This book is the first on the creation, development and influence of popular politics, specifically the role of Political Unions, on the Great Reform Act of 1832. Political Unions and the force of public opinion played a vital role in seeing the Reform Bill through Parliament and setting England on the path of peaceful, legislative reform. Their emphasis on representing the 'industrious' classes linked the Unions to the emerging debates - political and socio-economic - in later Victorian Britain and the evolution of British participatory democracy.
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Table of ContentsAcknowledgements List of Abbreviations Introduction The Birmingham Political Union and the Origins of the Union Campaign Political Unions in the Provinces: March 1930-February 1831 Political Unions and the Introduction of the Reform Bill: March-October 1831 The Reform Riots and Political Unions as Peacekeepers: October-December 1831 Political Unions and the Final Campaign: Agitation, the May Days and Victory January-June 1832 Conclusion Epilogue Index