AP-Suffrage In England

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"Describe the steps taken between 1832 and 1918 to extend the suffrage in England. What group and movements contributed to the extension of the vote?" Several groups, movements and reform bills passed between 1832 and 1918 extended the suffrage in England. The process took many years and the voting rights were first given to the wealthier and more distinguished men, then later to the less wealthy men, and finally to women. The major reform bills that extended the suffrage in England were the Reform Bill of 1832, 1867, and 1884, and the Qualification of Women Act in 1917. (Mazour, Peoples) The suffrage movement began in 1832 when the Reform Bill of 1832 was passed by parliment. The Prime Minister since 1830, Earl Grey, authored the Bill and…show more content…
Another problem with the voting system was the lack of a private vote. Employers could influence the way their employees voted by threatening to punish them if they failed to vote for their preffered candidate. This problem was fixed in 1872, when William Gladstone's government passed the Ballot Act which guaranteed a secret system of voting. Although the immediate results of the reform act were not earth shattering, the country had taken, as Lord Derby said, "a leap in the dark." Strikes, union advances, and labor organization were powerful forces for change in the final years of the century. William Gladstone was elected as Prime Minister of England for the second time in 1880 and the most important legislative action that took place during his second ministry was the Reform Act of 1884. The reform act was rejected the first time it was presented to the House of Lords, but accepted the second time because it was accompanied by a redistribution act, which had the following implications. "(i) seventy-nine towns with populations smaller than 15,000 lost their right to elect an MP; (ii) thirty-six with populations between 15,000 and 50,000 lost one of their MPs and became single member constituencies; (iii) towns with populations between 50,000 and 165,000 were given two seats; (iv) larger towns and the country constituencies were divided into single member constituencies" (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PR1885.htm). The actual Reform Act of 1884
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