How to Get the Snowball Rolling and Extend the Franchise: Voting on the Great Reform Act of 1832
Toke Aidt () and
Raphael Franck ()
Cambridge Working Papers in Economics from Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge
This paper suggests a new approach to analyze the causes of franchise extension. Based on a new dataset, it provides a detailed econometric study of the Great Reform Act of 1832 in the United Kingdom. The econometric analysis yields four main results. First, modernization theory only receives mixed support. Second, the reform enjoyed some measure of popular support. Third, the threat of revolution had an asymmetric impact on the voting behavior of the pro-reform Whigs and the anti-reform Tories. While the threat might have convinced reluctant reformers among the Whig politicians – and among their patrons – to support the bill, it seems to have hardened the resistance to reform among the Tories. Fourth, ideology played a critical role. However, it also appears that self-interest and political expedience explained the votes of many Members of Parliament.
Keywords: Franchise extension; democratization; The Great Reform Act. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D7 H1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-pol
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Journal Article: How to get the snowball rolling and extend the franchise: voting on the Great Reform Act of 1832 (2013)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cam:camdae:0832
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