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

"By 1928 the essentials of democracy had been achieved." How far would you agree?

Extracts from this document...


Amdg Laura Sermanni History essay 11/09/04 "By 1928 the essentials of democracy had been achieved." How far would you agree? Democracy is definable as a form of government where there is a fair representation system, universal adult suffrage, the right of the electorate to participate in the political process, freedom of speech for all, a government dependant on majority support in the commons and regular elections, free of corruption. In the eighteen hundreds various events, such as the French revolution, made many Britons wary of democracy, because of the radicalism and violence that had occurred during them. However by 1900 politicians were eager to be seen as champions of democracy. The electoral system in Britain before the 1932 reform bill had been virtually unchanged since the late 1680s, by comparison to a country whose economy, class system and political methods had changed substantially since that time. The principle reason for the great change in the orientation of the country was the Industrial Revolution, which had created a new economy and caused the emergence of new cities such as Manchester and Birmingham where the new factories were centred. However, because the electoral system was still that which had been formulated in 1682, these new towns had no political representation, while ...read more.


The lack of limitation placed on electioneering expenses meant that wealthier candidates had a distinct advantage if they were willing to spend to enter parliament. And lack of payment discouraged the working class would-be candidates. Although this act was the first that really pushed for a fairer society it was in reality no where near reaching democracy it still lacked major democratic ideas such as universal adult franchise and elections free of corruption. While the Second Reform Act gradually moved the nation closer to Democracy, the electoral system still had to free itself from bribery and corruption. However the corruption in elections was to be stopped in the secret ballot act of 1872. After the passing of the 1867 Reform Act working class males now formed the majority in most borough constituencies. However, employers were still able to use their influence in some constituencies because of the open system of voting. In parliamentary elections people still had to mount a platform and announce their choice of candidate to the officer who then recorded it in the poll book. Employers and local landlords therefore knew how people voted and could punish them if they did not support their preferred candidate. ...read more.


This act meant that women over the age of thirty who were householders or wives of householders or university graduates had the right to vote and all men over the age of twenty one, who had resided in their homes for over six months could vote. Plural voting was restricted to two votes, with only universities and business premises. However simply the fact that plural voting remained meant that democracy was not quite there yet. This act enlarged the size of the electorate to twenty million. Although this act gave women the vote they were still at a disadvantage. The franchise system between men and women was still unfair, and that needed to be resolved before there could be complete democracy. The franchise qualifications between males and females were resolved in the 1928 representation of the people act. This meant that the franchise qualification was the same for both males and females. This meant that by 1928 nearly all the features of democracy had been achieved. However it was not until 1948 that plural voting was totally destroyed. The main principle of one-man one vote and fair elections free of corruption had been achieved. Nearly all the principles of democracy had been achieved by 1928. There was a fair representation system, universal adult suffrage and corruption free elections. ...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 Sources of Law 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 Sources of Law essays

  1. Jury Essay

    Juries provide certainly, as they only have to deliver a guilty or not guilty verdict. This leaves no room for confusion and cannot be misinterpreted therefore the decision is not open for dispute.

  2. Liberal reform 1906-1914

    Nevertheless, it can be argued that they were very slow to reform, as the first payments were not made until the summer of 1912 for unemployment and the beginning of 1913 for health. They may however have taken much longer to introduce this Act, as there were some powerful vested interests already entrenched in the field of sickness benefits.

  1. Which was the most significant Reform, 1830-1931, why?

    Disraeli was willing to introduce a more drastic bill than Gladstone if it would give them a long spell in power. The Second Parliamentary Reform Act was passed in August 1867 and redistributed seats from corrupt and small boroughs to the counties and large urban areas.

  2. Indigenous peoples, almost without exception, have been dispossessed and disregarded by those who 'discovered' ...

    A goal of the Human Rights Committee, of the United Nations, and of the international community generally. After all, the fundamental corollary of a right is an obligation, and while a State may be under moral, social or political obligations with respect to a valid self-determination claim such as is

  1. Judicial Reform and Bill of Rights.

    This would make the judicial system possibly cheaper, and would make cases shorter, although it may be a problem as younger judges may have less experience than older judges, and so may give incorrect judgements. If a specialist track for becoming a judge were set up similar to the one

  2. Events leading to the American Revolution

    "All before, are calculated to regulate trade as well as preserve and promote a mutually beneficial intercourse between the several constituent parts of the empire, yet those duties were always imposed with design to restrain the commerce of one part (Dickonson)."

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