Parliament, party and people 1832-67 Flashcards Preview

AS History (Britain, 1830-1885: Representation and Reform) > Parliament, party and people 1832-67 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Parliament, party and people 1832-67 Deck (52):

Timeline: 1832

Reform Act
-franchise enlargement and some seat redistribution

General election
-Whigs/Liberals in control of Commons
-Founding of Tory/Conservative Carlton Club London to encourage voter registration and dissemination of Tory propaganda


Timeline: 1834

Tamworth Manifesto
-Sets out Peel's vision for the future Conservative Party
-Peel becomes Prime Minister in December


Timeline: 1835 (1)

General election
-Peel leads a Conservative minority administration

Lichfield House Compact
-Combination of Whig, Irish and radical MPs bring down Peel's government


Timeline: 1835 (2)

Municipal Corporations Act
-Borough corporations, the body of people responsible for running the boroughs, to be elected annually
-Establishment of local political clubs and associations


Timeline: 1836

Founding of Reform Club
-Formed by Whigs and middle-class radicals to encourage voter registration and dissemination of Whig/ Liberal propaganda


Timeline: 1837

Accession of Queen Victoria
-General election: combination of Whig and Irish MPs control the Commons


Timeline: 1839

Bedchamber Crisis (sensual)
-Melbourne offers resignation of Whig ministry
-Queen Victoria refuses to swap some of her Whig-leaning ladies of the bedchamber for Conservative-inlclined ones; Peel refuses to form a ministry and Melbourne's Whigs carry on


Timeline: 1841

General election
-Peel and Conservatives have a Commons majority of about 80 seats


Timeline: 1846

Repeal of the Corn Laws
-Peel's Conservative Party splits between Peelites, who favoured repeal, and the majority, who did not


Timeline: 1850

Death of Peel
-Peelites absorbed into the emerging Liberal Party under, first, Lord Aberdeen (himself a Peelite) and then Lord Palmerston


What made MPs switch between parties?


went like this throughout much of the 18th C


When did the matter of switching between parties "firm up"?

During the election of 1832 held after the passage of the reform act


Who was the election of 1832 really fought by?

-not whig and tory
-but those who supported reform vs those who didn't


Who supported reform?

-supporters of 'reform in order to preserve' and the CofE and the monarchy
-radicals who favoured free trade and the abolition of the monarchy and the disestablishment of the church


The supporters of reform were a mixed bunch. What did this lead to?

-a difficulty body of MPs to keep together as a party and even as a government
-splits over Irish affairs led to the resignation in 1834 of Earl Grey (Whig PM)


What happened at the same time as Earl Greys resignation?

Lord Althorp, Whig leader of the HofC inherited his fathers title and moved to HofL


What was the consequence of Earl Grey and Lord Althorp leaving the party?

Two important Whigs needed replacing


Which King tried to engineer a coalition between a Whig Lord ..?.. and the Tory ..?.. ?

-William IV
-Robert Peel


William IV tried to organise a coalition between who?

-Robert Peel


What happened when the suggested coalition failed?

King William IV didn't like Melbourne's choice of leader (Lord John Russell) in the Commons so dismissed the Whig government


Why was it odd for the King to dismiss the Whig government?

They had a secure majority


Who was invited by the King to form a government after the Whigs had been dismissed?

Robert Peel


What was Peel's first move back in power? Why did he do it? What did he issue?

-fight an election
-didn't have a majority
-Tamworth election manifesto


What did the Tamworth Manifest do?

-appeal to electorate in borough of Tamworth
-set out Peel's political position


Why was the Tamworth Manifest shocking at the time?

Gentlemen may explain their political position to fellow MPs but not to the scummy, uneducated electorate beyond Westminster was "unheard of"


Where was the Tamworth Manifest released?

Published in newspapers


What was the result of the 1835 general election?

-Conservatives did well
-gained 80 seats
-Peel left leading minority gov.


What was the Lichfield House Compact? Who was it agreed by?

-unwritten agreement at Lichfield House
-in February 1835
-between the Whigs, led by Lord John Russel, and a group of Irish MPs led by Daniel O'Connell


What was agreed in the Lichfield House Compact?

The Whigs could depend on Irish support in Commons in return for promising to consider some reforming legislation in Ireland


So who defeated Peel's Whig government?

The Lichfield bois


Why was this a watershed in British politics? (long answer soz; 5)

-William IV well in constitutional rights to dismiss Melbourne but it would be the last time a monarch dismissed a ministry with majority support in HofC
-Pre-1832 King's minister who fought an election could be certain of returning to HofC with a majority; demonstrates the impact reform act had on power of monarch
-lessening of royal influence = general elections + political parties assume greater importance
-Tamworth Manifesto represented a new approach on the part of a leading politician with regards to elections, electorate and party
-Tamworth manifesto was Peel's vision for the new Conservative party


Did the Lichield House Compact achieve its objective? What was it?

-Whigs returned to gov.


What happened after the Whigs returned to government (as a result of the Lichfield House Compact)?

Its nature (Lichfield House Compact) prevented them forming a party and tore them apart


What did the death of William IV lead to? Who succeeded him?

-a general election


How many seats did the Conservatives win in the 1837 general election? Where did this leave Melbourne and Whigs?

-reliant on Irish MPs for a majority


What was the view of the electorate on the Whig parties reliance on Irish MPs?

-electorate = mostly middle-class/ property-owning
-viewed this with suspicion


What would the Whigs find it increasingly difficult to do? Why?

-win seats in the counties
-conservatives increasingly seen as the English party


How had the number of seats increased? (don't know the date but probs pre-1832 to post-1832)

80 to 144


Whigs strength lay where?

In the boroughs and newly enfranchise Midlands and North (also boroughs)


On the surface what did the Bedchamber Crisis appear to be?

A petty squabble between the Queen and her potential PM, Robert Peel


When did Melbourne offer his resignation? Why?

-narrow victory on the Government of Jamaica Bill


After Melbourne offered his resignation what did Peel do?

-offered to become PM
-so asked the Queen to remove some ladies of her bedchamber who had Whig leanings
-she refused
-so he refused to form a government


Why did Peel refuse to form a government?

-calculated risk
-Melbourne had to carry on
-Peel thought he'd fuck up more
-then when Conservative came it would be greater


Was Peel's calculated risk correct?



When was the next general election (the most recent being 1837)?



Why were the last 2 years under Whig ministry troublesome?

-severe economic depression = social discontent, mass poverty and pressure on poor law (demands for relief to be escalated)
-Chartism revived
-Anti-Corn Law League founded in Manchester 1838 pressed for abolition of Corn Laws


Why did the Anti-Corn Law League press for the abolition of Corn Laws?

-social relief - reduce price of bread
-economic relief - encourage free trade


What finally brought matters to head (1841)?

-financial crisis
--declining revenues and a budget deficit of £6 million


What did the financial crisis lead to?

-conservative motion of 'No confidence' in the gov. won by a single vote
-forced Whig gov. to resign


Radicals were weary with the Whigs. Who did they turn to? What did the Whigs attempt to do to stop this? Did it work?

-ended sliding scale of duties on imported corn and replaced it with a fixed duty
-no it did not impress


What was the nail in the coffin on Melbourne's chances of winning the general election?

Feargus O'Connor, banking on the Tory criticism of the new Poor Law, urged Chartist supporters to vote for Conservative candidates


What was Peel and the Conservatives majority in the 1841 election?

80 seat majority