The bill aimed at extending manhood suffrage. It was introduced by William Gladstone in March 1866 as a result of increasing public pressure on the part of the Reform league and Liberal MPs who were sympathetic to the working classes. Three months later an amendment to the bill brought down the Russell-Gladstone government in June and the bill was dropped. The succeeding Tory Ministers failed to push the bill forward and the Reform League started major agitations throughout the country. See our entry on the Hyde Park Riots.
Editors. "Reform Bill". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 March 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=13845, accessed 22 December 2014.]