect the local landowner was so powerful that nobody would stand against him
  • Election campaigns were influenced by bribery- voters sold their vote!
  • Voting was not secret- voters had to stand up and announce their decision in public
  • All MPs were from the upper class
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THE PRESSURE FOR REFORM INTENSIFIED

  • There were several riots and protest throughout England, eg Bristol in 1831
  • Newspapers started to promote the need for reform
  • Political unions were set up all over England demanding political reform
  • The fear of revolution in Britian became to much for the upper classes
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EFFECTS

  • Before 1832 about one in ten could vote, after it was about one in five
  • New voters were the middle class
  • Majority of the working class did not have the vote
  • Gave a greater to the industrial north held off the threat of revolution 
  • Over 70% of MPs still represented the landed intrest 
  • Electrorate still not fair-unrepresentative
  • About 50 seats still controlled by individuals
  • Still maintained the power of the aristocracy
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Comments

Jazz

thanx! the notes were pretty useful :)

Miss E

This resource concisely reviews a big subject, handily divided into problems, pressures and effects. This would be a good resource to get others to test you from.

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