Reform Act

BA 3rd semester, 2019

Himanka Deka, Kaveri Rajbongshi, Barasha Rani Bora, Mridula Kalita, Riju Mani Rajbongshi, Violina Gautam, Jupitara Mazumdar, Bhabana Devi and Iramani Deka

Prepared under the guidance of Dr. Dipen Bezbaruah


  • .In which year Reform Act was passed?

Ans: In 1832 Reform Act was passed.

  • Reform  Act 1832 is also known as ———–.

Ans: Great Reform Act.

  • Write two merits of Reform Act 1832.

The two merits of Reform acts are as follows.

a) The landlords were compelled to cooperate with the middle class people due to their decreasedinfluence.

b) It increased the significances of the House of Commons and it was organized on democratic  principles.

  • Name the two political parties of England?

Ans:  Whig (liberal) and Tory are two political parties of England.

  • Which Act introduced women in to the electorate for the first time in British history?

Ans:  The Representation of People Act 1918 allowed women to vote for the very first time. It also allowed all men  over the age of 21 to vote.  Before this law, women were not allowed to vote in general elections at all. Some men could vote, but not all of them. Those who could exercise had to have property in order to be able to vote. So it excluded people who were not wealthy.

However, the Act could not abolish gender biasness. While in case of men- regardless of whether they own property -all could vote over the  age of 21, for women the age was 30. The men in the armed forces could vote from the age of 19. But, to be a voter a women needed to own property.

  • In which year the Whigs gained power?

Ans:  In 1830 the Whigs gained power.

  • What did the Great Reform Bill of 1832 do?

Ans: The 1832 Reform Act was the first major attempt in changing the static Parliamentary system since the sixteenth century. It was, in fact, the beginning of the evolution of British politics. The Act changed the franchise qualification in both borough and county constituencies and consequently. It resulted in the increase of electorate from 478,000 to 813,000; which grew further as wealth increased and more men owned enough property to qualify for the vote. The redistribution of 143 seats resulted in industrial boroughs such as Manchester and Sheffield gaining an MP for the very first time and subsequently, there was a rise in the number of urban middle class voters who were now recognised and admitted into the political system. In contrast, the monarch’s influence in politics decreased due to the Reform Act. The following were some of the significant effects of the Reform Act of 1832.

  1. This Act enhanced the franchise threefold and the total number of the voters reached the figure of five lacks. Thus, one person out of every 24 of the total population now came to possess the right to vote.
  2. As a result of this Reform Act the political power slipped into the hands of the middle class in the towns and the rural area also. The landlords and farmers continued to maintain their supremacy in the counties.
  3. The landlords were compelled to cooperate with the middle class people due to their decreased influence. Now it becomes essential for them to look after the interests of the voters.
  4. The members of the Whig party and the liberals played a prominent role in passing this Act; therefore their supremacy was established in place of the Whigs.
  5. It adversely affected the powers and rights of the king and the nobles. It also made it abundantly clear that the powers of the king had no significance in comparison to the powers of the House of Commons. In case of conflict, the king was forced to support the House of Commons and he had to act according to the wishes of the prime minister.
  6. The principle of change was approved by the politicians due to this Reform Act. Real democracy was established in England after the Act of 1832 and the way to parliamentary reform was opened up.
  7. It increased the significance of the House of Commons and it was organised on democratic principles; hence it became a representative body of the people.
  8. It weakened the power of the lords and they lost the sympathy and respect of the people by opposing this Act.
  9. This act changed the outlook of the Tories and the reformists began to assemble in the Whig party which came to be known as a liberal party.
  • How many Reform Acts were there?

Ans: There were three Reform Acts- 1832,1867 and 1884.

  • Who introduced Reform Act?

Ans: Prime Minister Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey presided over the passage of the Reform Act of 1832.

  • What were the proposals of the Reform Act?

Ans: The proposal of the Reform Act was shifting the balance of representation away from landowners and towards middle class by giving representation in the parliament.

  • Write one impact of Reform Act .

Ans:  One of the most obvious success of the 1832 Reform Act was that it removed from the political setup the oddities that were rotten boroughs.

  • How much did the electorate rise in the counties after the Reform Act?

Ans: 240000 to 370000.

  • What was the full name of Reform Act?

Ans: The Representation of the people Act 1832.

  • What was the precondition for being a voter according to Reform Act 1832?

Ans: To be a voter one needed to own property worth at least £10.

  • What five things caused Reforms?

Ans:  Tory, Collapse, Whig revival, French Revolution, King’s death, middle and working class alliance.

  •  When was the first Reform Act introduced? What was the outcome?

Ans: In 1831, the House of Commons passed a Reform Bill. But the House of Lords, dominated by the                Tories defeated it. There followed serious political and social instabilities such as riots in Many places                 such as London, Birmingham, Derby, Nottingham, etc.

  • Who was the first woman to vote in UK?

Ans: Lily Maxwell was the first woman to vote in 1867.

(In 1867 there was a by-election for the local Member of Parliament, and although women were not allowed to vote at the time, all men who were ratepayers were. Somehow, Lily’s name erroneously appeared on the registered list of voters. On the day of the vote Lily marched to her local polling station at Chorlton Town Hall. Accompanied by Becker, Lily cast her vote. In those days, you had to announce out loud your choice of candidate and unsurprisingly this caused much commotion. However, as Lily was clearly listed, the returning officer had little choice but to accept her vote. It is said that the room erupted with cheers for Britain’s first ever female voter. ) [Lily Maxwell: The first woman to vote – The History Press, Retrieved on 9-6-2019/ URL:

  • Which British Prime Minister introduced the system of secret ballot voting in 1872?

Ans: In Great Britain the secret ballot was  introduced for all parliamentary and municipal elections by the       Ballot Act of 1872. The secret ballot mandated by the Act was first used on 15 August 1872 to re-elect Hugh      Childers as MP for Pontefract in a ministerial by-election, following his appointment as Chancellor of the        Duchy of Lancaster.

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