• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Events inside rather than outside Parliament explain why the reform Act was passed - To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Extracts from this document...


Events inside rather than outside Parliament explain why the reform Act was passed. To what extent do u agree or disagree with this statement? There are many factors which explain why the Parliamentary reform Act 1832 was passed. Certain of these factors were due to events inside the Houses of Parliament, such as the resistance from the Lords, and others were results of events outside of Parliament for example the 1832 riots. The final act was passed as a combination of all events together. I would consider that the most important reason why the Reform Act was passed was because of Lord Grey's attitude towards reform. Lord Grey genuinely believed that the system needed modernising and so used all the powers he had within his Prime Ministerial role, including calling an election to act as a referendum and pushed the bill through until it was legitimised. He aimed to improve the system on a long-term basis. Although Grey was pro reformation and the public in the early 1830s were aware of this, they were also aware that the Government had previously bowed to pressure. ...read more.


Thomas Attwood established a pressure group to agitate the Government into reforming the electoral system. Attwood was successful in promoting his views through peaceful methods and caused short term but easily solved pressurising problems against the government. Although Attwood was not revolutionary or violent, Grey knew that if he neglected Attwood's protests then they could develop into uncontrollable violent outbursts. Attwood's main support was from university students and middle class citizens who felt repressed by being disenfranchised. Grey wanted to maintain the support of the middle classes and believed in the divide and rule theory. By separating the middle classes from the working classes, via the vote, he would split opposition and ultimately prevent Britain from revolution. Grey had a constant fear of a British revolution, provoked by the recent French revolution. Outside of Parliament in South Eastern agrarian areas, there were serious riots. In the summer of 1830 disenfranchised villagers protested against the unrepresentative electoral system. The unrest such as the destruction of threshing-machines and the burning of corn, was not only a protest against being disenfranchised but also a political expression of hatred towards tithes and the administration of the Poor Law. ...read more.


The greatest event inside Parliament to contribute to the legitimising of the Bill was the threat of replacement imposed upon the House of Lords. The Lords refused to pass the Bill because they were of a reactionary Tory majority and believed that the reform act would lead to liberals from the middle classes overthrowing the Aristocratic Peers. The Lords had an ultimate veto against the Bill and so Grey threatened to replace the whole chamber with new peers when the Lords used their veto. The Lords were reluctant to pass the bill but preferred the prospect of them passing the bill and keeping their membership of the House of Lords. After the Lords passed the bill, William IV refused. Although he was regarded as more Liberal than the previous Monarch George IV, William was still too reactionary to give Royal consent. In desperation to pass the Bill Grey resigned this was an internal protest demanding for reformation of the electoral system. The most influencing character was Grey himself, Prime Minister. All the events he encountered inside Parliament were attempts to pass an act to reform the electoral system. Had Grey not had the support of the public outside Parliament he would not have been successful with his campaign inside Parliament. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Why was the reform act of 1832 passed?

    It meant that Catholics could now sit in parliament. The result was that it gave reformers more hope than ever before and that many Tories were outraged with Wellington and this split the party. It wasn't however just the above as a great stroke of luck hit for the reformers in June 1830 when George IV died as he was against reform.

  2. Why was The Great Reform Act passed in 1832 ?

    Sometimes these attacks arose from riots but others were obviously planned. Stories began spreading about there being a leader of the machine breakers, (Luddites), he was called Ned Ludd (sometimes referred to as Captain or General Ludd). Some feared he would lead a general rising and over throw the government,

  1. Why was the first Great Reform Act passed in 1832 and not before?

    Wellington agreed to the Kings request to introduce a modest Reform Bill, but more demonstrations were organised as a result18, keeping alive the threat of revolution. Finally on the 16th of May, the King reluctantly asked for Grey back as Prime Minister.

  2. How far & to what extent was Louis responsible for the turn of events ...

    trusted Necker, and disorder on the streets grew. The appearance of German cavalry to enforce order changed the situation from bad to worse, word passing that the assembly would be abolished by force. The Sans Culottes began to arm themselves, and with bread prices rising daily, order began to break down.

  1. To what extent was the Henrican Reformation imposed from 'above'?

    One important factor to note is that most of this wealth was going upwards, in the sense that none went into the pockets of the laity. It was a reform that whilst attractive for religious reformers was concerned with the filling of the crowns pockets.

  2. Do you agree with the contemporary view that the Reform Act of 1832 was ...

    political arena.2 This was one of the main middle class objectives of reform. Fear of Revolution was another reason that the middle class, along with some aristocrats, called for the reform of Parliament. At the end of the 1820s, the British economy had fallen into decline, and the public discontent did not take long to manifest itself.

  1. How successful was the Reform Act in rectifying defects in the political system?

    There were many motivations for a new Reform Act to be passed. As the population was increasing there was an ever growing need for modification to the standing system. The industrial revolution accentuated the irregular geographic distribution of the population and therefore disturbed the regular distribution of county and borough representation.

  2. Why was the Reform Act passed in 1832?

    There were many problems with Britain's political system at this time to rebel against. The ruling class were willing to do anything to prevent the same thing happening in britain and when the second french revolution occurred in july 1830, people revived their interest in parliamentary reform.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work