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The Reform Act of 1832 marked the triumph of democratic politics. Do you agree - Essay Example

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For instance, it revolutionized the electoral process of England and Wales (Zaide, 1994, p.259). The act was crafted with the sole purpose of…
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The Reform Act of 1832 marked the triumph of democratic politics. Do you agree
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Download file to see previous pages reforms had been suggested recurrently, but without success.Eventually, the Whigs, headed by the then Prime Minister, Lord Grey, managed to pass this legislation. As a result, Great Britain became a mature democracy (Johnston, 1997, p.86).
The first step towards democracy in Great Britain was ushered in with the passing of the Reform Act of 1832. The introduction of this act was aimed at getting rid of all inequalities in modern Britain, especially the corrupt boroughs where various members of parliament were selected by very few voters (Bayly, 1989, p. 164).The 1832 Reform Act also entrenched the right to take part in the electoral process, based uniformly on the property and level of income (Collier, 1999, p.63). What catapulted the process of passing of this reform was the rising level of dissatisfaction with the preexisting political status quo(Whitefield, 2001, pp.79-81). While historical skeptics dwell on fact that the act made few changes to the electoral system, it cannot be denied that the reform sanitized the electoral process (Aghion and Durlauf, 2005, p.458).
Between 1806 and 1832, the number of contested elections never used to exceed 38 percent, and in most cases lower than 30 percent.Following the enactment of the law, the number of contested election seats shot up to 74 percent. In fact, between 1832 and 1865, the average number of contested elections stood at 59 percent. Not only could more people exercise their rights to vote, but also more of them were accorded the opportunity to do so. Shortly after the passage of this legislation, the number of adult males entitled to take part in the voting process rose from 478,000 to over 800,000 (Whitefield, 2001, pp.78-81). This reflected a near doubling of the electorates. This figure had never been witnessed before the Reform Act.Following the entrenchment of the Reform Bill into law, the number of constituencies increased in Great Britain. Twenty-two new boroughs had two seats in parliament, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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