Political Unions, Popular Politics and the Great Reform Act by Nancy D. Lopatin

By Nancy D. Lopatin

This booklet is the 1st at the production, improvement and effect of well known politics, in particular the function of Political Unions, at the nice Reform Act of 1832. Political Unions and the strength of public opinion performed a necessary position in seeing the Reform invoice via Parliament and surroundings England at the direction of peaceable, legislative reform. Their emphasis on representing the 'industrious' sessions associated the Unions to the rising debates - political and socio-economic - in later Victorian Britain and the evolution of British participatory democracy.

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Sample text

II The task before Attwood was daunting. In order to achieve that, it would be necessary to galvanize 'public opinion [so that] instead of being scattered and diffused throughout the country, and concealed within the breasts of individuals, will be collected and concentrated in influential masses . '39 Attwood's plan to use extra-parliamentary agitation for enfranchising Birmingham is not known, nor how he intended to revise it to create a national movement. No doubt he believed that other commercial and manufacturing centres would accept his arguments concerning provincial England's economic plight and embrace his solution of currency reform.

Speeches were made by Council members as to the soundness of the proposal and the wisdom of adopting scot and lot rather than universal manhood suffrage, as the Union's chief goal. 89 The meeting ended with cheers for Attwood and the Marquis, and membership in the following days continued to rise. With heightened confidence, Attwood returned to London in June. C. Hobhouse, his old friend The BPU and the Origins of the Campaign 33 Davenport and Lord John Russell. They discussed the idea of 'Union' and he impressed upon them that the BPU was composed of respectable men and not wild revolutionaries.

On his way, Attwood met Daniel O'Connell to seek his opinion on the legality of the Union and its constitution. 82 IV May became the decisive month in the formation of the BPU, both in securing members and in committing it to a set of objectives, thereby orienting the organization ideologically as well. The event 32 Political Unions and the Great Reform Act which precipitated this latter development was the Marquis of Blandford's presentation in February of a plan to transfer seats from close boroughs to large towns and to reform suffrage qualifications.

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