- Representation of the People Act 1918
The Representation of the People Act 1918 was an
Act of Parliamentpassed to reform the electoral system in the United Kingdom. It is sometimes known as the Fourth Reform Act.
Following the horrors of
World War I, millions of returning soldiers were still not entitled to vote. This posed a dilemma for politicians since they could not withhold the vote from the very men who were considered to have fought to preserve the British political system.
The Representation of the People Act 1918 widened
suffrageby abolishing practically all property qualifications for men and by enfranchising women over 30 who met minimum property qualifications. The enfranchisement of this latter group was accepted as recognition of the contribution made by women defence workers. However, women were still not politically equal to men (who could vote from the age of 21); full electoral equality wouldn't occur until the Representation of the People Act 1928.
These changes saw the size of the electorate triple from 7.7 million to 21.4 million. Women now accounted for about 43% of the electorate. It is worth noting that had women been enfranchised based upon the same requirements as men, they would have been in the majority, due to the loss of men in the war. This may explain why the age of 30 was settled on.
In addition to the suffrage changes, the Act also instituted the present system of holding general elections on one day, (as opposed to being staggered over a period of weeks), and brought in the annual
The first election held under the new system was the 1918 general election.
Eric J. Evans, a renowned parliamentary historian, "Britain was jerked into democracy by the horrendous discontinuity of the First World War."
However there were serious limitations to this act that was meant to change the face of British democracy. The act still did not create a system of "
one person, one vote". 7% of the population enjoyed a plural vote in the 1918 election: mostly middle-class men who had an extra vote due to a university constituency(this act increased the university vote by creating the Combined English Universities seats) or a spreading of business into other constituencies. There was also a significant inequality between the voting rights of men and women. Women could only vote if they were over 30 and either a local government elector through property qualification, or married to a husband who was so enfranchised, or entitled to vote for a university constituency.
Official names of United Kingdom Parliamentary constituencies— for names of constituencies provided for by this Act
Women's suffrage in the United Kingdom
* [http://www.bartleby.com/65/re/RepPeopl.html Bartleby article on the Act]
* [http://www.parliament.uk/about/images/historical/1918representation.cfm Representation of the People Act 1918] on the Parliament website
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Representation of the People Act 1918 — Le Representation of the People Act 1918 est une loi britannique destinée à réformer le système électoral. On la désigne parfois sous le nom de Fourth Reform Act. Elle est la première à inclure pratiquement la majorité des hommes dans le système… … Wikipédia en Français
Representation of the People Act — can refer to the following acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom: * Representation of the People Act 1832 * Representation of the People (Scotland) Act 1832 * Representation of the People (Ireland) Act 1832 * Representation of the People… … Wikipedia
Representation of the People Act 1884 — In the United Kingdom, the Representation of the People Act of 1884 (48 49 Vict. c. 3, also known as the Third Reform Act) and the Redistribution Act of the following year were a response to the inequality in the electoral system left by Benjamin … Wikipedia
Representation of the People Acts — (1918, 1928) Parliamentary acts that expanded suffrage in Britain. The act of 1918 gave the vote to all men over 21 and all women over 30, which tripled the electorate. The act of 1928 extended the franchise to women aged 21–30. The acts… … Universalium
Succession to the Crown Act 1707 — The Succession to the Crown Act 1707 is an Act of Parliament of the Parliament of Great Britain which is still in force in the United Kingdom with amendments. [UK SLD|1516244|Succession to the Crown Act 1707] The long title is An Act for the… … Wikipedia
1918 in the United Kingdom — Events from the year 1918 in the United Kingdom.Incumbents*Monarch George V of the United Kingdom *Prime Minister David Lloyd George, coalitionEvents* 28 January Night of unusually heavy bombing in London and south east England.cite book… … Wikipedia
Act of Independence of Lithuania — The Act of Independence of Lithuania ( lt. Lietuvos Nepriklausomybės Aktas) or Act of February 16 was signed by the Council of Lithuania on February 16, 1918, proclaiming the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania, governed by… … Wikipedia
Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania — The Act of the Re Establishment of the State of Lithuania or Act of March 11 signed by the members of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, proclaimed the re establishment of Lithuania s independence on March 11,… … Wikipedia
The Decline of the West — Cover of Volume II, first edition, 1922 The Decline of the West (German: Der Untergang des Abendlandes), or The Downfall of the Occident, is a two volume work by Oswald Spengler, the first volume of which was published in the summer of 1918.… … Wikipedia
The Planets — This article is about the orchestral suite by Gustav Holst. For the celestial body, see Planet. For the planets in our solar system, see Solar System. For other uses, see Planet (disambiguation). Gustav Holst The Planets, Op. 32, is a seven… … Wikipedia