Importance of the 1832 Reform Act Essay

Words: 1901
Pages: 8

To what extent was the 1832 Reform
Act the most important development in politics and government between 1780 and 1832 (36)

Overall, the 1832 Reform Act was a major development in politics and government between 1780 and 1832; however it was not the most important development. It still remained significant to the growth of the period as this was the first official governmental document on reform that was introduced and it set a precedent for further reforms. Whilst it only removed the worst abuses in the existing system, the Act started to make Britain more democratic. It introduced more just representation of the franchise and made it its primary aim to demolish the majority of pocket and rotten boroughs. Nevertheless, bribery
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Lord Liverpool’s similar phase of repression in later years was also significant development in parliament between 1780 and 1832. His government like Pitts, feared growing threat of radicalism in Britain and imposed a number if policies in order to suppress any revolution. During this period,
Liverpool introduced commandments on nutrition such as the Corn Laws and the Game Laws.
These limited availability of vital foods angering the British public. It seemed as if the aristocracy were protecting their interests at the expense of the poor. Similarly, the abolition of income tax and the subsequent increase in indirect taxation further enflamed the working class. The poor became poorer and living conditions were becoming worse by the day. This caused rioting amongst all classes, especially the working class driven by economic motives. These various protests in the country led to the introduction of measures such as the suspension of Habeas Corpus and the Six
Acts. Growing tension of the nation was made worse by a series of bad harvests which raised the price of bread; the primary food source of the working class. In general, Lord Liverpool’s repressive phase angered the public, especially the working class, leading to increasing desire of parliamentary reform to occur within the country’s government.