Hyde Park Riots Case Study

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Register to read the introduction… Similarly to the Bristol Riots, the rebels were destructive by force and although there was said to be ‘more mischief than malice’, a policeman was killed. Both the Bristol and Hyde Park riots were successful as they were each followed by a reform the next year. I believe that the main reason for the Hyde Park riots’ victory was the unification of the National Reform Union and the Reform League, two distinctively divided (in class) bodies. This demonstrated that people of different classes and backgrounds were able to unify in common aims in ways which the political parties could not. Furthermore, this alliance could be seen as a step towards democratic reform as it began to eradicate the snobbery between middle/working …show more content…
As an opportunist, Benjamin Disraeli’s motives were based purely on personal victory rather than democratic victory. Nonetheless, Disraeli’s pursuit of power for himself and the Conservatives was tied to pleasing the people: while his introduction of the second reform act presented the Conservative party with political advantages and secured his position as Prime Minister the following year, it was a huge step towards democracy for the reformists due to the considerable extension of the franchise. Furthermore, Disraeli’s ‘support for democracy’ incurred divisions in the Conservative party as many were sceptical about his leadership and distrusted his policies: ‘The Conservatives were never Disraeli’s party as the Liberals were Gladstone’s’5Weakening of political parties was always a benefit for gaining democracy as it allowed pressure groups to take advantage of them and push for further reform. Gladstone, unlike Disraeli, played a significant role in improving representation and democracy due to his position as a true supporter of reform- despite Disraeli’s tactical victory, Gladstone was the real mastermind behind the 1867 reform bill and in December the following year replaced Disraeli as Prime Minister. His four times serving as Prime Minister saw great reforms including the Secret Ballot Act, the third Reform Act, the Redistribution of seats and the Corrupt Practices Act. Due to his commitment to electoral reform and low public spending Gladstone became known as ‘The People’s William’ and is remembered today as one of the greatest Prime Ministers of Britain- proof of the legacy of his leadership. In my opinion, Gladstone was the most prominent individual in generating democratic reform in the period

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