John Walsh, The Practical Results of the Reform Act of 1832, John Murray ed., London, 1860, 159p.
THE PRACTICAL RESULTS OF THE REFORM ACT OF 1832.
Introduction – Temporary character of the Settlement of 1832 – Its effects have not yet been impartially considered – They fairly arise on the question of its reconstruction (Page 1)
Opposite mode of argument adopted by Conservatives and by the Philosophers of the Movement – Examples – The Peace Party – Mr. J. Stuart Mill – Grounds of the Conservatives' attachment to the Constitution of 1688 – Liberal policy pursued during the last eight years of the Tory administrations – Sketch of the financial and political condition of the nation at the fall of the Duke of Wellington's Administration (Page 13)
First results of the Reform Act – Why so little decided – Conservatism of Lord Grey – Personal ascendancy of Sir Robert Peel Predominance of the old Parliamentary leaders in the new Assembly – Strength of the Conservative principle in the country (Page 39)
The results of the Reform Bill gradually developed after the retirement of Lord Grey – The General Election of 1835 a tolerably correct index of the relative proportions of parties under the new system – Strong Government impossible – Frequent changes inevitable – Inconsistency in public men (Page51)
Subject continued – The changes occasioned by the Reform Act in the Personnel of the House of Commons, considered under the division of men of the old and new systems – Men of the Reform Act not available for office – Fickleness of large constituencies – Lord Broughton, Mr. Hawes, Lord Macaulay, Mr. Bright, Mr. Cobden, Mr. Muntz – Practical Government of the country in fact carried on by the old portion of the House – Conservative element wholly unrepresented in the new constituencies (Page 64)
The comparative relations of the Unreformed and Reformed Houses of Commons to the Executive and to the country at large – Weakness arising from the divisions in the present House – Political inconsistency forced upon Leaders of Party from the extreme difficulty of conducting the business of the State – Irreconcilable divisions among the Liberals – Attachment to our institutions impaired by the constant attacks upon them – Paralysis of Executive Government National prosperity partly caused by the abeyance of active legislation – Confirmed feeling of loyalty to the Throne (Page 78)
The Press – “The Times,” its increasing influence and authority The position of “The Times” and the House of Commons gradually reversed (Page 97)
Liberal Philosophers disposed to assume the advance of Democracy as identical with the progress of mankind – Conservatives dispute this theory – Appeal to the experience of the last thirty years – Fruits of Democracy in the South American Republics – Contrast afforded by the Empire of the Brazils – Admiration for the United States declining (Page 116)
Progress and results of democratic encroachments in France (Page 130)
Impression produced upon public opinion in England by the course of events abroad – Great difference in the character and extent of the relations which connect the upper and middle classes respectively with the working population – Alarm of the middle classes at the diffusion of Socialism and Communism among the operatives Not solicitous to extend political power to them (Page 141)
Important practical change in the system of Government since 1832 – A decided ministerial majority an essential requisite under the former Constitution – Unattainable now – Foreign attempts at Representative Government failed through inability to secure this basis – Close resemblance of our present House of Commons to the last French National Assembly – Conclusion (Page 149)