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Victorian politics: becoming modern Britain Key institutions:Key concerns: 1820s-40s Monarchy(inherited) franchise/politics formalized House of Lords (1º.

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Presentation on theme: "Victorian politics: becoming modern Britain Key institutions:Key concerns: 1820s-40s Monarchy(inherited) franchise/politics formalized House of Lords (1º."— Presentation transcript:

1 Victorian politics: becoming modern Britain Key institutions:Key concerns: 1820s-40s Monarchy(inherited) franchise/politics formalized House of Lords (1º inherited)1850s-80s Reform Acts House of Commons (elected) political party system Tories (Conservatives) 1890s-1914 Whigs (Liberals) broaden suffrage ‘the Irish question’ constitutional crisis

2 (Re) ordering Society ‘civil society is that domain in which public activities of a collective and individual kind may be freely enacted’ growing power of central government creates the structure within which citizens act, to create civil society

3 Roots of arguments for change what spelled success? Continental radicalism (not) Labour radicals (ish) Political challenge Political philosophers Whig challenge yes, but needed a model for change respectable, outside politics ….

4 Less respectable radicals: worker’s find their voice Luddites historyartisans, not workers history of protest actionbreaking burning fighting a murder meaningfear demand for rights political Wages of hand-loom weavers YearWeekly pay 180027s. 181515s. 18208s.

5 The Peterloo Massacre: 16 August 1819 circumstances in place influential leaders:Henry Hunt William Cobbett Tories disallowed meetings Manchester –200 000+ citizens no MP 50-60 000 people 11 killed and 50-400 wounded

6 The Queen Caroline Question Caroline of Brunswick, the injured Queen of England Why did anyone care? → fuel for radicals and Whigs → signifier of social inequity that favoured of morally devoid upper classes → marker for moral reformers as new citizenship ideal new era of change, with broad, shifting coalitions working for it

7 Burroughs Samples Borough PatronMPsHouses in Borough Voters in 1831 BramberDuke of Rutland 23520 CallingtonLord Clinton 222542 DunwichLord Huntingfield24432 East LooeJohn Buller 216738 GattonSir Mark Wood 2237 Old SarumEarl of Caledon 2311 NewtownSir Fitzwilliam Barrington 21423 Plympton Earle Earl of Mount Edgcumbe 218240 Under 500149 500-100032 Over 100022

8 Electoral map in 1790 EnglandMPs 196 buroughs 2 members 392 5 buroughs 1 member5 2 buroughs (London and Weymouth) 4 members8 40 English counties 2 members80 2 English universities 2 members4 Wales 5 Welsh buroughs 1 member5 7 groups of buroughs 1 member7 12 Welsh counties112 Scots 15 burghs1 member15 27 counties1 member27 6 counties paired3 Total constituencies 314Total MPS 558

9 And who would have that vote? In 1820:516 000 of 21 000 000 (2.5%) men property owners members CofE mostly English although others participate

10 Respectable Radicals m.c. ideals placing women at home dominant ‘she carried out her duties as mistress of a small family with ‘piety, patience, frugality and industry’’ Challenged by a) 18C ♀ philosophers: i.e. bluestockings ‘see also: ‘nerd’ Mary Wollstonecraft Hannah More b) activists: abolition education for girls imperial feminism CD Acts age of consent universal suffrage help others how civilized are we?

11 Swing Riots – not only urban issues There were 1,976 trials in total. Of the men tried: Sentenced to death252Executed19 Commuted to life transportation233Transported505 Imprisoned644 Fined7 Whipped1 Acquitted/bound over800

12 What does radical change look like? Repeal of Test and Corporations Acts (1828) qualified non-Conformists gained the right to formal politics i.e. Joseph Storrs Fry, Quaker, (Bristol, 1767-1835) Catholic Emancipation Act (1829) most public offices opened to Catholics Reform Act (1832) Parliamentary reform Regularized franchise rights granted more middle class men voting rights (increased to 7% adults)

13 A Failure of an Act? political corruption remained Social reform needed empire slavery ended (1830) Factory Acts (1833) Poor Law (1834) govt. replaced parishes removed wage subsidies abolished ‘outdoor’ relief created ‘Poor Houses’ Repeal of the Corn Laws (1846)

14 Witham parish workhouse (2002), 1714 Birmingham workhouse (1860s)‘archway of tears’

15 Chartist Movement Gains limited:not universal – lower middle classes and upper working classes betrayed MALE specifically the People's Charter of 1838 universal suffrage for men over 21 equal-sized electoral districts voting by secret ballot an end to the need for a property qualification for Parliament a salary for Members of Parliament annual election of Parliament

16 Kennington Common, 1848

17 Repeal of the Corn Laws and Ireland Debate over the Corn Laws central to Parliamentary debates and the development of Party politics for three decades 1805 duty on imported grain; protection of landowners 1815 upheld at end of Napoleonic Wars seen as keeping food costs high for urban population Irish question also split politics also debates over Ireland: Daniel O’Connell (1775-1847) RC emancipation 1829; Tithe War, 1830s; anti-Union 1840s

18 an Gorta Mór (1845-52) and UK Politics 1840s Ireland:political hotbed, and economically unstable → too many families sustained on too small plots of land → tithing (by RC families) to CofI enforced by militia When a virus hit the potato crop, famine resulted → parliament in London asked to rescind Corn Laws to allow cheaper grain crops [corn] to reach Ireland …. long debate

19 Result → brought down Peel’s Conservatives; support to liberals → est. 1 million died; 1 million emigrated → London increasingly able, and willing to reach into every citizen’s life to enact change

20 Famine Memorial, Dublin - Rowan Gillespie

21 Political divisions harden (1850s-80s) Key IssuesKey figures Whigs working class supportWilliam Gladstone (1809-98) Home Rule form Irelandevangelical Liberals cautious imperialist Tories upper middle class supportBenjamin Disraeli (1804-81) Union (Ireland with England)Anglican convert Conservatives dandy, womanizer political outsider ardent imperialist ear of the Queen

22 Second Reform Act (1867) Representation of the People Act replaced Liberal proposal voted down 1866 gained w.c. support for Conservatives married artisans, respectable w.c., male ‘heads of households’ (lodging worth £10) 2.5 million or 1/3 male adults – many fewer in Ireland No women

23 And subsequently Further Liberal Reform: disestablishment of the CofE in Ireland (1868) Irish Land Act (1870) Education Act Civil Service Act Military Acts (1871) religious tests ended Oxford and Cambridge (1871) trade unions, secret ballot, reformed judiciary (1870s) 1880s: franchise to rural heads of households 5.6/36mill election reform; redistribution of seats & 90% elected 1832: qualified women in local elections, and political volunteers

24 and into the 20C beginning of the end of the Liberal Party over Ireland joined by intellectual radicals, unions – part became Labour (1906) South African War (1899-1902) Women’s Suffrage demands get radical had sharpened their teeth on abolition, radicalism, CDActs could not own property but moral strength 1918

25 Conclusion Only a collusion of forces was enough to enact change in Britain: moderate whigs in parliament their bourgeoisie supporters respectable evangelical reformers labour and political radical Resulted in a liberal democracy like nowhere else

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