Why Was The Reform Act Passed In 1832?

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The reform act on 1832 was an act passed by Parliament in order to change the way in which the electoral system in the country worked, as it had been virtually unchanged for around 200 years. The act was not new to parliament as the idea of the bill was in fact presented to the government by radical movements wanting change. The fact that the reform act had not been passed earlier even with the pressure of radical movements begs the question as to what changed for the act to be passed later in 1832? What new factors helped in gaining the reform? The problems with the way in which the electoral system worked, meant that the majority people wanted change and therefore pushed for electoral reform. Many constituencies were left underrepresented; As Thomas Paine explains in his book “Right of Man”, cities with thousands were receiving the same representation in parliament as small villages “The town of Old Sarum, which contains not three houses, sends two members; and the town of Manchester, which contains upwards of sixty thousand souls, is not admitted to send any. Is there any principle in these things?” The new industrial towns were also facing troubles with the services in the areas, as there was not enough to of it to cover the rising population the fact that they couldn’t not then bring this issue up due to lack of representation also led to the need for reform. The lack of representation was not the only injustice people felt with the electoral system, suffrage was also corrupt, in many cases powerful landlords in control of small constituencies knows as pocket or nomination boroughs would manipulate inhabitants with such tactics as bribery, force or even their wealth, as usually they were part of nobility, to vote for who they wanted in power. Examples of this can be seen when the Earl of Lonsdale brought 14,000 miners and made then freemen outside their
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