Parliamentary Reform Movements in the C18th

  • Created by: kt6382
  • Created on: 07-03-14 12:37

Issue of parliamentary reform grew in the 1760s. 

Pitt the Younger (described as a Tory and as an 'independent Whig') like his father did not propose the abolition of rotten boroughs, preferring instead an increase in county representation. The House of Commons rejected Pitt's resolution. 1783, Pitt became Prime minister and in 1786 proposed a reform bill, but it was rejected by the House of Commons. George III was against the idea and Pitt did not raise the issue again for the remainder of his career. 

Within Parliament support for parliamentary reform initially declined after the French Revolution. Many English politicians were firmly opposed to any major political change. Outside parliament the events and ideas of the Revolution encouraged several groups to form. 

  • The Society of the Friends of the People                                                                        Formed in 1792 by a group of Whigs led my James Maitland and Charles Grey to press parliamentary reform. Its aim was to widen the electoral franchise. In 1793, Grey presented a petition to the House of the Commons from the Friends of the People, saying the abuses of the system and demanding change. He did not propose any…


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