To what extent does the Reform Act of 1832 deserved to be called Great?

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To what extent does the Reform Act of 1832 deserved to be called ‘Great’?

The great reform of 1832 act deserves to be called “Great” to a certain extent. The Great Reform Act encouraged structure within government and decisions were made more efficiently. For the first time in a long while, the great reform act was the closest perspective different social classes got to see how the future governing body would pursue with their decisions impacting and enabling better lives for civilians. The Great reform act also gave the new middle class a share of power and paved the way for a series of social reforms by the Whigs. So this meant that the middle class people had been recognised into the political system, however we could argue that many of the changes were short term solutions, not long term and they did not benefit the working class as the continuities that remained damaged the working class.

Some Historians argue that the Reform Act does not deserve to be called Great as there was limit change after 1832 as the Reform Act did not remove all the inequalities for example they gave the middle classes control on political system also the rural south was still over represented to industrial north, as all the country towns were relative bigger industrial towns, which some did not gain parliamentary seats as in many industrial centres, few achieved the £10 qualification, for example 5,000 people qualified to vote from 125,000 people in 1832 this shows that the Reform Act wasn’t really exceptional as the same two political parties continued to contest power.  They also did not address any fundamental issues such as election; one main issue is that voting itself remained a public act and the continued absence of the secret ballot open; it was highly unprofessional as bribery and manipulation was used to control different social classes to vote for candidates running in the election. This caused much discontent amongst voters as they were lured in to voting for a candidate. There were also still significant discrepancies in the size of constituencies, out of 73 of the borough which survived the 1832 Reform Act had fewer than 500 electors and 31 possessed less than 300 this shows that only 7 % increase composition of MP’s which shows that the reform Act was not considered so ‘great’ as it did not show much change after 1832 this is because the changes made still did not change the fact that parliament and Britain itself was dominated by the aristocracy. The rich upper class people still overruled most of parliament so the changes made were not as flexible and life changing as they could have been.

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 However we could argue that Many historians would agree with the statement that the Reform Act was considered Great as it was the turning point in modern British political history as the changes the acts brought, in modern day, may not seem too radical yet they were the catalyst for future reforms that would benefit the people that had previously suffered in Britain. The main significance is mainly long term, yet with the introduction of reforms the Whig government began to gain confidence and authority with the reforms they were passing. Open boroughs were abolished; this meant that less working ...

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