Age of Reforms Liberal Reforms in Great Britain and its Empire
Reforms of the 1800’s • Liberals helped enact numerous reforms to protect individuals’ political and civil liberties. Reforms focused on: • Suffrage: the rite to vote • Correcting social and economic problems • Abolition of slavery and slave trade. • Voting Restrictions • The only people who could vote owned property. • Voted in open (Bribes or Intimidation) • Only men who owned a lot of property could be member of the House of Commons. • No Catholics, Jews, or Dissenters could hold office.
Reform Bill of 1832 • Catholic Emancipation Act: allowed Roman Catholics to serve in Parliament if they recognized Protestant monarch as ruler of Great Britain. • Reform Bill of 1832: took seats in House of Commons away from less populated areas and gave them to industrial cities. • People with less property could vote • Liberal Party is formed: mix of Tory and Whigs • Conservative Party: Tory Party of wealthy landowners
Economic Changes • Factory Act of 1833: reforming horrible working conditions of women and children. • Slavery was abolished in all British colonies. • Free public education • Eliminated Unpopular Corn Laws: • Taxes on grain imported by Britain enabling landowners to sell their grain at high prices. • High prices or starve
Chartist Movement • William Lovett demanded universal male suffrage and secret ballot. • People’s Charter: • Universal mall suffrage and secret ballot • Electoral districts redrawn in order to equalize parliamentary representation. • Salaries for members of Parliament • Supporters of Lovett were called Chartists • Chartist Movement in long run • Doubled the number of British voters • Most urban and industrial workers could Now vote (women cannot).
Queen Victoria: queen for 63 years (Victorian Age) • Gave prime ministers free hand (Did not interfere) They were: • Benjamin Disraeli: twice served as prime minister • Guiding foreign affairs and expanding Britain’s empire. • Second term, gained control of Suez Canal (Empress of India). • William Gladstone: served four terms as prime minister • Concerned with domestic and financial affairs • Education Act of 1870: national elementary education system for a small fee and free by 1891. • Began to use secret ballot • Voting districts redrawn
Reforms of the 1900’s • Fabin Society: improve society through social ideas and education. • Helped workers with frustration with liberal and conservatives • Herbert Asquith: prime minister and member of liberal party (1905). • Set up old-age pensions, health insurance, and unemployment insurance. • Suffragettes: women who campaigned for their right to vote. • Emmeline Pankhurst: leader of Suffragettes • Petitioned Parliament and demonstrated • Not won until WW1.
Other Areas of the British Empire Canada: • 1830’s, a depression, unemployment, and crop failures led to failed uprisings. • Lord Durham: broad powers to reform Canada government • Keep colonies in Empire but grant them self-government • British Upper Canada and French Lower Canada • North America Act in 1867: creating Dominion of Canada with four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. • Purchased Northwest Territories making Manitoba a province • Yukon Territory: Gold • Pacific Railway=immigration=Alberta and Saskatchewan
Australia • Used as penal colony • Convicts who served sentences could stay in Australia and own land. • 1800’s: lawless Australia (Immigrants, ex-con’s, and gangs clashed). • Death due to diseases from Europeans • British claimed entire continent in 1829.
New Zealand • Maori: original inhabitants of New Zealand • Signed a treaty with British which gave them control • British Parliament granted New Zealand a constitution (Self-governing colony). • Hurt by European settlement due to: • Fights over land • Warfare and disease • Discovery of gold (Brought immigrants) • 1st country in world to grand women Right to vote.