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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A2 History Which was the most significant Reform, 1830-1931, why? During the period 1830-1931 many reforms were passed resulting in a more democratic Britain, although each were passed for various reasons, each helped in extending the vote (which once was only possessed by the upper class). For a democracy in Britain, there had to be universal suffrage, where every man and women have the right to vote regardless of class. Also a secret ballot must be in place to prevent corruption. Equal sizes of constitutions need to be enforced, with regular elections and elected members of government. In a democracy, the voters must have civil rights, such as freedom of speech and the right to stand in elections. The reforms passed during this century helped progress Britain into a democratic state, such reforms include: The "Great Reform Act" of 1832; The "Second Reform Act" of 1867; "The Third Reform Act" of 1884; "The Representation of the peoples Act" of 1918 and the "Equal Franchise Act" of 1928 along with many others between this period. Each reform singled out was significant, but which really pushed Britain in the direction of democracy? The first reform act in 1832 abolished the pocket/rotten borough, which had formed unrepresentative constituencies. It also redistributed seats on a more impartial basis in the counties, and formed some new boroughs. ...read more.

Middle

The increase in size of the electorate brought about by the Second Reform Act was huge in comparison to the first, with most of this increase being concentrated in the boroughs. What was even more significant was the fact that the majority of voters in many of these boroughs were working class voters. However, the limited redistribution of seats still left London and the north underrepresented in parliament, with an imbalance which allowed the rural south and west to be overrepresented in the terms of size of population. The franchise in the countries was still based on property ownership and was still very restrictive, even in the boroughs the householder franchise bared many restrictions. Although many historians saw this act as doing nothing for democracy except creating a distant point on the horizon, I believe it somewhat progressed the stairway to democracy. The Third Parliamentary Reform Act consisted of two pieces of legislation which came together. The first of these was the Franchise Act of 1884. In this act the Franchise was extended to all male householders. This increased the size of the Franchise from 3.1 million to 5.7 million. However, this does not mean that all that all male householders got the vote as not all males owned homes. The second part of the act was the Retribution of Seats Act of 1885. ...read more.

Conclusion

Men over the age of twenty-one with a six month residency were also included. However, there has been much debated among historian whether the Women's Movement or the part that women played during the First World War directly resulted in women being given the vote in 1918. The act thereby opened up career opportunities for women in professions such as the legal system or politics. But evidence would suggest that Britain did not become a proper democracy until 1928 when the (Equal Franchise Act) second Representation of the People Act extended the franchise to both men and women over the age of twenty-one, which extended the franchise to 97% of the British population. By 1928 Britain had to all of the necessary steps to be classed as a true democracy which radically changed Britain's political identity in the process Although the later acts helped to truly create a democratic Britain, I believe it was the earlier acts which pushed Britain up the stairway of democracy, with the first steps being the hardest to take. In particular the First Reform Act really questioned the state of the political system and started to remove the land elite from total domination. Once in place it was bound further acts would pursue to pass until Britain was truly a democratic state. Therefore I believe the most significant act was The First "Great" Reform Act. 6th January 2004 ...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. "The main aims of the Land Registration Acts were to give certainty to title ...

    22 S.48-52 Land Registration Act 1925; Notices. 23 S.58 Land Registration Act 1925; Power to place restrictions on register. 24 S53-56 Land Registration Act 1925; Cautions. 25 Clark v. Chief Land Registrar (1993) TLR 10th May 1994. 26 S.57 Land Registration Act 1925; Power for court or registrar to inhibit registered dealings.

  2. To what extent do you think these aims have been (or will be) facilitated ...

    feature of the English legal system...it greatly eases the task of the registrar in accepting titles for registration without excessive precautions and formality. Even more perhaps, than in the case of unregistered land, it emphasises the principle that titles are relative, not absolute and that no title is completely free

  1. How effective were the Liberal Reforms between 1906 and 1914?

    Firstly, there is a view that legislation was filled with 'holes' causing huge numbers of exclusions to promising schemes from the government, which resulted in an improvement of a reduced size. The government did not introduce laws to deal with the poor, but to in fact to prevent more poverty.

  2. How successful were the Liberal Reforms of 1906-1914?

    Most ominously for the Liberals, the Irish Home Rule supporters at Westminster were losing ground in southern Ireland, where in 1913 a militant working-class movement entered into close alliance with the nationalist forces of Sinn Fein. Ireland was obviously on the brink of civil war.

  1. Judicial Reform and Bill of Rights.

    Apart from the ten suggested in Item A, ideas such as replacing the Lord Chancellor with a department of justice have been put forward. This would eliminate the main problem of the Lord Chancellor being unaccountable, and would provide a group that would be answerable to Parliament and have the same accountability as every other Government Department.

  2. Legislations and regulations in sport

    individual who: - can be identified from that data or - from that data and any other information which is in the possession of, or likely to come into the possession of, the data controller. and includes any expression of opinion about the individual and any intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual.

  1. From your studies how far do you agree that Britain has been a tolerant ...

    At first the British Government welcomed both these groups, mainly because there was a labour shortage in Britain after the war and during the 1950s. The largest of the refugee groups to settle in Britain after 1945 was polish. Many Poles were already in Britain when the war ended.

  2. Multicultural Britain

    The 1940's and 1950's saw the arrival of different immigrant communities. In 1945 Jamaicans arrived on a ship called 'Windrush.' Some welcomed them, but some MP's and public weren't too pleased. These new immigrants required accommodation and jobs. This is when they experienced 'colour bar' which is racism.

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