Parliamentary Reform of 1832 in England
İngiltere’de 1832 Parlamento Reformu

Author : Yahya Bağçeci
Number of pages : 17-39


In the 19th century, England was ruled by constitutional monarchy. Members of the House of Lords, the upper wing of the parliament, were appointed by the king. The House of Commons, which constitutes the lower wing, was chosen by the votes of the people. In this context, the king, the House of Lords and the House of Commons were elements corresponding to monarchy, aristocracy and democracy respectively. However, there were some important deficiencies or flaws in the electoral system. The most important was the restrictions on the right to vote and inequality of opportunity for public participation in elections. The seat distribution was adjusted for the social structure before the Industrial Revolution. Major industrial centers, where the population increased greatly, were not represented in the House of Commons, while small and insignificant settlements could be represented by two members. It was clear that the parliament should be able to meet the needs of a new society born from the Industrial Revolution. The demand for reform came first from the working class, which emerged as a result of the Industrial Revolution. The July Revolution, which resulted in the fall of Charles X in France in 1830, brought a revival to the issue of parliamentary reform in Britain. However, reformers had to overcome the established opposition to enable political change. For this, political leadership skills and public pressure were needed first. Indeed, Prime Minister Lord Grey, a Whig, addressed the issue of reform. In this study, besides the difficulties encountered during the reform studies, it was tried to reveal how much the Reform Act 1832 was able to correct the mistakes of a system complained for more than half a century in England.


England, representative democracy, July Revolution, Lord Grey, Reform Act 1832.