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On the 12th March 1866 William Gladstone, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Prime Minister Earl Russell, introduced the government’s new reform bill. This was met by opposition in the House of Commons, namely by the Liberal MP, Robert Lowe. Within a few months, the Russell government resigned as it could not pass the Bill through the House.
The Reform League was led by members of the International Workmen’s Association who campaigned for one man, one vote. In protest against the government’s failed attempt at political reform, the Reform League gathered a large crowd at Hyde Park. The crowd were subsequently barred entry into the park by the police. In retaliation the protestors broke down the railings and set up camp in the park for three days. This Main Paper was laid in the House of Lords chamber by Earl Cowper calling for papers respecting the incident.
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