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AS History (Britain, 1830-1885: Representation and Reform) > The triumph of democracy? > Flashcards

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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.