The Age of George III
I am happy that you are using this web site and hope that you found it useful. Unfortunately, the cost of making this material freely available is increasing, so if you have found the site useful and would like to contribute towards its continuation, I would greatly appreciate it. Click the button to go to Paypal and make a donation.
Pitt had read Bentham's Fragment on Government (1776), and realised that Constitutional reform was needed. This applied especially to the re-allocation of parliamentary representation. Pitt was the first PM to attempt to update the Constitution, which has been seen as indicating his progressive outlook. Perhaps more importantly for Pitt, it would win the support of the country gentry and satisfy the still-existing Country Associations which backed reform. Pitt relied on the support of the Independent Gentlemen and he had promised to introduce some measure to reform parliament. Interestingly, he chose to do this as a Private Member so that - should the Bill be defeated - the government would not have to resign. The 1785 Reform Bill was proposed that:
There was no suggestion that industrial towns would get representation, but new ports like Liverpool and Bristol would, since they were bigger and more important as yet. The commercial interest was still more important than manufacturing interest and Pitt recognised the need to support commerce. The Bill was defeated 248 : 174 because Fox and his supporters, the borough-mongers and placemen killed it. These men feared a loss of influence and said there was a danger of giving in to public opinion.
|Meet the web creator||
These materials may be freely used for
non-commercial purposes in accordance with applicable statutory allowances
and distribution to students.
Last modified 5 January, 2011
|American Affairs 1760-83||The Age of the French Wars 1792-1815||Irish Affairs 1760-89|
|Economic Affairs in the Age of Peel||Irish
|Primary sources index||British Political Personalities||British Foreign policy 1815-65||European history||