By Maurice Cowling

The passage of the Reform invoice of 1867 is without doubt one of the significant difficulties in nineteenth-century British historical past. Mr Cowling offers a full-scale rationalization, in keeping with a variety of archive fabric, together with 4 significant manuscript collections now not formerly used. Mr Cowling can pay equivalent awareness to the view taken by way of Parliament of the category constitution and to the pursuits and methods of politicians in Parliament and outdoors. He units this precise historic narrative in an analytical framework, the assumptions of which he discusses at size.

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1 None reflects this better than Bright's criticism of the public image the League left of itself in inadequately prepared newspaper reports —reports in which, for example, Mr Mantle, a London workingman and a League vice-president, made the League Executive laugh, but in Bright's view made it ridiculous, by mentioning the interest taken by Colonel Dickson—a leading League member—in 'Dr Mary Walker (laughter)',2 and which showed Beales in the course of the same meeting declaring that, since it was impossible to get..

3 ' It has not been the mob' wrote a Cabinet Minister after watching the Home Secretary at close quarters in July 1866 'that has frightened me so much [during a most] anxious week... '4 'There was', this middle-aged Young Englander wrote of the Trades' march he watched from the roof of St James's palace in December,' no disorder, no hooting, hardly any cheering; many of the banners and inscriptions had nothing to do with Reform', and the 'Processionists' amounted to about '25,000... 5 For every expression of the belief finally that the demonstrators represented deep-rooted or irresistible working-class feeling, counter-assertions may be found from Bright on the one hand, for example, that 'the Aristocratic Institutions of England [had] acted much like the Slavery Institutions of America..

The Hodgkinson amendment and the lodger clause were only parts of the bill. They affected voters in the English and Welsh boroughs, did not apply to the counties and in no way altered the distribution of seats. a. qualifying bar, they 'would [have] swamp [ed] only constituencies which are already as radical as they... can be' :3 with the £10 qualifying bar that was eventually accepted in the modified form proposed at the last minute by Gabriel Goldney, the Conservative MP. for Chippenham, the effect would have been not very much different.

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