New
New
Year 9

Calls for reform and the 1832 Great Reform Act

I can explain why the Great Reform Act was introduced in 1832 and assess its impact on representation for industrial workers.

New
New
Year 9

Calls for reform and the 1832 Great Reform Act

I can explain why the Great Reform Act was introduced in 1832 and assess its impact on representation for industrial workers.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Britain's unreformed parliament represented industrial workers poorly.
  2. The Whig government of Earl Grey and the Birmingham Political Union (BPU) helped bring about the 1832 Great Reform Act.
  3. The Great Reform Act expanded the franchise and gave representation to industrial towns.
  4. Despite the Great Reform Act, only one in five men could vote after 1832.
  5. Rules around being an MP were not changed by the Reform Act and remained a barrier to industrial workers representation.

Common misconception

Most campaigners for reform like the BPU wanted all adults in Britain to be enfranchised.

The BPU campaigned for tax-paying males to be enfranchised, which would have continued to exclude many poor workers as well as women.

Keywords

  • Franchise - the franchise refers to the group of people who can vote in a country's elections

  • Constituencies - the individual areas of a country that elect someone to represent them in Parliament are called constituencies

  • Disproportionate - something may be described as disproportionate if it is too large or small in comparison to something else

  • Rotten borough - a rotten borough was a constituency which elected an MP despite having very few voters

  • Representation - representation is the act of speaking or doing something officially for another person

Ask students how the problems described in learning cycle 1 could have led the government to introduce and maintain laws like the Corn Laws.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains depictions of discriminatory behaviour.
  • Contains conflict or violence.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

Video

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6 Questions

Q1.
Write the missing word. Lord Liverpool's government was described as because it opposed social progress and reform.
Correct Answer: reactionary, Reactionary
Q2.
What is universal suffrage?
Correct answer: system where all adults can vote
system where all men can vote
system where all women can vote
system where all taxpayers can vote
Q3.
What did the violent attack by local yeomanry on a crowd at St Peter's Field in Manchester become known as?
Policeman's Massacre
Correct answer: Peterloo Massacre
Manchester Massacre
Petrograd Massacre
Q4.
Which two groups were commonly employed in cotton mills?
Correct answer: children
skilled men
skilled women
Correct answer: unskilled women
Q5.
Which statement is most accurate?
The Peterloo Massacre encouraged the government to pass revolutionary laws
The Peterloo Massacre encouraged the government to pass radical laws
Correct answer: The Peterloo Massacre encouraged the government to pass reactionary laws
Q6.
Starting with the earliest, sort the events into chronological order.
1 - Corn Laws passed
2 - Public anger towards the government grows
3 - A large crowd meets at St Peter's Field
4 - Manchester yeomanry kill peaceful protestors
5 - Government introduces the Six Acts

6 Questions

Q1.
Match up the key words with their correct definitions.
Correct Answer:constituencies,areas that elect someone to represent them in Parliament

areas that elect someone to represent them in Parliament

Correct Answer:franchise,the group of people who can vote in a country's elections

the group of people who can vote in a country's elections

Correct Answer:universal suffrage,a system where all adults can vote

a system where all adults can vote

Q2.
Write the missing word. Old Sarum was a well-known borough as it had no actual population living in its constituency boundaries by 1831.
Correct Answer: rotten, Rotten
Q3.
Who was the new prime Minister who supported reform in 1830?
Correct answer: Earl Grey
Lord Liverpool
Thomas Attwood
William Cobbett
Q4.
How many adult men could vote after the passage of the Great Reform Act?
one in two
one in three
one in four
Correct answer: one in five
Q5.
Which statement is most accurate?
After the Peterloo Massacre, the public was too scared to protest for reform
After the Peterloo Massacre, the public was banned from protesting for reform
Correct answer: After the Peterloo Massacre, the public continued to protest for reform
Q6.
Manchester and Totnes were both able to elect two MPs after the Great Reform Act. Based on this, which statement is most accurate?
The Great Reform Act made sure that all areas were represented proportionately
The Great Reform Act made representation of areas more disproportionate
Correct answer: The Great Reform Act still left some areas disproportionately represented

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