There were many reasons why between 1830 and 1832 parliamentary reform became a big and unyielding issue on the political landscape. The industrial revolution was in full swing, discontent was rife and consequently revolutionary ideas were materialising. But how did the parliamentary reform gain momentum and become such a significant matter among so many other pressing conflicts and issues?
The Tory party were in office prior to parliamentary reform and for years they had time and again strenuously refused to widen the electorate, arguing what made the British political system so very successful was due to the fact that their was more emphasis on the landowning than the sheer numbers of electorate. The Tory party dominated British politics with the support of royals such as George III and George IV. However, by 1830 divisions in the party began to form and came to prominence. The cause of these divisions was the issue of Roman Catholic Emancipation which led to Tory hardliners threatening to support reform in order to ensure a wider electorate that would throw out any idea of emancipation with fervour. This split in the Tory government eventual became so bitter that the Tory government eventually collapsed in November 1830.
Simultaneously, the Whig party were facing a resurgence of support and fortune. The Whig party were keener on the idea of cautious reform and believed that through reform key aspects of the political system had to be preserved. Such democratic ideas were bourn from Whig MPs who were more in tune with society at the time since some MPs were not from aristocrat families but from the middle classes- those at the forefront of the industrial revolution. Previously, the Whigs had attempted at sponsoring reform bills (in 1792, 1793 and 1797) however these had all failed because of opposition from the Tory supporting George III.
By the 1820’s the Whigs had found some stable ground lead by leader Earl Grey who supported moderate reform. He believed that the new land owners (those that had acquired property during the revolution) should have a say on how the country was run and therefore avoid lawlessness and pandemonium. However, whist Grey wanted moderate reform, opponents of the political system used the corruption of elections to detract away from the idea of moderation. Despite this, Grey...