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1832 reform act

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Popular pressure is a key concept in which the general public aim is to seek change from any existing government. There are two types of popular pressure. The first type being 'moral' examples of this include: picketing and petitions. The second type being 'physical' and its direct example being violence. Popular pressure played a significant part and both types of popular pressure played a key element for the passing of the Great Reform Act. Some Historians agree that popular pressure was the main reason for the passing of the Act however some disagree and argue that other factors to the passing of the Great Reform Act. ...read more.


In France (1718) extreme violent were being held all over France. The French revolution can be somewhat interpreted as some sort of role model/ inspiration for the British working class. D.G. Wright (1970)1 made known that the events of the French Revolution (1830) triggered memories of the French Revolution 1789 and intensified the negative atmosphere of a parliamentary revolution in Britain. The first physical force during the Swing riots which consisted of all classes being involved being involved within the violence. This riot showed to what extra lengths the working class would do to seek freedom and equal opportunities. This is an indication that popular pressure was in some ways effective in creating a fear within the aristocrats (fearing revolution) ...read more.


D.G Wright states "after the peers rejected the second Bill in October 1831, there were serious outbreaks of violence at Derby, Nottingham and Bristol."Popular pressure can also be seen in the initiation of the run that drained the Bank of 40% of its reserves during the "days of May"3. It seems to occur that civil unrest was a key factor whilst in the process of passing the reform. It also shows how easily and close the aristocrats may have been at edge to just 'give in'. 1 D.G Wright. Democracy and Reform 1815-1885 (Long mans(1970) 2 Clive Behagg (1991) Labour and Reform: Working Class Movements 1815-19124 3 D.G. Wright, Democracy and Reform 1815 - 1885 Longmans (1970) ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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3 star(s)

This is a brief examination of the role of public pressure in the passing of the 1832 Act. It would have benefited from some other examples and could have been more clearly divided into arguments for and against the question. 3 out of 5 stars.

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 16/07/2013

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