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

How far was popular pressure the most important reason for the passing of the Reform Act 1867?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How far was popular pressure the most important reason for the passing of the Reform Act 1867? Popular pressure was the most important reason to a certain extent as it forced the government to take decisions more quickly when concerning the matter of reform. Robert Lowe?s speech against the Reform Bill of 1866 inflamed the working classes as he had spoken passionately against them being involved in the political system, claiming that their involvement would lead to ?drunkenness? and ?violent feeling?. Furthermore his speech had evoked meeting of protests which were organised by the Reform League. The Reform League?s demonstration in Hyde Park, 1867, had put considerable amounts of pressure on the government and this pressure was effective as it led to Disraeli increasing the franchise. This increase let more skilled working classes get the vote. Disraeli had done this in the hope that he could satisfy the Radicals demand for change and in turn win their support. This illustrates how important putting pressure on the government was; it could be argued, to a certain extent that without these protests for change the franchise would never have been extended as much as it was. Moreover many felt that working classes should be allowed into the political process as they were growing increasingly respectable. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore it could be argued that Disraeli?s personal ambitions are what drove through the Reform Act as he was very passionate about it and convinced many Conservatives of the advantages and necessities of reform. The Conservatives had begun to see reform as being inevitable hence Disraeli managed to gain their support. Moreover Disraeli wanted to out-do Gladstone, this competitive spirit meant that Disraeli ensured that his Reform Bill would be stronger and better than Gladstone?s. This was another reason why the Reform Act was passed as Disraeli?s competitiveness led to him being ardent about his Bill and doing all that he could to get it passed. Another factor that helped with the passing of the Bill, that wasn?t popular pressure, was the death of Palmerston in 1865. His death provided a huge opportunity for Disraeli, to not only take office but also to make major changes. As Palmerston was generally against reform and while he was alive, he was a relatively popular person who people would have followed. So Disraeli?s Bill might have been defeated but since he was dead there wasn?t much opposition to reform and Disraeli?s tactics helped hugely in getting the Act passed. Disraeli introduced the Bill at the right time this helped its acceptance as had he done it before it wouldn?t have been received as well as it had. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hence the Reform Act of 1867, after the Act the Conservative Party was accepted as one of reform, this helped gain a considerable amount of support from Liberal thinking people. Another factor that helped was the ineffectiveness of Conservative opponents. They were somewhat split over the rejection of the 1866 Bill put forward by Gladstone and this meant that the Party lacked organisation, therefore making it easier for the Reform Act to be passed. Additionally something that added to the amount of popular pressure on the government was Garibaldi and his visits to the public in 1864. He created huge amounts of excitement within Radical circles for Liberal democratic excitement. His visits created an atmosphere for reform amongst the public thus putting pressure on the government. In conclusion popular pressure was the most important factor as the other factors are all linked in with it, in one way or another. For example the safety of the 1832 Act was a result of the public showing that they could cope with the responsibility. Disraeli?s tactics was another factor which helped in the passing of the reform act, he was motivated by the idea of gaining support and this support was essentially to come from the public. Also the demonstrations put huge amounts of stress on the government for reform. Therefore the pressure put on the government by the public was the most important factor for the passing of the 1867 Reform Act. ...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 Great Reform Act passed in 1832 ?

    On the whole the reform bill of 1832 resulted in the transfer of political power from the land owning aristocrats to the middle class and the bending of the House of Lords to the popular will. The general purposes of the reform act of 1832 and such acts were the

  2. Public pressure was one of several factors which helped to bring about the 2nd ...

    cement their place in the government, a feat which had eluded the Conservative party for the past 20 or so years. Derby and Disraeli were prepared to introduce a more drastic bill than Gladstone if it would bring the Tories a long period in power.

  1. What led to the reform of 1867?

    market, as there are more people, there are more jobs needed and so the cotton industry is vital. The population increase also links in with the factor of trade unions. This is because the more people needed to work, the more people joined.

  2. To what extent was Disraeli personally committed to social reform

    Disraeli was never a statesman but a politician whose commitment to social reform was based more on presentation than reality. It was convenient, and not political belief or ideology, for the Conservative Party to be portrayed by Disraeli as the unifier of the classes.

  1. To what extent was the 1832 reform act the result of popular pressure

    This stance was one which gained much popularity, and greatly furthered the reform movement as it united two sectors of society, both very different, but with very similar interests. The grievances of the Dissenters also brought about a call for reform.

  2. What impact did the Reform Acts of 1867 and 1884 have on the political ...

    After the Third Reform Act the working-classes formed the majority of the electorate and some constituencies were represented by working-class M.P.s like Henry Broadhurst, a stone-mason and Trade Union Official. It also had an impact on the parties themselves as there needed to be a local party structure to keep tabs on the electorate and to encourage them to vote.

  1. How important was popualr pressure in the passing of the 1832 reform act?

    Although the leading politicians recognised the influence of public opinion, it would be a mistake to overstress the role of popular pressure, because it was the parliament who passed the Reform Bill, not the people. Furthermore, it can also be argued that the Whigs' necessity to pass the Reform Bill,

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

    but were not satisfied with several key points. Louis was hampered by the Compte Rendu, which suggested royal finances were in a reasonable state. They argued that since the finances had been order in 1781, why were they in such disorder now? They blamed Calonne to a considerable extent for the problems, and distrusted his motives in obtaining further taxation.

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