How far was Britain a democracy by 1918

Topics: Democracy, Voting, Elections Pages: 3 (1328 words) Published: April 17, 2014
How far was Britain a democracy by 1918
In 1850 Britain was extremely far from being known as a democracy. This was due to the fact that the great reform act only extended the power of the vote from wealthy landowning men in 1832 to the wealthy middle class men. This meant that the majority of the population still were unable to vote. For a country to be democratic it entails to have certain circumstances which would include the majority of the population, every adult, having the right to vote for their country. There should also be an equal amount of seats distributed. All elections that take place should be run fairly and be restricted from intimidation and influence. Every adult should also only be entitled to one vote whereas at this time some individuals who went to university could vote in their university constituency as well as when they owned a property. It should be allowed that a person from any background is able to become an MP. By 1918 many of these circumstances had been met although not all. Although improvements had been met in Britain some aspects that would make the country fully become a democracy where not in place, therefore it can be argued that Britain was not fully a democracy by 1918.

When the 1867 reform act was passed it gave the vote to every male householder living in a borough constituency, the working class men in the towns. Even though is increased the amount of individuals able to vote in Britain it was still very restricted as it was explained that the vote was only passed to men that owned a property over the value of £10 a year. This did double the amount of men able to vote although women still had no right to vote for their country. The 1884 reform act extended the vote to the working class people in the countryside; this managed to increase the electorate by 50%. However the undemocratic feature of this which still remained was that men who owned a property in a different constituency although they could also vote...
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