Why Did Britain Become More Democratic After 1860

Submitted By mxckay1
Words: 1474
Pages: 6

BRITAIN 1850s-1979: Why did Britain become more democratic after 1860?

1.Industrialisation and Urbanisation
Many historians believe that the Industrial Revolution created such far-reaching changes to British society that it helped to force the British government to extend the franchise. This changed where people worked, where they lived, and how they felt about their position in society. a) Write down Gladstone’s quote about the social changes in Britain. (4) b) How did the Industrial Revolution change society? (5) c) What effect did these changes have on politicians? (5) d) How did the attitudes of the middle classes change? (5) e) What changes were brought about by increased urbanisation (growth of towns and cities)? (5) f) Describe the developments in transport and communications as a result of the growth of industry and business in the industrial revolution. (5) g) What was the result of the spread of railways, development of basic education & cheap popular newspapers? (5) h) How did political parties react to this growth of political awareness? (5) i) COPY: Therefore as a result of industrialisation, access to information had increased dramatically and this ended people’s ignorance to politics. The spread of cheap newspapers gave the British public political information and, for the first time, an insight in to the different policies of the different parties. Also, as the development of the new printing presses and libraries continued the public were exposed to even more information regarding the politics of the country. The education of the public began to improve, after the 1872 Education Act, which meant that more people were able to understand more of what was happening in British politics. Therefore better access to information acted as an important motive for reform as ignoring the more politically-informed middle and working classes risked serious protest and potential revolution unless the franchise was extended.

2. Changing ideology and attitudes
Many historians believe that the increasing popularity of new political ideologies which inspired the disenfranchised to push for political change, as well as changes in the attitudes of the ruling elites towards the lower classes helped encouraged the British government to extend the franchise. a) Who had political power in 1850s? What was the attitude of these men towards politics? (1-2) b) Explain why MPs and landowners were so opposed to the idea of political reform. (refer to French Revolution and land (Duke of Wellington quote)). (1-3) c) What two new political ideologies were becoming popular? (5-6) d) What rights should people have according to these ideologies? (5-6) e) COPY: The influence of writers and thinkers was crucially important to the spread of new ideas. For example, John Stuart Mill wrote about the principles of democracy and liberty which helped to persuade many educated people of the need for political reform. f) Why was it difficult for the British government to block democratic progress in Britain? (6) g) Explain why the attitudes of the ruling elites changed towards artisans after the 1860s. (refer to education, the American Civil War and British textile workers’ strike) (6) h) Describe how the ruling classes now viewed the skilled working classes as a result of the changes in attitude. (6) i) COPY: These sort of actions convinced many politicians and upper class people that many of the lower classes where educationally and morally worthy of having the vote. j) How does J. Kerr disagree on page 12 with the view in (i)?

3. Popular pressure
It is also claimed that pressure from the people, the work of pressure groups to keep the issue of political reform on the political agenda, and fear of the consequences of failing to satisfy the wishes of the people forced the British government to extend the franchise.

a) What were the names of the main pressure