Britain: 1830-85

Representation and Reform

1832 Reform Act

Economic distress caused by harvest failure

1829 - 1831

Leads to high grain prices and unemployment.

Formation of Thomas Attwood's political union

January 1830

Death of George IV; new King William IV

June 1830

Fall of Charles X in France

July 1830

Swing Riots

August 1830

Widespread uprising by agricultural workers.

Collapse of Wellington's ministry. End of Tory rule.

November 1830

Earl Grey becomes PM of a Whig ministry

November 1830

First Reform Bill proposed by Lord John Russell

March 1831

Defeated by Tories in committee stage; Earl Grey calls an election

Whigs return to office

April 1831

Returned with a majority of 130.

Second Reform Bill introduced

July 1831

Second Reform Bill defeated in Lords

October 1831

Majority of 31; leads to Riots in Nottingham, Derby and Bristol. Prominent members of the Lords attacked, including several bishops.

Third Reform Bill introduced

December 1831

Third Bill passes through Commons

March 1832

(Faces possible defeat in Lords)

Grey asks for the creation of 50 new Whig peers

May 1832

This would ensure a majority in Lords.
William IV refuses to agree - Grey resigns.
Wellington tries for six days to form a Tory ministry but is unable to do so.
King asks Grey to return as PM.
New Whig peers not needed as Tory supporters in Lords abstain.

Third Reform Bill becomes a law

June 1832

Seperate Reform Bills for Ireland and Scotland.

Chartism, 1832-1855

Poor Law Amendment Act

1834

London Working Men's Association (LWMA) founded

1836

LWMA draws up the six points of the Charter

January 1837

Birmingham Political Union revived by Thomas Attwood

May 1837

Northern Star first published in Leeds

November 1837

People's Charter first published

1838

General Convention meets in London

February 1839

Convention moves to Birmingham

May 1839

First Petition presented to Parliament

June 1839

Petition rejected

July 1839

235 votes to 46

Newport Rising

November 1839

South Wales valleys rose in revolt.
Living and working conditions appalling.
John Frost and Zephania Williams deported to Australia.
Lovett and O'Connor arrested and imprisoned.

National Charter Association (NCA) founded in Manchester

July 1840

Feargus O'Connor released from jail

August 1841

Complete Suffrage Union (CSU) founded in Birmingham

January 1842

Second Chartist Petition presented to Parliament

May 1842

Rejected by 287 votes to 49

Strikes break out in 23 English counties

August 1842

Plug Riots

August 1842

Sabotage campaign to remove plugs from factory boilers, especially in North and Midlands.

William Lovett abandons the movement

1843

Land Plan

April 1845 - 1848

Act passed to repeal the Corn Laws

June 1846

Third Petition presented to Parliament

1848

National Land Cooperation wound up

1851

Death of Feargus O'Connor

1855

Parliament Reform and Redistribution, 1867-85

Lord Palmerston dies

1865

Lord John Russell becomes Liberal Prime Minister

1865

Defeat of the Liberal reform Bill

1866

Hyde Park Riots

July 1866

Political riot in central London.
A meeting by the Reform League ended in a major right when the police attempted to stop the meeting from taking place.

Lord Derby forms a minority Conservative government

1867

Second Reform Act passed

1867

Gave the vote to working class men for the first time.

Conservatives introduce their reform Bill

March 1867

Ballot Act passed

1872

Secret ballot.

Corrupt and Illegal Practices Act passed - GLADSTONE

1883

Rigid rules for the conduct of elections.
Limit on how much candidates could spend.
Set heavy penalties on those guilty of corruption.

Third Reform Act passed - GLADSTONE

1884

All occupiers of houses got the vote.
Doubled the size of the electorate since the 1867 Reform Act.
Applied to the whole of the UK (unlike the Great Reform Act and the 1867 Reform Act).
40% of adult males could still not vote.

Redistribution of Seats Act passed - GLADSTONE

1885

Multi-member seats abolished.
Equal electoral districts.

Gladstone vs. Disraeli, 1867-85

GLADSTONE'S 1ST MINISTRY

1868 - 1874

Church of Ireland Act - GLADSTONE

1869

IRISH REFORM
Disestablished Church of Ireland.
No representatives sent to House of Lords.

Army Enlistment Act - GLADSTONE

1870

ARMY
Allowed adding of 3 extra years to 12-year enlistment.

War Office Act - GLADSTONE

1870

ARMY
Aimed to improve efficiency.

Forster's Act - GLADSTONE

1870

EDUCATION
Established a system of 'school boards' to build and manage schools where they were needed.

Peace Preservation Act - GLADSTONE

1870

IRISH REFORM
Gave Irish administration special powers to control agrarian crimes.

Land Act - GLADSTONE

1870

IRISH REFORM
Protection for tenants.

Franco-Prussian War (Gladstone's 1st Ministry)

1870 - 1871

FOREIGN POLICY
Did not intervene.
Got an agreement from both sides NOT to invade Belgium (1870).
Negotiated to reduce French reparations.

Imperial Issues (Gladstone's 1st Ministry)

1870

FOREIGN POLICY
Withdrew troops from Canada when they faced internal revolts.
Completely abandoned Gambia to France(June 1870).

University Test Act - GLADSTONE

1871

EDUCATION
Allowed Roman Catholics, non-conformists and non-Christians to take up fellowships at universities of Durham, Cambridge & Oxford.

Criminal Law Amendment Act - GLADSTONE

1871

TRADE UNION REFORM
Prevented violence in strikes by making intimidation illegal.

Westmeath Act - GLADSTONE

1871

IRISH REFORM
Allows arrest and detention without trial.

Local Government Act - GLADSTONE

1871

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM
Recognised health administration under a minister for local government.

Trade Union Act - GLADSTONE

1871

TRADE UNION REFORM
Gave them the legal protection they wanted.

Army Regulation Act - GLADSTONE

1871

ARMY
Increased the size of the army from 200, 000 to 497, 000.

Revocation of Clauses of the Treaty of Paris (Gladstone's 1st Ministry)

March 1871

FOREIGN POLICY
Granville organised an international conference in London.
Russia made to revoke Black Sea clauses.

The 'Alabama' Award (Gladstone's 1st Ministry)

1872

FOREIGN POLICY
USA accused Britain of breaching it's neutrality in American Civil War.
Britain awarded USA with damages of £3.25 million.

Public Health Act - GLADSTONE

1872

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM
Established Urban & Rural Sanitary Authorities responsible for public health in local areas.

Licensing Act - GLADSTONE

1872

LICENSING REFORM
Fix opened and closing hours.
Check on the adulteration of beer.

Ballot Act - GLADSTONE

1872

ELECTORAL REFORM
Secret ballot.

Intoxicating Liquors Act - DISRAELI

1872

LICENSING REFORM
This act was passed in response to the opposition from brewers and distillers to Gladstone's Licensing Act.
However, in some areas, the Act curtailed licensing hours even further and, in the end, pleased nobody.

The Supreme Court for Judicature Act - GLADSTONE

1873

LEGAL REFORM
Established Supreme Court.
Split into High Court and Court of Appeal.

Irish Universities Bill - GLADSTONE

1873

IRISH REFORM
Expanded University of Dublin into a secular national university, incorporating multiple colleges.

Factory Act - DISRAELI

1874

Reduced hours that workers had to work to 10 hours and half a day on Saturday.

DISRAELI COMES INTO POWER

1874 - 1880

Public Worship Regulation Act - DISRAELI

1874

RELIGIOUS MATTERS
Although supported by the Queen, outraged Anglo-Catholics in the Cabinet such as Hardy, Carnarvon and, above all, Salisbury.
It helped to deepen the splits within the Anglican Church.

Conspiracy of Protection Against Property Act - DISRAELI

1875

TRADE UNION REFORM
Fully decriminalised the work of trade unions.
Allowed peaceful picketing.

Artisans' Dwelling Act - DISRAELI

1875

Allowed local authorities to impose the compulsory purchase of slums and replacement with planned housing.

The Sale of Food and Drugs Act - DISRAELI

1875

PUBLIC HEALTH REFORM
Laid down regulations about the adulteration of food.
Impact was reduced by the failure to compel local authorities to appoint analysts to assess adulteration.

Public Health Act - DISRAELI

1875

PUBLIC HEALTH REFORM
Brought all previous legislation on health under one act.
Established checks on sewage and draining, public toilets and cellar dwellings.

Purchase of the Khedive of Egypt's Suez Canal shares (Disraeli)

1875

FOREIGN POLICY
Bought the Khedive (ruler of Egypt)'s share-holding in the Suez Canal company.
Purchased a 44% share in operation of Suez Canal (one of the world's major sea routes since 1869).

Royal Titles Act (Disraeli)

1876

FOREIGN POLICY
Disraeli created the Queen's title of Empress of India.
Helped to strengthen links with India.

Sandon's Education Act - DISRAELI

1876

EDUCATION
Increased pressure on working class parents to send their children to school.

The Confederation of South Africa (Disraeli)

1877

FOREIGN POLICY
Colonel Secretary, Lord Carnarron, planned to confederate 3 British colonies.
Intended to strengthen Britain's hold on South Africa.

Treaties of San Stefano and Berlin (Disraeli)

1878

FOREIGN POLICY
Treaty of San Stefano - would create a 'Big Bulgaria'.
West feared this would create a large Russian satellite state.
Treaty of Berlin - Britain get Cyprus.
Disraeli manages to break up the Dreikaiserbund.

Afghan Wars (Disraeli)

1878 - 1879

FOREIGN POLICY
Annexed Baluchistan and installed a pro-British leader in Afghanistan.
Led to British invasion.

Zulu War (Disraeli)

1878

FOREIGN POLICY
Sir Bartle Frere decided to confront Zulus.
Defeat at Isandwana.
Disraeli was furious.

Afghanistan (Gladstone's 2nd Ministry)

1880

FOREIGN POLICY
Withdrew from Afghanistan but failed to reverse Disraeli's imperialist policies.

The Ground Game Act - GLADSTONE

1880

DEALING WITH THE AGRICULTURAL DEPRESSION
Allowed tenant farmers to shoot hares and rabbits as a supplement to their diet.

GLADSTONE'S 2ND MINISTRY

1880 - 1885

The Abolition of the Malt Tax - GLADSTONE

1880

DEALING WITH THE AGRICULTURAL DEPRESSION
Repealed the malt tax and replaced it with a tax on beer.
This eased the tax burden on farmers who had to pay a tax on malted barley.

Transvaal and the First Boer War (Gladstone's 2nd Ministry)

1880

FOREIGN POLICY
Boers had hoped the election of Liberal Party in 1880 would mean independence for Transvaal, but Gladstone insisted on maintaining control of Pretoria.

The Turkish Empire (Gladstone's 2nd Ministry)

1880

FOREIGN POLICY
Gladstone succeeded in dropping the Conservative plan of defending Turkey's Asian border with Russia.

Land Act - GLADSTONE

1881

IRISH REFORM
Gave tenant farmers the three 'Fs' for free sale, fair rent and fixity of tenure.

Egypt (Gladstone's 2nd Ministry)

1882 - 1885

FOREIGN POLICY
Gladstone wanted to withdraw British troops but they never found the right time.

India (Gladstone's 2nd Ministry)

1883

FOREIGN POLICY
Gladstone replaced Lord Lytton with Lord Ripon as Viceroy of India.
Ripon attempted to win support from western-educated Indian elite.
1883, he put Ilbert Bill - planned to allow Indian magistrates on the right to sit in judgement on whites.
This sparked off widespread white opposition.
Bill was withdrawn.

Agricultural Holdings Act - GLADSTONE

1883

DEALING WITH THE AGRICULTURAL DEPRESSION
Made Disraeli's permissive legislation of 1875 compulsory.
This gave tenant farmers extra security of tenure.

The Sudan (Gladstone's 2nd Ministry)

1883 - 1885

FOREIGN POLICY
"The Mandhi" of Sudan started a 'holy war' against Europeans and westerners.
1883 - destroyed Anglo-Egyptian army.
Cabinet sent General Gordon to Sudanese capital, Khartoum.
Gordon unwilling to withdraw, Liberal government unwilling to send aid.
Gordon killed by Mahdist troops.
Caused uproar in Britain.

Berlin West Africa Conference + Scramble for Africa (Gladstone's 2nd Ministry)

1884 - 1885

FOREIGN POLICY
Gladstone forced to abandon British informal control in areas such as Cameroon, Togoland and the Congo basin in favour of Germany, France and Belgium.