Working Men and the Vote

Britain 1815

Constitutional Monarchy

George III

George IV (Regent)


Limited Franchise




Impact of the French Revolution

Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

Agricultural Revolution


Population Growth

Rural poverty

Industrial Revolution

Rapid industrialisation



Poor labour and living conditions

Development – Industrial Proletariat and Middle Class

Government Action

1799 – Combination Laws

Impact of Napoleonic wars

1815 – Corn Laws


The Luddite Riots  1811-1816

Spa Field Riots, 1916

The March of the Blanketeers 1817

The Peterloo Massacre 1819

The Cato Street Conspiracy 1820

Government Response

The Unreformed Electoral System

Why did things speed up in 1829-30?

Reforming Whigs such as Grey

Political unions


Charles X deposed in France

King dies

How did the 1832 Bill get through Parliament?

(quick recap of how a bill gets through parliament)

King George IV died – William IV

Election – July/Aug 1830 – Reform candidates did well

Wellington resigned,

Whig GVMT under Earl Grey forms administration

Russell introduced bill to abolish 100 rotten boroughs and redistribute seats

Greeted with jeers and howls

Defeated at committee stage

April 1831 Grey persuaded King to dissolve Parliament

Whig majority 136

New Bill introduced – defeated in Lords

Bristol Riots

Attwood protests in Birmingham

Duke of Wellington’s windows smashed

March 1832 – 3rd version of bill passed

Tory Lords try to introduce amendments

Grey asks King to create 50 whig peers – King refused

Grey resigns

Wellington forms GVMT – lasts 6 days

Days of May

Grey returns – king has agreed to make 50 new peers

4 July – many peers abstain, bill passes in Lords

7 July – Royal assent

The 1832 Reform Act xxx

Was the new Poor Law a success?

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