How to Get the Snowball Rolling and Extend the Franchise: Voting on the Great Reform Act of 1832
AbstractThis 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.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0832.
Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Franchise extension; democratization; The Great Reform Act.;
Other versions of this item:
- Toke Aidt & Raphaël Franck, 2013. "How to get the snowball rolling and extend the franchise: voting on the Great Reform Act of 1832," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 229-250, June.
- D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
- H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2008-09-05 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-POL-2008-09-05 (Positive Political Economics)
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