HOW DEMOCRATIC WAS BRITAIN BY 1900-28? (RIGHT TO VOTE (KU (In 1850 only…
HOW DEMOCRATIC WAS BRITAIN BY 1900-28?
RIGHT TO VOTE
In 1850 only wealthy men were allowed to vote meaning 6/7 men couldn't vote. A second reform was introduced to give men paying £10 rent living in cities and towns.
Significant as it gave some working class men the right to vote, meaning men from all classes had a say in politics.
Impact of this was limited as it discriminated against all women and men living in the countryside.
The presentation of the people act in 1928 gave all men and women the right to vote who were over 21
This was significant as it created a much more equal voting system as now men and women had a say in politics
However it can be argued that Britain was not fully democratic as young adults over the age of 16 could work and pay taxes but still could not vote therefore having little political influence.
In 1850 government was not accountable as 6 out of 7 men and all women weren't able to vote.
The 1911 parliament act drastically cut the house of lords power. They lost all power over 'money bills' which concerned tax and government spending and lost the ability to veto bills.
This was significant in making Britain more democratic as it reduced the power of the house of lords and increased the power of elected representatives.
However the impact of this factor was limited as the government could not be accountable unless the house of lords was abolished
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
FAIR VOTING SYSTEM
Britian was undemocratic because people still bribed voters and intimadted people as there was no private voting candidates who over spent on campaigns meaning people who were well off had the upper hand in the election
In 1872 the ballot act was introduced allowing a secret ballot to reduce intimidation an the 1882 corrupt and illegal practices act punished people found cheating.
This made Britain more democratic as people voted for what they actually believed and became more fair for candidates with less money
However impact was limited because the 'First Past the Post' system still made elections unfair for smaller parties and effectively meant that a lot of parties and effectively meant that a lot of peoples votes were wasted
In 1855, the redistribution of seats act was introduced meaning that small towns lost all their seats, medium towns one seat, large towns kept both their seats and the total number of MP's rose from 652 to 670.
This made Britain more democratic as for the first time all constituencies were of roughly equal size ensuring a fair voting system.
By 1918, Britain was only partly democaratic in terms of a fair voting system as even though intimidation was reduced and a secret voting system was introduced, cheating was still a problem.
However, progress was made in achieving this hallmark than in terms of the right to vote as although the voting system was fair not all women had the right to vote yet.