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- Unreformed House of Commons
- Movement For Reform
- Passage of The Reform Act
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After the Acts of Union 1800 became law on 1 January 1801, the unreformed House of Commons was composed of 658 members, of whom 513 represented England and Wales. There were two types of constituencies; counties and boroughs. County members were supposed to represent landholders, while borough members were supposed to represent the mercantile and trading interests of the kingdom. Counties were historical national subdivisions established between the 8th and 16th centuries. They were not merel...
Statutes passed in 1430 and 1432, during the reign of Henry VI, standardised property qualifications for county voters. Under these Acts, all owners of freehold property or land worth at least forty shillings in a particular county were entitled to vote in that county. This requirement, known as the forty shilling freehold, was never adjusted for inflation of land value; thus the amount of land one had to own in order to vote gradually diminished over time.[a] The franchise was restricted to...
Pocket boroughs, bribery
Many constituencies, especially those with small electorates, were under the control of rich landowners, and were known as nomination boroughs or pocket boroughs, because they were said to be in the pockets of their patrons. Most patrons were noblemen or landed gentry who could use their local influence, prestige, and wealth to sway the voters. This was particularly true in rural counties, and in small boroughs situated near a large landed estate. Some noblemen even controlled multiple consti...
Early attempts at reform
During the 1640s, England endured a civil war that pitted King Charles I and the Royalists against the Parliamentarians. In 1647, different factions of the victorious parliamentary army held a series of discussions, the Putney Debates, on reforming the structure of English government. The most radical elements proposed universal manhood suffrage and the reorganisation of parliamentary constituencies. Their leader Thomas Rainsboroughdeclared, "I think it's clear, that every man that is to live...
Aftermath of the French Revolution
Support for parliamentary reform plummeted after the launch of the French Revolution in 1789. Many English politicians became steadfastly opposed to any major political change. Despite this reaction, several Radical Movement groups were established to agitate for reform. A group of Whigs led by James Maitland, 8th Earl of Lauderdale, and Charles Grey founded an organisation advocating parliamentary reform in 1792. This group, known as the Society of the Friends of the People, included 28 MPs....
Reform during the 1820s
Since the House of Commons regularly rejected direct challenges to the system of representation by large majorities, supporters of reform had to content themselves with more modest measures. The Whig Lord John Russell brought forward one such measure in 1820, proposing the disfranchisement of the notoriously corrupt borough of Grampound in Cornwall. He suggested that the borough's two seats be transferred to the city of Leeds. Tories in the House of Lords agreed to the disfranchisement of the...
First Reform Bill
The death of King George IV on 26 June 1830 dissolved Parliament by law, and a general election was held. Electoral reform, which had been frequently discussed during the preceding parliamentary session, became a major campaign issue. Across the country, several pro-reform "political unions" were formed, made up of both middle and working class individuals. The most influential of these was the Birmingham Political Union, led by Thomas Attwood. These groups confined themselves to lawful means...
Second Reform Bill
The political and popular pressure for reform had grown so great that pro-reform Whigs won an overwhelming House of Commons majority in the general election of 1831. The Whig party won almost all constituencies with genuine electorates, leaving the Tories with little more than the rotten boroughs. The Reform Bill was again brought before the House of Commons, which agreed to the second reading by a large majority in July. During the committee stage, opponents of the bill slowed its progress t...
Third Reform Bill
After the Reform Bill was rejected in the Lords, the House of Commons immediately passed a motion of confidence affirming their support for Lord Grey's administration. Because parliamentary rules prohibited the introduction of the same bill twice during the same session, the ministry advised the new king, William IV, to prorogueParliament. As soon as the new session began in December 1831, the Third Reform Bill was brought forward. The bill was in a few respects different from its predecessor...
Between 1835 and 1841, local Conservative Associations began to educate citizens about the party's platform and encouraged them to register to vote annually, as required by the Act. Coverage of national politics in the local press was joined by in-depth reports on provincial politics in the national press. Grassroots Conservatives therefore saw themselves as part of a national political movement during the 1830s. The size of the pre-Reform electorate is difficult to estimate. Voter registrati...
Most of the pocket boroughs abolished by the Reform Act belonged to the Tory party. These losses were somewhat offset by the extension of the vote to tenants-at-will paying an annual rent of £50.[j] This clause, proposed by the Tory Marquess of Chandos, was adopted in the House of Commons despite opposition from the Government. The tenants-at-will thereby enfranchised typically voted as instructed by their landlords, who in turn normally supported the Tory party. This concession, together wit...
The Reform Act did not enfranchise the working class since voters were required to possess property worth £10, a substantial sum at the time. This split the alliance between the working class and the middle class, giving rise to the Chartist Movement. Although it did disenfranchise most rotten boroughs, a few remained, such as Totnes in Devon and Midhurst in Sussex. Also, bribery of voters remained a problem. As Sir Thomas Erskine Mayobserved, "it was too soon evident, that a...
Many historians credit the Reform Act 1832 with launching modern democracy in the United Kingdom. G. M. Trevelyan hails 1832 as the watershed moment at which "'the sovereignty of the people' had been established in fact, if not in law". Sir Erskine May notes that the "reformed Parliament was, unquestionably, more liberal and progressive in its policy than the Parliaments of old; more vigorous and active; more susceptible to the influence of public opinion; and more secure in the confidence of the people", but admitted that "grave defects still remained to be considered". Other historians have argued that genuine democracy began to arise only with the Second Reform Act in 1867, or perhaps even later. Norman Gashstates that "it would be wrong to assume that the political scene in the succeeding generation differed essentially from that of the preceding one". Much of the support for passage in Parliament came from conservatives hoping to head off even more radical changes. Earl Grey ar...Full original text of the Act as passed: "Cap. XLV: An Act to amend the Representation of the People in England and Wales.". The statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 2 & 3 W...Bloy, Marjie. The Reform Act CrisisSpartacus. 1832 Reform Act
The June 1832 Rebellion or the Paris Uprising of 1832 was an anti-monarchist insurrection of Parisian republicans on 5 and 6 June 1832. The rebellion originated in an attempt by the republicans to reverse the establishment in 1830 of the July Monarchy of Louis Philippe, shortly after the death of the King's powerful supporter President of the Council Casimir Pierre Périer on 16 May 1832. On 1 June 1832, Jean Maximilien Lamarque, a popular former Army commander who became a member ...
The London Conference of 1832 was an international conference convened to establish a stable government in Greece. Negotiations between the three Great Powers ( Britain, France and Russia) resulted in the establishment of the Kingdom of Greece under a Bavarian Prince.
1832年国民代表法（1832ねんこくみんだいひょうほう、英語: Representation of the People Act 1832 ）、または1832年改革法（ 1832 Reform Act ）、大改革法（ Great Reform Act ）、第一次選挙法改正（ First Reform Act 、後の選挙法改正との区別という文脈で使われる名称）は、連合王国議会により制定されたイギリスの ...
1月26日 - 米国でミシガンが26番目に州となる3月25日(天保8年2月19日) - 大塩平八郎の乱6月20日 - 英ビクトリア女王即位7月3日(天保8年6月1日) - 生田万の乱1月2日 - ミリイ・バラキレフ、作曲家（+ 1910年）1月3日（天保8年12月13日） - 和泉守兼定、刀工・会津兼定第11（12）代当主（+ 1903年）1月11日（天保7年12月5日）- 篠原国幹、西南戦争時の西郷軍一番大隊指揮長（+ 1877年）1月22日（天保7年12月16日）- 出口なお、大本開祖（+ 1918年）1月20日 - ジョン・ソーン、建築家（* 1753年）1月23日 - ジョン・フィールド、作曲家（* 1782年）2月4日（天保7年12月29日）- 毛利斉広、第13代長州藩主（* 1814年）2月7日 - グスタフ4世アドルフ、スウェーデン王（* 1778年）
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