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PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-World History

9.7 Representation of the People Act, 1867

By 1832, the industrial revolution was at its zenith. Owing to the introduction of free trade between 1840 and 1860, great impetus was given to trade and manufacturers. However the gains of agriculture were lessened. The artisan class began to agitate for political power.

In 1838, a "People’s Charter" was drawn up. It was signed by thousands of people all over the country who demanded that the Charter should be accepted by the government. This popular movement which is known as the Chartist Movement, put forward the following demands.

  1. Universal suffrage, or giving the right to vote to all adult males in the country.

  2. Vote by secret ballot.

  3. Equal electoral districts.

  4. Annual Parliaments.

  5. Removal of the property qualification for membership of the Parliament and payment to members of Parliament.

As a result of the growing strength of the ’Chartist Movement’, the Representation of the People Act, was passed in 1867. It was introduced by Benjamin Disraeli.

The main provision of the Representation of the People Act, 1867 were as follows:

  1. By this Act, a number of small boroughs were wholly or partially disfranchised.

  2. Eleven new boroughs were created, and a few large cities and towns received one more member.

  3. Twenty-five additional members were given to the English counties, and one was given to the University of London.

  4. The franchise was extended in counties, to occupiers rated at $12 a year.

  5. The franchise was extended in boroughs to all householders whatsoever and to lodgers paying $10 a year.

  6. In 1868 separate Acts were passed to introduce household franchise into Scotch and Irish boroughs.

Lord Derby regarded the Reform Act of 1867 as ’a leap in the dark.’

The Secret Ballot Act introduced by Gladstone in 1872 ended the practices of bribery as well as of intimidating influential candidates.


9.0 - Introduction
9.1 Origin of Democracy in England
9.2 Magna Carta-The Great Charter (1215)
9.3 Establishment and Development of Parliament
9.4 The Glorious Revolution of 1688
9.5 Rise of a Responsible Council Of Ministers
9.6 Reform Act Of 1832
9.7 Representation of the People Act, 1867
9.8 Representation of the People Act, 1884
9.9 Parliamentary Act, 1911
9.10 Representation of the People Acts 1918 & 1928
9.11 Dates & Events
9.12 Points to Remember

Chapter 10


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