Explain Why There Was a Demand for Parliamentary Reform 1780-1832?

Topics: French Revolution, Middle class, Napoleonic Wars Pages: 3 (775 words) Published: October 30, 2012
Explain why there was a demand for parliamentary reform 1780-1832?

The British government during the 1700's consisted of the king, who was the head of state and Ministers from the landed gentry who often gained their seats through corrupt methods.

As a result of the American revolution Britain received a tremendous shock to its system with the loss of the thirteen colonies. The war revealed Britain’s limitations and this heightened dissension and escalated political antagonism towards the monarch, George III, and his ministers. At this time the main issues concerning parliament were now representation, parliamentary reform, and government retrenchment.

The Industrial revolution(1780's) created new technology, bringing wealth and prosperity to the country. However, it also took jobs away from artisans and other skilled workers, leaving them unemployed and resentful. The rapid expansion of the Industrial revolution (1780's) also saw many changes occur in the growth of middle class awareness. With the increase in their wealth and education the middle classes felt that they were poorly represented in parliament as they believed that their status in society should have given them more rights. Previously the affairs of parliament had been the priority of the land owners and aristocracy. They took advantage of the pre-dated and corrupt electoral system to maintain their dominance in politics. Through the use of 'rotten boroughs' and other 'under hand' tactics they ensured that the control of the country remained with them. However, with the advent of the industrial revolution middle class society began to question this previously accepted political structure. They believed that they should have a greater role to play in deciding the political future of the country.

Along with the rapid expansion of industry the railways played a pivotal role in delivering information around the country via newspapers. Through these newspapers the press became...
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