due to commercial and industrial expansion and urbanization, many people in Britain have migrated from the south to the middle, which leads to the increasingly prominent inequality in the distribution of municipal seats, which account for the largest proportion in the house of Commons.
the seat of the British Parliament:
the British system contains an extremely important and representative legislative body – Parliament. Only a few countries in Europe have comparable institutions. The main duty of Congress is to balance the executive power of the monarch. Only rich people can get the right to vote. Here, the meaning of “rich” includes social status and economic strength. Although the members of the house of Lords and the house of commons were aristocrats before parliamentary reform, Parliament usually reflects the concern of most Britons for important affairs. Before the reform act, parliamentary elections often focused only on local events and local leadership changes, rarely involving national issues.
in George I (1714-1727) and George II (1727-1760) ruled for a long time, were Whig one party dictatorship. The king gave the cabinet a lot of policy-making power, which made the corruption in the election begin to damage the fairness of the parliamentary system. In addition, the economic expansion in the 18th century and the rapid development of agriculture, commerce and industry have become truly revolutionary factors. They not only shake the traditional social structure, but also destroy the function and purpose of the political system. Due to the expansion of Commerce and industry and urbanization, many people in Britain have moved from the south to the middle, which has led to the increasingly prominent inequality in the distribution of municipal seats, which account for the largest proportion in the house of Commons.
Wilkes incident and Reform Difficulties
Whig politicians expressed their disapproval when George III (1760-1820) tried to re play the role of king and become a powerful chief executive in the 1860s, They did not want the king to regain control over the appointment and removal of cabinet ministers or interfere in the policies of Parliament. The struggle for real power between the two sides met by chance with the Congressional Reform Movement promoted by the uninvited guest John Wilkes. In a newspaper called North Briton, Wilkes boldly accused the king. George III was so angry that he ordered Wilkes to be arrested. However, because the government’s use of the “blank search warrant” to arrest Wilkes was unconstitutional, under Wilkes’s repeated questioning, the court finally released him. However, the royal party will not give up. They find another opportunity to sue Wilkes and his works and force him to abscond abroad. In 1768, Wilkes, who had been in exile for a long time, was forced to return home and accept imprisonment. But voters in London overwhelmingly elected him to Parliament. The house of Commons refused to give him a seat, annulled the election and allowed voters to vote again. Wilkes was re elected and the house of Commons had to disqualify him again.
the Wilkes incident in the 1860s highlighted the image of the government trying to go against the wishes of voters. The first Congressional Reform organization was formed to call on the government to eliminate electoral irregularities, redistribute constituency votes to reflect population changes, and unify the property qualification requirements required to obtain the right to vote – which may increase the number of voters in many constituencies. However, in 1770, due to the resistance of the Tories and some Whigs, the reform movement finally failed.
the U.S. government also blocked reform measures many times from 1775 to 1783, which made the reformers in Britain feel even more frustrated. After the American War of independence, the Whig leadership still tried to implement Congressional Reform, but the differences between the two party leaders Edmund Burke and Charles James Fox affected the reform process. During the French Revolution (1789-1799), there were many bloodshed, many people had prejudices about reform, and the contradiction between the two leaders began to break out. Meanwhile, as Britain went to war with France, the government led by William Pitt Jr. (a former supporter of reform) began to tend to suppress revolutionary conservatives. The government introduced a series of repressive policies and began to deprive citizens of the freedom of speech and press stipulated in the constitution, which silenced many reformers. The war between Britain and France lasted for a long time until the end of the war, further delaying the process of reform. However, the social and economic problems in Britain have not been solved. Therefore, after the Napoleonic War, people’s voice for reform revived again.
British Prime Minister William Pitt Jr. is in the house of Commons.
the structure of the British Parliament before the reform
to understand the purpose of the reform, we must know the structure of the British Parliament from the 18th century to the passage of the reform act 1832. Because the house of Lords automatically includes all bishops and titled nobles, this part no longer needs to be elected. Before the merger of England and Scotland in 1707, England had 489 seats in the house of Commons, including 403 municipal constituencies and 82 County constituencies, and four seats from universities (two seats each from Cambridge University and Oxford University). Wales has 24 seats, with 12 seats in the municipal constituency and 12 seats in the township and county constituency. Historians estimate that in 1700, about 250000 voters were eligible to elect representatives to the house of Commons.
have unified regulations in township and county constituencies, and real estate owners with an annual income of more than 40 shillings have the right to vote. In England’s municipal constituencies, the method of assessing property is very different. In 38 constituencies that collect parish taxes, all residents who pay such taxes have the right to vote. Another 14 constituencies allow residents who have lived locally for at least six months, are above the poverty line, have families and rooms large enough to be heated by steam pots to voteelection. In another 35 constituencies, real estate owners have the right to vote. Perhaps the most unreasonable is the 29 authority constituencies, that is, only municipal authorities are eligible to vote, and there are usually no more than dozens of people with this qualification. There are also 86 free constituencies that may have the largest number of voters. These constituencies do not have the requirement of residence years.
after the signing of the act of union in 1707, Scotland was incorporated into Great Britain and won 16 seats in the house of Lords and 45 seats in the house of Commons (including 15 municipal constituencies and 30 rural Constituencies). However, Scotland has only about 4500 voters, a much smaller proportion than the UK. The number of members of the house of Commons remained fixed at 558 until Ireland joined Great Britain in 1800. In 1801, Ireland won 100 seats in the house of Commons: 64 municipal constituencies, 35 rural constituencies and a university seat in Trinity College.