House of Commons passes First Reform Bill by one vote (173 words)

Historical Context Note

  • Editors


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The Whig government led by Charles Grey (Earl Grey), which had come into power on the collapse of Wellington's Tory government in November 1830, made an almost immediate pledge that they would implement electoral reform. They proposed a redistribution of seats that would disenfranchise the smallest (so-called 'rotten') boroughs, and give greater representation to those new industrial towns that were otherwise underepresented. It would also lower the requirement for the franchise from the historical '40-shilling-freeholder' to an annual worth of £10, thus increasing the size of the electorate. Its second reading was attended by a record number of MPs, and passed by only one vote. Later amendments, however, went against the government,…

Editors. "House of Commons passes First Reform Bill by one vote". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 April 2006
[, accessed 27 April 2017.]

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