• 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...


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.


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.


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

    Dissenters existed in both working class and middle class groups; therefore there was the danger to the government that they would join together against the ruling classes. However, despite the great influence popular pressure had between 1830 and 1832 on politicians to reform; the impact of various other long-term factors

  2. Why was the reform act of 1832 passed?

    vote could never be 100% accurate because someone who could vote would find the right price for someone to bribe them into changing their vote. This left the system still is dis-array and no more fair than it had previously been.

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

    The importance Disraeli gave to popular politics is evident as the Second Reform Act can be considered primarily a political stunt in the attempt to gain the support of the electorate. Mary Dickens questions the two significant public speeches made by Disraeli in 1872 in Manchester and at Crystal Palace "as a vote winning programme of social reform".

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

    1868 election, many Liberals began to argue that a ballot was the one practical solution which might be used. Although the introduction of the secret ballot did not achieve all its supporters wished it had been one of the Chartist's demands.

  2. Free essay

    how far did the 1832 Reform Act rectify the defects of the original political ...

    The main topic that dominated the most of this time period was the rejection of two reform bills in the year 1831. These bills were twice overruled by the House of Lords, where the majority did not agree with a government reform and the reaction to these rejections was very negative indeed.

  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. Why did the Tories pass the Reform Bill in 1867?

    Unlike Gladstone, Disraeli was prepared to accept Liberal amendment rather than risk defeat. The Liberals objected to the ?fancy franchises? proposal, and Disraeli dropped it. However, when the amendments came from Gladstone, Disraeli was prepared to use a combination of Tory MP?s and Liberal radicals to defeat the Liberal leadership.

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