PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-World History
9.6 Reform Act Of 1832
Though the Parliament became supreme after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, it could not be regarded as the real representative of the people until the 19th century, since the right to vote was restricted only to the rich and to property holders. Hence wealthy industrialists and rich landlords dominated the Parliament.
Owing to the growth of industries and factories there was a growth of labor force. This led to an agitation of the industrial workers; they demanded their representatives in Parliament. For this reason, the Reforms Bill of 1832 was passed by the Parliament.
Provisions of the Reform Act of 1832
By the Reform Act of 1832, fifty-six boroughs with less than 2,000 inhabitants were disfranchised.
The one hundred and forty three seats secured under the Reform Act of 1832 were distributed in the following manner:
Twenty-two new boroughs, either large towns
or districts of London were given two members each.
Twenty-one of less importance, received one
The counties secured sixty-five additional
Of the remaining seats, eight were given to
Scotland and five to Ireland.
The franchise was also extended. Thus the right to vote was
extended to copyholders and lease holders in counties as well as
tenants-at-will, paying a rent of $50 or upwards. All householders
in boroughs, paying a rent of $10 and upwards, were given the franchise.
Separate Reform Acts were passed for Scotland and Ireland
The Reform Act of 1832, had significant effects:
The parliamentary influence exercised by ministers, as well as the parliamentary power of the landed interest, was greatly reduced. This was achieved by extinction of rotten boroughs, by extension of franchise to many new towns and boroughs and also by establishing household franchise in all boroughs.
Several differences began to arise between the House of Commons, which was dominated by the middle class, and the House of Lords, which was dominated by the landed interest. In these differences, based on public policy, the House of the Lords had to yield to the House of Commons.
However the new electors under the Reforms Act of 1832, did not comprise of a considerable part of the laboring class. They were generally prosperous persons.