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

Between 1867 and 1928 Britain took almost all the steps need to become a democracy" Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Between 1867 and 1928 Britain took almost all the steps need to become a democracy" Discuss. In order to evaluate the development of democracy during this period in Britain it would be helpful to have some clear definition of what democracy actually is. The Oxford English dictionary defines democracy as "a system of government by the whole population, usually through elected representation". This definition would suggest that the whole adult population of a state or country would have the right to vote in a parliamentary election. Evidence may suggest that the parliamentary system in Britain in the middle of the 19th Century did not even come close to this definition. The British electoral system had remained largely unchanged through the entire 17th and 18th Century when politics in Britain was largely dominated by wealthy landowners. The first Parliamentary Reform Act of 1832 increased the franchise in Britain from 435,000 to 653.000 from a population of twenty million. The fact that ninety-four percent of the British population was excluded from the franchise is a clear reflection of how democratic British politics was at this time. The Reform Act of 1832 stimulated public agitation, which heightened political consciousness among the working class. The Chartist movement grew out of a demand for voting rights for the working class at a time when Britain was experiencing an economic recession. ...read more.

Middle

The universities of Manchester, Liverpool and Durham all followed suit within seven years of London University's example. By providing a proper level of education for women, it opened up new career opportunities, such as nursing, medicine and teaching, but to follow the latter career choice women had to remain unmarried. Women also found employment in the post office and civil services. Although, women's status was beginning to improve, they were still denied the right to vote. When John Stuart Mill's proposal was defeated in the House of Common, it was the beginning of a long and b from itter campaign for women to gain the right to vote. In 1867, the London's National Society for Women's Suffrage organised a petition, the main purpose of this petition was to have women voting rights included in the 1867 Reform Act. In the later part of the 19th century the National Union of Women's Suffrage was set up. It hoped to win the support of various M.P.s by drawing up petitions and producing pamphlets, but this accomplished very little. In 1903, the Women's Social and Political Union was set up by Emmeline Pankhurst. In the quest for equal suffrage with men, the W.S.P.U. had used more or less the same as the tactics as N.S.W.S. by means of partitions and campaigning. ...read more.

Conclusion

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. In conclusion, the expansion of the franchise only increased to 28.5% between 1867 and the out break of the First World War. The most dramatic growth in democracy took place after the First World War when the Representation of the People Act of 1918 increased the franchise to 74% by giving the vote to women over the age of thirty and all men over the age of twenty-one. The Equal Franchise Act of 1928 increased the franchise in Britain to 97% of the population by giving the vote to all men and women over the age of twenty-one. Evidence may suggest that Britain could be classed as a true democracy after 1928. The rise of the Labour Party and the growth of the TUC and the emergence of the Labour Party helped to change the political identity of British politics. The dramatic extension of the franchise between 1918 and 1928 also had a major impact on British politics because politicians had to be much more aware of public opinion when shaping their policies. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. The woman's suffrage movement grew out of the changing relationship between men and women ...

    Sylvia, who designed most of the artwork for the WSPU, also organised the workers of the East End in favour of women's suffrage. As the WSPU increasingly operating within a hostile political climate, so planning and action assumed greater importance than constitutional democracy.

  2. The Impact of Electoral Design on the Legislature.

    This system can be envisaged as a pulley-and-weights mechanism: a modest pull on the electoral rope produces a disproportionate displacement of weight. For proponents the twin virtues mean power is shackled with accountability. Governments are given enough freedom to carry out unpopular policies, if necessary, during their full term in

  1. The Changing Role and Status of Women in Britain Since 1900

    ties with the Independent Labour Party because in 1906, Christabel Pankhurst wanted the organisation to be a women's movement independent from men's organisations. Disassociating itself from the ILP meant that many conservative women joined the WSPU. The WSPU also made movements away from working class women, as they thought the

  2. "Recent general election results have shown the need for electoral reform." Discuss.

    as an alternative there would probably be propaganda saying that PR brought the Nazis to power. However this is far from the truth. The Nazis won 44% of the vote and need to go into coalition to form a government however under FPP he would not have needed to form a coalition.

  1. Representation and Democracy in Britain 1830 – 1931

    England was divided as never before; the industrial north from the agricultural south, the industrial working classes from their employers, and both from the long-established gentry, particularly of the south. The Great Exhibition The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London was conceived to symbolize this industrial, military and economic superiority of Great Britain.

  2. "Family background and social class are most influential in determining voting behaviour in Britain." ...

    of their lives improved by the actions of a party, such as welfare reforms, they may remember it when they grow older and could make them vote as their parents have for the party that they have always known. Gender, age, ethnicity, region and religion are another set of stable, personal reasons for the way people vote.

  1. Women's Suffrage.

    The suffrage movement in the words of Barbara Caine went 'from a period of torpor and exhaustion to one of extraordinary energy and activity'. This was largely due to the militant campaign of the Women's Social and Political Union which adopted more radical strategies with an emphasis on getting the suffrage question onto the public agenda.

  2. Notes on Citizenship and Democracy.

    attitudes and critical thinking that one needs nowadays to come up with the best choices for his society. 1. Citizens do not only have rights, but also obligations and duties towards the society. 1. A citizen should be informed of what is happening around him, the decisions the government is

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