Chapter 1: Reform Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 1: Reform Deck (18):

Why was the late eighteenth century British political system in need of reform?

It was unrepresentative, dominated by landowners and aristocrats who saw no need for change, who were in Parliament for their own interests: political advancement and patronage, and a small number of men could vote.


How was the need for reform emphasises?

Through Industrialisation which changed the social and economic landscape: the movement of the population from the countryside to rapidly expanding towns and cities, small market towns and boroughs declined in size and importance but still sent two representatives, and new large urban areas lacked any representation.


What did Pitt do in 1792 and 1795?

Attempted to reform Parliament and redistribute seats to the expanding, unrepresented towns but was defeated in Commons?


What was the attitude of the House of Lords in regards to reform?

They had little interest in it as it would threaten their position.


What was the income for those standing for Parliament?

County member annual income was £600 and Borough was £300.


How many men in England and Wales had the vote in 1793?



What was happening over time?

As the population was rising, the number of voters as a percentage of the population was falling.


How were county mps elected?

By men who held freehold (their own) land of a minimum rateable value of 40 shillings a year and was often swayed in their voting by the dominant landowner who had nominated his own candidate.


What was a pocket borough?

Places entirely controlled by the landowner


What was a rotten borough?

Few qualified voters yet still returned two mps.


How was the electoral proedure corrupt?

Not all seats were contested, pocket boroughs landowner nominated the MP who was unopposed, and voting was public resuting in widespread bribery and corruption.


How was the British constitution regarded?

As liberal and democratic and was admired by it's European neighbours.


What did people see democracy as?

Having a free press, independence of judicary, religious toleration, based on the Rule of Law (esp common law). All of these apart from free press were expressed on the 1689 Bill of Righta.


How often were elections for House of Commons held?

At least every seven years. Many seats were not contested. The electorate did not always get the opportunity to use their vote since the upheaval and expensive of elections encouraged 'compacts and compromises; between local landowning families o agree to a nomination.


What was Justices of the Peace?

People who administered justice and often served harsh punishments for petty crimes.


In towns, who was power shared between?

The gentry and merchant class whose common qualification was property, wealth and influence.


Who did calls for reform come from?

Not from the lower orders, but from the propertied class who wishes for a share of the power.


What attempts did Pitt make to reform?

1792 and 1795, to reform Parliament and redistribute seats to the expanding, unrepresented industrial towns. 1788 Abolition of Slavery.