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Flashcards in The triumph of democracy? Deck (73):

Why was Britain ready for change in the 1850's?

By the 1850's there had been subtle changes in the country beyond Westminster which meant that attitudes were shifting. A modernising population and an old fashioned, 18th century parliament were getting out of sync with eachother


What organisations were there which put pressure for parliamentary reform in the 1860's?

-The National Reform Union
-The Reform League


Describe the National Reform Union?

-Founded in 1864
-It was led by wealthy Manchester merchants, industrialists and radical MP's
-It was mainly supported by the middle-class liberals.
-It was respectable and attractive to the intellectual elite of the Liberal party
-Its aims were to extend the franchise to that of a household suffrage, distribute seats more evenly and bring in secret voting.
-By 1967 150 branches were established throughout britain.


Describe the Reform League?

-Established in 1865
-It pressed for complete manhood suffrage.
-They met in pubs and working men's clubs.
-It attracted trade unionists, ex-chartists and the working class.
-It was supported by various left-wing organisations
-It had 400 branches by 1867.


Who was Lord Palmerston?

He was foreign secretary and prime minister of Britain. He was known for his foreign policy .


Why was the death of Lord Palmerston in 1865 liberating for the more radical wing of the liberal party?

Lord Palmerston saw no overwhelming reason, in the 1860's, to support parliamentary reform. He commented that democracy would "bring the scum to the top". Within weeks of his death, Lord John Russell brought forward a parliamentary reform bill.


Who was William Gladstone?

In the 1860's he worked as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the liberal administrations of Palmerston and Russell. He believed in the need for parliamentary reform.


How did William Gladstone put pressure for parliamentary reform?

he reinvented himself as a popular politician, "the people's william" and was ready to support extending the franchise to "the respectable" working class.


Who was Benjamin Disraeli in the 1860's?

he worked as the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Earl of Derby's administration, and served as prime minister in 1868.


Why did Disraeli put pressure for parliamentary reform?

He was desperate to end the Liberal's dominance of politics and would take any opportunity to exploit any divisions in their ranks. To achieve parliamentary reform where the liberal's had failed to, would be a huge success for his party.


How did international events put pressure for parliamentary reform?

British interest in movements in italy for unification and in the American Civil War were interpreted as popular struggles for freedom. These helped fuel demands for reform at home.


What economic matters put pressure for parliamentary reform?

-The harvest of 1865 was bad, forcing hundreds to unexpectedly claim poor relief.
-Cholera again stalked the land, claiming 14,000 lives in the 1866-67 epidemic.
-Unwise speculation as a result of the 1862 Limited liability act ended with the collapse of the great london financial houses, Overend and Gurney in 1866 .


Who introduced the 1866 Representation of the People Bill into the house of commons?

William Gladstone?


When did William Gladstone introduce the Representation of the People Bill into the House of Commons?

12th March 1866


What did the1866 Representation of the People Bill propose?

it proposed extending the franchise in the boroughs to householders paying more than £7 in rent and in counties to householders with or without land who paid more than £10 a year in rent.


What effect would the 1866 Representation of the People Bill on the number of voters?

It would increase the electorate by about 400,000


How was the 1866 Representation of the People bill recieved?

-There were some who thought i did not go far enough, and others who believed it went too far.


What did the 1866 Representation of the People bill do to the Liberal party?

The bill split the liberal party. Robert Lowe, a right-wing liberal, was horrified by the bill. He led a section of equally horrified liberals in opposition to their own party's bill.


How did the 1866 Representation of the People bill help the conservative party?

All the conservatives had to do was to watch and wait as the debates raged. The conservatives were looking for any opportunity to exploit liberal weaknesses. They allied with Robert Lowe to defeat the Bill. Russell resigned almost immediately, this led the queen with no option but to ask the earl of derby to form a conservative government.


What did the reform league and reform union do as reaction to the defeat of the 1866 Representation of the People Bill?

They jointly and seperately organised a series of rallies in support of reform.


What was the big risk that Disraeli was taking in the 1967 Representation of the People Bill?

The Earl of Derby's administration was a minority one, it didn't have an overall majority in the commons. Disraeli would have to convince his own backbenchers about reform but would also have to find support from the liberal's.


Who were the Liberal Adullamites?

Those MP's who had opposed the 1866 liberal reform bill


What was the main difficulty facing Derby and Disraeli in getting any sort of parliamentary reform?

It was to get past the right wing of the conservative party


Why was the 'ten minute bill' called in 1867?

Faced with threats of resignation, the hyde park riots and the queen's anxiety, an emergency bill- 'the ten minute bill' was put together


What did the 'ten minute bill' propose?

-extend the franchise to include £6 ratepayers in the boroughs and £20 ratepayers in the counties.


Why did the government withdraw the 'ten minute bill'?

No one really liked it. The conservatives preferred a bolder approach, so they withdrew it.


What did the 1867 Representation of the People bill propose?

-In boroughs there was to be a household suffrage, provided that the male lived in the property for two years and paid rates separately from rent.
-University graduates, members of the professions and those with savings of more than £50 were to be given extra votes.
-In counties the franchise was to be reduced from £50 to £15
-Fifteen seats were to be redistributed.


What did Gladstone do following Disraeli passing the 1867 Representation of the People Bill through the commons?

He unleashed a deadly onslaught, criticising Disraeli and pointing out anomalies.


What did Gladstone's attack on Disraeli make Conservative waverers do?

It actually caused them to rally behind disraeli


What did Disraeli do while passing the 1867 Representation of the people bill through the commons?

he abandoned the Liberal Adullamites which he had previously allied with in 1866, and allied with the left-wing radicals of the Liberal Party. He was willing to accept amendment after amendment, so that the bill was not lost.


What happened to the 1867 Representation of the People Bill as it passed through the commons?

As disraeli started to accept amendment after amendment, the bill started to become a lot more radical than the one that he had proposed in 1866.


What did Disraeli do which marked the end of the road for the Liberal's to do with the 1867 Representation of the people bill?

he finally accepted the Hodgkinson amendment to enfranchise compounders. This was a key element to the liberal opposition.


When did the 1867 Representation of the People Bill become law?

15th August 1867


What changes did the 1867 Reform Act bring in terms of extending the franchise?

-Franchise extended in the boroughs to men who owned or occupied houses provided they paid rates and had lived there for at least a year. Also men who had been living as lodgers in property worth at least £10 a year.
-Franchise extended in counties to men who owned or leased land worth at least £5 a year. Also to men who occupied land with rateable value of at least £12 a year.


What changes did the 1867 Reform Act bring in terms of the distribution of seats?

-45 seats were removed from boroughs with under 100,000 inhabitants
-25 seats were given to the counties
-20 seats were given to new boroughs
-6 boroughs were given an extra seat


What mention of women had there been during the 1867 Representation of the People Bill?

There was little to do with women. However john Stuart Mill proposed an amendment to change the word 'man' to 'person' in May 1867 so that equally qualified women could vote. However this was defeated by 196 votes to 73.


What was the impact of the 1867 reform Act on the electorate?

-the electorate was considerably enlarged.
-The act gave the vote to a further 1,120,000 which almost doubled the electorate.
-In boroughs around 830,000 voters were added to the electorate.
-The number of voters in birmingham rose from 8,000 to 43,000
-For the first time, the working classes dominated the borough electorate.
-In the counties the electorate only increased by around 40% so it remained mainly middle class.


what was the impact of the 1867 reform Act on elections?

-Disraeli's minimal redistribution, softened the impact of an electorate where the working classes were a majority.
-Rural areas were still over-represented


What was the impact of the 1867 reform act on party politics?

-Disraeli gambled on the newly enfranchised working classes to vote conservatives, however the liberals won the 1868 general elections. However the conservatives won the 1874 general elections.


What was the impact of the 1867 reform act on education?

-The newly enfranchise working class were seen as stupid and illiterate. This meant that the government wanted to educate them.
-This is a link to the 1870 elementary education act which created boards to provide basic education to children.


When was the Ballot Act?



What were reformers views on the secret ballot?

They thought that a truly representative system would only be possible if electors were able to vote for their candidate of choice free from the fear of intimidation.


What were the views of the radicals on the secret ballot?

They believed that people were much more likely to vote for them if they could vote in secret without their employers knowing who they voted for.


What were the reasons for opposing the secret ballot?

Most conservatives and peers thought that the secret ballot was non-english. They believed that people should have the courage to vote openly. They were also unsure of what outcome secret ballots would have and they liked to have more control over voting behaviour.


Why were changes to the Ballot proposed in the early 1870's?

-A liberal administration was elected in 1868. They were determined to show that the liberal party was indeed the reforming party.
-There was a report published in 1870 about the way in which the general election of 1868 was conducted in Blackburn. Most contested elections were violent and an official enquiry was held. The report recommended the introduction of the secret ballot.


When did the secret ballot bill become law?



What was the impact of the 1872 secret ballot act?

-It limited rowdiness at the first bi-election and general elections to host secret ballot.
-In the short term there was still a fear among agricultural workers that, somehow, their landlord would find out who they voted for.
-However once working class voters had confidence, it significantly reduced the power that could be exerted by over-bearing masters and enabled the growth of political pressure groups.


What was the impact of the 1872 secret ballot act in ireland?

It enabled electors to vote against their landlords and greatly helped support for, and the development of, Irish Home Rule movements.


When was the corrupt and illegal practices prevention act?



How did candidates get round the inconvenience of the secret ballot to bribe voters?

The candidates got round the secret ballot buy employing local people on a temporary basis and by buying local goods in order to display commitment to the constituency. This meant that election expenses soared.


What was the liberal government's dilemma towards the Corrupt and illegal practices act?

Gladstone was against this sort of electoral corruption, however conservatives were usually richer than liberals and so a reduction in electoral expenses would hit them harder than the liberals however the conservatives opportunities for influencing elections would be reduced.


What did the corrupt and illegal practices prevention act of 1883 say?

-The maximum sum of money that could be paid out in election expenses would be calculated according to the size of the constituency and the number of voters.
-Outlawed the practice of one party booking up in advance all available means of transport the polls.
-Fines/imprisonment would result if a politician or his agents were found guilty of corrupt practices, and the MP or so elected would forfeit his seat


What was the impact of the Corrupt and illegal practices prevention act and secret ballot act?

-in the first general election of 1885 following the act, electoral expenses fell by three-quarters
-Relatively poorer men could stand as parlimentary candidates.
-Secret ballot act meant that political parties had to be clearer in their policies. This increased the importance of local party organisation
-The electorate became more willing to question party policy and affiliations.


How could candidates get round the Corrupt and illegal practices prevention act?

The act was only in place when there was an election. So parties could bribe the electorate in between elections.


When was the Franchise act?



When was the Redistribution act?



What were the issues behind the Franchise and distribution acts?

-Town householders in the boroughs were enfranchised in 1867 so it seemed reasonable to enfranchise householders in rural areas too.
-The redistribution clauses in the 1867 act were very mild and still left a majority of seats in the South and West as opposed to the manufacturing areas in the midlands and the north.


What was the pressure for reform in 1884 and 1885?

the pressure for reform was far less specific than for 1832 and 1867. The pressure emerged as part of a growing democratisation of British Society in the 1870's.


What did William Gladstone propose in the 1884 liberal reform bill?

He simply wanted to extend the principles of the 1867 Act to the counties. Every male householder was to be entitled to the vote.


Why was Lord Salisbury against the 1884 liberal reform bill?

He believed that extending the franchise would lead to a considerable electoral advantage for the liberal party because the newly enfranchised agricultural labourers would be more likely to vote liberal than conservative.


How was Lord Salisbury able to refuse the 1884 Liberal reform bill?

He was the leader of the Conservative Party and they had a majority in the house of lords.


What did Lord Salisbury want in the liberal reform bill of 1884?

he would only accept it if it was accompanied by a redistribution of seats


What did Lord Salisbury argue the liberal advantage would be if the 1884 liberal reform bill was passed?

he argued that the liberal party would gain as many as 47 seats


Why was it risky for Lord Salisbury to reject the 1884 liberal reform bill?

-It hinted at blackmail which could stiffen Gladstone's resolve to get the Franchise bill through parliament.
-It played into Joseph Chamberlain's hands (a radical liberal MP) who had been pressing for parliamentary reform would relish a clash with the lords.
-By delaying reform, he could upset the moderate opinion in parliament and lose support for the conservatives.


What did Lord Salisbury do on the 8th July 1884?

He announced that that the lords would block the Franchise Bill unless a Redistribution Bill was put in place at the same time


What did Gladstone and Salisbury do after the lords decided to block the franchise bill?

They decided to compromise and came up with the Arlington Street Compact.


Why did Gladstone and Salisbury decide to compromise after the lords had blocked the franchise bill?

Because neither of them really wanted to mobilise the electorate.


What did the Arlington Street Compact say?

Salisbury was able to re-draw the constituency boundaries and got his redistribution. Gladstone got his extension of the franchise.


What were the terms of the 1884 Representation of the People act?

It gave the vote to all male householders in the counties and to male lodgers, provided that they had occupied their house or lodgings for at least 12 months.


How many people gained the vote in the 1884 representation of the people act?

Some two million agricultural workers were added to the electorate. 2/3 men were now entitled to vote.


Who was left out of the 1884 representation of the people act?

-Soldiers in barracks
-Domestic servants


What were the terms of the 1885 redistribution of seats act?

-All counties and most boroughs became single member constituencies, with an average population of 50,000.
-Boroughs with less than 15,000 people lost both members and boroughs with population of between 15,000 and 50,000 lost one member.
-London constituencies increased from 22 to 55
-Cornwall was represented by 7 MP's rather than 14.
-Lancashire gained 15 new seats.


What was the long-term significance of the 1884 and 1885 acts?

-The stranglehold of landowners and the political power of the aristocracy was gone forever.
-The amount of aristocratic ministers and MP's declined
- The end of the old constituencies meant that emphasis was placed on national issues rather than local issues.
-The position of them middle class received an enormous boost. Manufacturers and commercial men outnumbered landowners in the Commons for the first time.
-Party organisation became more important as the influence of the party as a political force became more prominent.