Reform Act Of 1832 Essay

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The reform act of 1832 saw the first drastic change in parliament and as a result earned the title ‘great’. Not only did the act enable the first real change of structure within government, it allowed different social classes the ability to see how the governing body pursued their decisions. Although the act was not a revolutionary error nor, as Russell phrased it, “the final solution of a great constitutional question” it did however symbolically and physically spell change for Britain. It could be argued that this in itself showed greatness despite the numerous attempts made by Pitt in the 1780’s. Many historians argue that from the sheer fact the act was passed, even if it made little difference, deserved to be described as ‘great’. This…show more content…
The most obvious change which came about was the shift of power between the house of commons and the house of lords. The shift in power only occurred due to the extreme unwillingness of the lords to allow reform as they only eventually passed the act after Grey forced them too. This was the first step to a fairer and less corrupt government as it allowed a decline in political aristocratic power. The act itself was mainly an alliance between those wealthiest in society, which mainly consisted of upper and middle class. One of the important consequences of the act was the increase of middle class power within the election process and within the business world. The Municipal Corporations act of 1835 allowed boroughs to create local authoritative councils. To gain seats on this council the representative had to be elected which resulted in many middle class local governments. The aim of these councils was to reduce the strain on the government by dealing with health, education and other such affairs in their own boroughs. It is safe to say that after the passing of the 1832 act the middle class were satisfied with their new role and the only people dissatisfied with the change were the working class who saw that they didn’t achieve
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