Changes in the political landscape

The growth of urban areas and greater political awareness among the working classes led to demands for change

John Wilkes - Liberty & Parliament

John Wilkes, an 18th Century MP who brought the question of electoral reform to Parliament.

The Reform Act 1832

The parliamentary landscape began to change with the first Reform Act

Second Reform Act 1867

With the 1832 Reform Act giving hope that a more representative Parliament could be achieved, further reforms were gradually, if reluctantly, made as the 19th century progressed

Third Reform Act 1884

Universal manhood suffrage was finally achieved in 1884 followed by the redrawing of constituency boundaries to make electoral districts equal

Also within Living Heritage

Read about reforms of the House of Lords

Also in this section

Follow the dates and legislation that mark milestones in parliamentary reform