Essay on Legislation Act

Submitted By eryk96
Words: 523
Pages: 3

Two pieces of legislation were passed in 1884/1885. Who benefitted from the acts and how?

In 1884 Gladstone decided to introduce the great reform act, he was a Prime Minister at that time, and his main opponent was Salisbury, leader of the conservatives. William Gladstone believed that his Liberal party would benefit from the act, as it would extend the vote to the counties – farmers and miners. Immediately we can see he his motives of trying to introduce The Great Reform Act as great number of Liberal voters consisted of working class (famers and miners). The believe was also that people that would benefit from the act would simply feel obligated to vote Liberal to show their gratefulness. Some historians argue that Gladstone decided to introduce the act in order to strengthen the Liberal party, as some radical members were simply making chaos and disorder on the Liberal side. At that time Gladstone was also busy trying to pacify Ireland, and the Great Reform Act would give Irish farmers that were mainly Catholic the vote.
Salisbury however realised the potential of the Act, and he simply couldn’t afford for the Liberal party to gain strength and have such a damaging impact on the Conservatives, therefore he proposed a deal. The Conservative leader had a massive advantage over Gladstone, House of Lords had a conservative majority, and in order for the act to become legal it had to go through House of Lords. In the deal Salisbury made it clear that if Gladstone desires the bill to go through the House of Lords, he’ll have to add a second bill, a redistribution Act. Gladstone presented with the dilemma decided to agree to the deal. In 1885 the Redistribution Act was introduced, and immediately we can observe it heavily favoured the Conservative wing. It created single member constituencies, only one MP from each constituency, this was a major problem for the Liberals, as the party consisted of many radicals which tend to had different opinions and generally argue with each other, this strongly weakened the party as chaos took over. The Redistribution also meant that the