Alison Martin Britain How important was political opportunism as a reason for Britain becoming more democratic between 1851 and 1928 ? Between 1851 and 1928 Britain evolved into a democracy. This happened due to various reasons. Some historians believe that the most important reason for parliamentary reform was political opportunism, whereas other historians believe that it was other factors that caused Britain to become a democracy. The other factors were: the long term legacy of the French revolution, the impact of the industrial revolution on British society, the new voting system which replaced the outdated one.
b) Using your own knowledge as well as the extract, explain why recent reforms can be said to have made the House of Lords more legitimate. Recent reforms have made the House of Lords more legitimate, the 2001 reforms made by Blair’s government meant that that most hereditary peers were no longer part of the Lords – this meant that the people in the Lords were not their because of their blood but because of their expertise and interest in subjects relating to discussing inside the chamber. Blair, by removing hereditary peers made the Lords more accountable and more professional. The Lords become a real discussion based chamber with key figures from around the country invited to discuss and debate topics which meant something to them. However, the Lords have always had a strong hold on the Commons, overriding them more times than the government’s own backbenchers.
Nevertheless, progressive reformers and the federal government were for the most part effective in bringing reform to the political, economic, and social problems throughout the country in the early 1900’s. Political problems during the Progressive Era were big issues due to the previous role of the political machine, a political organization contained of a boss and many people underneath who used bribery to obtain votes for their respective parties. The abuse of political machines pushed reformers toward the idea of a greater democracy. The most important reform in politics throughout the early 1900’s was that of the direct primary. The idea that voters could choose presidential candidates was new because normally only a select number of people would be able to do so.
In addition a function of pressure groups is to inform and educate the public, this allow improvement of democracy as the electorate can make a more informed decision in political participation, such as the general election and referendums. This may also encourage more political participation as there are more options and pressure group activity is focused and accessible as action varies from donating to protesting. The fact that there are many pressure groups and of a variety supports pluralism, also competition is created in open forum for public and governmental attention. However pressure groups can also be seen to weaken pluralist democracy. Pressure groups should be increasing the effect of pluralism when some pressure groups may distribute their resources unevenly, as some pressure groups may hold a disproportionate amount of power.
The rise of the Labour party was a crucial factor for the drive of reform for the Liberal party. The new Labour Party promised social reform and the Liberals were worried about losing votes. Reform could therefore be seen as a rather selfish, political advantageous response to political change. Since 1884, most working class men had the vote and the Liberals wanted to attract those votes. So therefore it was for their own political advantage of the Liberal government to offer social reform, even if they did not fully believe in the principle of government intervention in people’s everyday lives.
They profited immensely, “and so it went, in industry after industry—shrewd, efficient businessmen building empires, choking out competition, maintaining high prices, keeping wages low, using government subsidies. These industries were the first beneficiaries of the ‘welfare state’,” (Zinn 257). And so began the first leanings of America towards a capitalist government. I was not entirely surprised by the events laid out in this chapter. This is getting into the Industrial Revolution, a time where big business controlled the way millions lived and worked.
This proved effective as Americans began to restore their trust in the banking system. The EBA also demonstrated how government power was expanding, as the program allowed the government to ignore states’ and businesses’ rights to shut down the banks. In the statement by John L. Lewis, Lewis praises the Wagner Act, which was FDR’s response to the “widespread labor unrest”. The Wagner Act addressed the concerns of workers over their rights as union members and ability to collectively bargain. The act proved effective as labor unrest began to dwindle.
The rise of political parties as the fundamental organizing unit of the Second Party System represented a sharp break from the values that had shaped Republican and Federalist political competition. Leaders in the earlier system remained deeply suspicious that parties could corrupt and destroy the young republic. At the heart of the new legitimacy of parties, and their forthright celebration of democracy, was the dramatic expansion of voting rights for white men. Immediately after the Revolution most states retained some property requirements that prevented poor people from voting. Following republican logic, citizens were believed to need an economic stake in society in order to be trusted to vote wisely.
Because the constitution was unwritten it was ever expanding to fit the needs of the Republic and its people. It is because of this “elastic” constitution, the republic lasted so long in Roman history. The early republic was controlled by an aristocracy. The patricians, who could trace their ancestry, back to the early history of the kingdom had the most sway over the government and the laws were made to keep them in power. (“The Roman Republic”) Over time, the laws that allowed these individuals to dominate the government were replaced and the result was a new aristocracy.
Devante Wheeler 107754143 Polarization: A Healthy American Democracy POL 32401 American Political Parties and Pressure Groups Professor Jeremiah Garretson Political Polarization occurs when the factions of government diverge and goes to the extremes. The American political system has been subject to change in order to develop a better democracy. Fifty years polarization was uncommon due to the amount of different parties that were present within the political system. In our modern system polarization will help with the progression towards a better democracy. Polarization is a healthy choice for the American Democracy because it helps clarify the legislative process while creating party discipline, presents clear choices