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Did the people of England benefit from Whig reform after 1832?

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Introduction

Did the people of England benefit from Whig reform after 1832? For 70 years the Whig party was in the minority in Britain. In 1830, their plans for the great reform act won popular support, and they were returned to office . During the next few years they passed important reform legislation, known collectively as the Reform Bills. The Whigs made many reforms under Lord Grey up until 1834 when Lord Melbourne took power. The majority of Whigs were not for major reform but few Whigs were genuine radicals. Whig saw their purposes as to "improve social conditions, but not to drastically change social organization, and wanted respect in return". The radicals for due to what reform they did want and carried out favored the Whig. Some Whigs were followers of Utilitarian otherwise known as Benthamites. Benthamites believed in greater efficiency and happiness of the greater number (majority). Benthamites influenced much of the legislation produced during the Whigs during the 1830s. ...read more.

Middle

The act ment that no child under 9 would be allowed to work or be employed, children aged 9 to 13 were only able to work an 8 hour day and two of these hours should be used to educate the children and older children were only to work an 12 hours day. This act was in theory to benefit the working class of england but in practice was twisted to suit. For example, Employers adopted a shift-system, which insured most adults worked a 12 hour day (from midday of one day to midday of another so it worked out that only 12 hours had been worked each day), And parents used the lack of birth certificates to lie about children's ages so that children could work because without their children's wage they could not afford to support the family. IN 1834 Lord Grey resigned and Lord Melbourne became Prime Minister. Melbourne is famous for saying, "I am for holding the ground already taken but not for occupying new ground rashly". ...read more.

Conclusion

The Marriage act benefited non-conformists and Roman Catholics as this act ment that they could marry in there own churches as long as there was a licensed registrar present. Though this did not help the majority of people it was a step forward on religious reform. Civil Register of births marriages and deaths in 1836 ment that there would be a better proof of age system for children so enforcing the factory act. So trying to improve conditions and quality of life for the working class and so benefit them. From what evidence seen the conclusion has been reached that though some acts were enforced in for the benefit of the people of England many did not as there was not enough support or enforcing many of the acts so quality of life remained the same. The majority of acts before 1834 were mainly for the people but acts passed after that time were less liberal as acts were simply enforced to prevent revolution ...read more.

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