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

How adequately do the following sources support the view that nineteenth century politicians had been successful at preventing or controling political change?

Extracts from this document...


HISTORY A2 COURSEWORK PART A SOURCES: 16 MARKS HOW ADEQUATELY DO THE FOLLOWING SOURCES SUPPORT THE VIEW THAT NINETEENTH CENTURY POLITICIANS HAD BEEN SUCCESSFUL AT PREVENTING OR CONTROLING POLITICAL CHANGE? The 19th century was a time period in which many reform acts took place. However, there are many differing views as to the extent of the change and whether politicians were able to control the extent of change. Sources A1 to F2 show opinions on the period of reform acts and are helpful in assessing the view that politicians were successful in controlling or preventing change. A number of the sources provided would lead someone to believe that the politicians in the 19th century had very little control over change. Both sources B1 and E1 are written by conservatives who are attempting to argue that the politicians are not in control. Source B1 is written by J W Croker1who argues that reform "will lead to as complete a subversion of our ancient constitution, as the long parliament". This is suggesting that politicians are not in control and reform would lead to parliament losing power. Source E1 is written by Robert Lowe and is similar in that it also argues that parliament will lose power and it also suggests that reform would lead to the "violent people...finding themselves in a full majority of the whole constituency". ...read more.


There are historians however who would argue that the politicians were in control of change and source C2 can also be used to support this argument. When source C2 is looked at in more detail it indicates that the change was not extreme until the final figure for 1918, which shows an increase of 17 million which was caused by the 1918 reform act which was a huge step after the war which meant that over the half of the population was able to vote and it only excluded men younger than 18 and women younger that 30. Sources C1 and A2 also support this. Source C1 indicates that the number of contested seats was high directly after the 1832 reform act but fell over the following fifteen years. This can be interpreted to mean that over the 15 years people begin to realise that little has changed from the 1832 reform act, and people contesting seats are likely to have been unsuccessful, indicating politicians are in control. Source A2 supports this, writing "it was far from universal". Sources B2 and B3 argue similar points and support the title when referring to the 1st reform act (1831). Both of these sources argue a very important point and this is that the reform was one to "preserve". ...read more.


He writes "Mr Gladstone is convinced that the English rural voters, forming the majority of those to be enfranchised, may prove to be 'conservative'". This indicates that Gladstone is of the belief that rural voters are not radical and will allow the politicians to retain power and control. It seems that although politicians were not able to 'prevent' political change, they were generally successful in controlling the political change. Sources B2 and B3 are the most effective sources in showing the control hat politicians had as they both agree that politicians were in control although they are of conflicting viewpoints. The gradual way that the franchise was extended over a period of one hundred years also indicates control. However it must be remembered that although the change was gradual it did take place and by 1918 women had gained the vote supporting the fact that change wasn't prevented. 1 J.W. Croker was a Conservative politician and journalist. His sources are often useful as he knew 'everyone' and was active in the politics of his time 2 This source was written by Rydon Harrison who is a Marxist historian which is why he argues that popular pressure in the form of the reform league was an important factor in reform 3 "the agitation for which was standing in the way of every measure of practical improvement" ...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. Hisotyr Coursework

    Another way which can be said was political pressure was the Swing Riots which were caused by the bad harvests and the fact that the industrial revolution was causing unemployment in the countryside. Swing riots were named after the mythical Captain swing and involved in maiming animals, rick burning and burning of agricultural machinery.

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

    Where; 'Mr Hurst held out so long that it was feared blood would be shed, the doors were shut until the demands were granted, no lights were allowed and the iron railings that surrounded the monuments were torn up'. The result of the meeting was an agreement by the vicar

  1. How do the poets in 'Charlotte O'Neils song' and 'Nothing Changed' show their feelings ...

    Young girls could leave service in England to go to Australia. In Australia the girls found that they were in demand both as servants and as wives. Many of them found it very easy to marry and improve their lot.

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

    the problems in the political system and there were many factors that pushed government to pass a new bill. William IV succeeded George IV who died in 1830 and due to this change of monarchy a general election took place; this therefore meant that some anti-reformers lost their seats.

  1. To what extent do the sources support the view that religious conviction was the ...

    This makes the superiority of the source somewhat invalid at this point. Further to the source Stone states how over one third of the Royalist Gentry were Catholic and over half of the Parliamentarians were Puritans. Although this clearly looks as if Religion is the main problem, Stone has given

  2. Dear Diary.

    Though how wonderful it would be if it did! The only item of particular interest to me was a dresser, similar to a Japan cabinet. It is yellow and black and it only held my gaze for a second. In any case before I could explore anything further Eleanor's maid

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