When Did Britain Become A Democracy?

969 words - 4 pages

When Did Britain Become A Democracy?

A democracy is a system of government where the majority of the population has the right to vote for government representatives from several political parties.
There was a situation in the 1820s that caused problems to the people in Britain some of them were: no women were allowed to vote, nobody who voted could keep their vote a secret and that only men had the right to become MPs. These are just a few but you can imagine how many more there are. From Sir Philip Francis we can tell that barely any people voted because he said that “I was elected by one voter to represent this borough in parliament. There was no other candidate or opposition.”
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Before the Act, only one million of the five million adult males in England and Wales could vote; the Act immediately doubled that number. Moreover, by the end of 1868 all male heads of household were enfranchised as a result of the end of compounding of rents. At this time Britain was not very democratic before this second act but after the act it would have become 2xs more democratic than it was before.

The 1884 Reform Act was the third Reform Act to Britain’s voting system in the 19th century. This act was to target rural areas that had been bypassed by 1867 act. By the 1880s it was widely recognised that voters in counties deserved the same political rights as those in the boroughs and this led to the 1884 Parliamentary Reform Act. This Act created a uniform franchise in both county and borough and applied to the United Kingdom as a whole. However, plural voting was permitted (whereby a man could have more than one vote in certain circumstances). Nevertheless, this Act enfranchised a significant number of voters and approximately two in three men now had the vote, almost 18% of the total population.
In the nineteenth century women had no place in national politics. They could not stand as candidates for Parliament. They were not even allowed to vote. It was assumed that women did not need the vote because their husbands would take responsibility in political matters. A woman's role was seen to be child-rearing and taking care of the home.
As a result of the industrial revolution many women were in full-time employment, which meant they had opportunities to meet in large organised groups to discuss political and social issues.
Organised campaigns for women's suffrage began to...

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