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Why did Britain become more democratic between 1867 & 1928?

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Humanities Department

on 24 September 2015

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Transcript of Why did Britain become more democratic between 1867 & 1928?

Social Changes:
Improved Education:
Why did Britain become more democratic between 1867 & 1928?
Long Term Factors
Urbanisation: Britain's changing population
In the 1850s as many people lived in towns and cities as did in the countryside.
By the 1900s the majority of Britain's population lived in towns and cities.
For hundreds of years political power was in the hands of people who owned vast areas of the land of Britain.
Industrialisation changed this.
The new wealth lay with factory owners, mine owners and those involved in trade and business. The wealthy middle classes now wanted a say in the running of the country. They argued that because they were the new wealth creators of the country they should have more of a say in the running of the country.
After 1860 the fear of the ‘revolutionary mob’ had declined. Skilled working men in cities were more educated and respectable. That was an argument for extending the vote in 1867.
Connect: Democracy True / False Quiz
The Secret Ballot Act was passed in 1867.
After the 1911 Parliament Act, MPs were paid £400/year.
A university student could vote two times in the same general election in 1918.
After the 1884 Representation of the People Act all working class men could vote.
The 1885 Redistribution of the Seats Act created constituencies of roughly equal size.
After 1883 candidates could only spend £1000 on an election campaign.
The 1918 Redistribution of the Seats Act gave women the vote for the first time.
Catalysts for Change:
"Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people."
which do you think can be classed as long term causes of change and which come under short term causes?
Throughout the 19th & early 20th Century, Britain was going through massive social and economic changes. These changes did not lead to any single reforms, but were part of sweeping changes across Britain which created more pressure for the government to pass democratic reforms.
Long Term
for Change:
Social Changes
Whilst this obviously meant Parliamentary Constituencies had to change to reflect this, it triggered many greater pressures for change.
in cities the working classes saw thousands of people in the same situation as themselves. Perhaps, if they united, change could be achieved.
Urbanisation and growing class identity within an industrial workforce and the spread of socialist ideas led to demands for a greater voice for the working classes.
It was far easier to organise protests in towns and cities than if you lived in the countryside.
1867 Reform Act:
1884 Reform Act:
1918 Reform Act:
Greater influence given to skilled working class men in towns.
All skilled working class men have the vote.
All working class men have the vote.
Decreasing power of landowners.
Changes such as the Secret Ballot took away the power of landowners & businessmen to 'bully' voters
The redistribution of seats in 1867 & 1885 recognised that political power now lay with the people of Britain and the majority lived in towns.
The old fashioned idea that land owners should rule Britain simply because they owned the land had died by 1900.

1. How did Britain's population distribution change from 1850-1900s?
2. In what way did this create pressure for democratic reform?
3. What was the result of urbanisation on the political power of land-owners?
1. How did industrialisation change the balance of power in Britain?
2. Which reform acts do you think can be directly linked to industrialisation?

1876 & 1902 Education Acts
Cheap paper + high speed printing presses + spread of railways = growth of national newspapers.
working classes more politically aware
Short Term Factors:
Read through the cards as a group.
Sort the cards into 6 categories.
Arrange these categories from most to least influential.
Short Term Factors: Jigsaw Task
Read through the crib sheet you have been given.

Copy down each heading, summarise the info in no more than 3 bullet points.

Explain which Reform Acts could be linked to each factor.
The House of Lords lost all powers after the 1911 Parliament Act
By 1928, Britain was fully democratic
The Liberals were responsible for passing the majority of democratic reforms
1. Looking at your timeline, how would you describe the pace of democratic reforms? Why do you think this is?
Which factor(s) do you think were most important in creating pressure for reform? Explain your answer
Write a paragraph in your jotters explaining your decision.
Explain how the factor you have created pressure for the passing of democratic reforms
What evidence can be used to support this?
What reform Acts could be linked to the pressure caused by this factor.
What are the key arguments showing this factor to be important.
What arguments can be made AGAINST this factor being important.
Short term pressures for change
The Great War & Changing Attitudes
Pressure Groups
Political Advantage
Fears of Socialism
International Pressures
Full transcript