My study blog

Why Democracy…

Posted by lednum on April 5, 2007


Government was an oligarchy, a Government that had not been voted in and did not represent working masses.
“bourgeoisie” (middle-class) began to grow and demanded political representation.
E.P Thompson developed class consciousness – the understanding of the different groups and their differences.
“bourgeoisie” had respect but did not have the vote.
Great Reform Act (1832) gave “bourgeoisie” the vote but forgot working class.
Great unrest between working and upper-classes

Social Factors E.P Thompson

Urbanisation – the movement of people from countryside to towns and cities; increase in the working class.
Poverty – the working classes were tired of being oppressed, they needed help which would come from political representation.
Gender – the women’s push for the vote through the suffragettes movement may have pushed the Government to increase the electorate.

Political Factors John Cannon

Government was an oligarchy. New reform acts meant they now needed the public’s vote.
The emergence of class consciousness helped classes to see their situations.
Trade Unions were fighting for the working class to get the vote.
2nd Reform Act (1867) didn’t franchise 2/3 men. Working classes were angry at the lack of political representation.

Economical Factors Pat Thane

Industrial revolution – created the skilled working class and the bourgeoisie. They all demanded political representation.
Trade Union movement – lead to a demand for representation from the working class. Labour Party was created to find a place for the working class within the political system of

External Factors Norman Gash

French Revolution – showed British what could be done.
Democratic changes in
Italy and
USA encouraged
Britain to do similar.


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