By 1928 all the essentials of democracy had been achieved. Discuss

Essay by englishrulesalwaysA-, April 2004

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"By 1928 all the essentials of Democracy had been achieved. Discuss"

Between 1867 and 1928 there was significant progress in the search for a more democratic Britain and although the electoral system was not wholly perfect, the essentials of democracy had been achieved. There were many undemocratic features in the 1850's which led to pressure mounting for reform such as overt voting, not all adult men had the vote; constituencies were very uneven. There was a lack of progress between 1850 and the 1860's. All that was achieved was the absolution of property qualifications for MP's. The development of the parliamentary system since 1867 had been he subject of four main themes: the measured achievement of universal adult suffrage; the elimination of corruption and the control of electoral expenditure; the extension of the constituencies and the limitation of the powers of House of Lords. Several acts were introduced which accomplished these themes such as the Second Reform Act of 1867 which extended the franchise and redistributed parliamentary seats more fairly.

The Ballot Act of 1872 and the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Act of 1883 were crucial in the development of democracy. The Representation of the People Act 1884 further extended democracy by improving the franchise and also the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885 made the constituencies more equal. The Parliament Act of 1911 improved democracy sufficiently by reducing the power of the House of Lords and also the introduction of payment for MP's allowed more working class men to participate in politics. More importantly in 1918 in the Representation of the People Act it allowed all men over 21 years and woman over 30 to vote. This was a great achievement for women's suffrage. In 1918 the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act also promoted democracy by allowing women to...