• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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

    The Duke of Wellington's government resigned and was replaced by a Whig administration, headed by Lord Grey, which pledged to introduce parliamentary reform. Lord Grey wanted to pass the Reform Act as growing external pressures, such as those from the Peterloo Massacre, Days of May, Swing Riots and the emergence

  2. Why was the Reform Act passed in 1832?

    Newcastle Chronicle and Shefiled Independent, which help spread their ideas and keep enthusiam for reform alive. Another factor that helped the reform being passed in 1832, was the change of monach. In 1830 King George IV, a hard line opponent of reform, died and was succeededby William IV who was more pro reform.

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

    The Injunctions of 1536 and 1538 were also significant; they encouraged the discontinuity of shrines, the invocation of saints and pilgrimages. The Dissolution of the Monasteries (1539) also saw the consolidation of the monasteries wealth in the hands of the crown.

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

    Some even refused to serve under him7. When Liverpool was governing, he had known what passions Catholic Emancipation still aroused in the country and he had tried to keep it on the backburner. The fact that Canning supported Emancipation was an increasingly divisive factor in the Tory party, as there were those in the cabinet who wanted political relief for Protestants8 and those who backed Catholic Emancipation9.

  1. Why was the reform act of 1832 passed?

    One of the other two major inputs why the reform act became necessary was the severe economic problems which had hit Britain. Britain had never really fully recovered from the war and the economy was still suffering from this, along with the crippling factor of industrial revolution.

  2. "Earl Grey was no fan of electoral reform." Why then, did his administration go ...

    Earl Grey feared that unless reform was produced quickly a similar situation would arise in Britain. The American Revolution also highlighted a need for change. Britain's repressive governing style had led to the loss of its American colonies. High taxes and constant repression led to America declaring independence and in

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

    Louis attempted clear reform, calling an estates general not only for his own reasons, but to air the grievances of the third estate. Louis showed wisdom when offering the third estate a larger vote due to their multitude of numbers.

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

    Factories were also targeted along with workshops. Machinery was vandalised or burnt and even some employers were threatened and some even killed. The attacks were started by workers in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire but machine breaking later spread to workers in Lancashire, Cheshire and the Yorkshire area, where hand-loom weavers attacked the new steam powered looms and their owners.

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