1832 Reform Act Essay

709 WordsMar 21, 20123 Pages
Which was more important in the passing of the 1832 Reform Act, the actions of the Whig government or the pressure for reform from outside parliament? The 1832 Reform Act came about after the Whig government gained power, but it had been building up for many years due to pressure from out side parliament, In this essay, I will outline the build up to reform and how the act was passed. The Whigs gained power in November 1830 and were led by Lord Grey. Lord Grey was a long time supporter of parliamentary reform and throughout his party there was a general agreement that some sort of reform was inevitable although many of his ministers were not united on the subject. The Whigs main reasoning behind reform was the fact that they were conscious of the state of public opinion.. The public were overwhelmingly in support of reform especially for the middle classes. The 1832 Reform Act had to go through many stages in order be passed: - The Reform Act was first presented to parliament by Lord John Russell in March 1831. - It then passed its second reading in the House of Commons by one vote but the Tories managed to have the bill amended at the committee stage. - Grey refused to accept these amendments. He requested for parliament to be dissolved and a general election called. - A second reform bill was introduced into the next parliament and once again the Tories had it amended at the committee stage. This time it was accepted by the government. By September 1831 it had been passed to the House of Lords. - The bill was then rejected by the far more Tory sympathetic House of Lords than the elected commons and rejected the bill. - This provoked nationwide protest with riots in some places. - A third bill was then passed through commons in March 1832 and was again met with an amendment. Lord Grey had had enough and asked the King to create 50 Whig peers in
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