Chapter

The impact of industrialisation

J. A. Chandler

in Explaining Local Government

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780719067068
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701355 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719067068.003.0002
The impact of industrialisation

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The political crisis which led up to the 1832 Electoral Reform Act in Britain is seen as a near-bloodless revolution that levered the landed elites from power in favour of urban merchants and industrialists, and, in the context of local government, led to the 1834 Poor Law Reform and the 1835 Municipal Corporations Acts, which began the modernisation of the system. While the Poor Law Amendment Act is depicted as the beginning of centralisation, the Municipal Corporations Act, along with the enfranchisement after 1832 of the urban conurbations, suggested the possibility of a more decentralised patronclient system. Industrialisation was at the root of the social forces that restructured the British political system and, as part of the process, the system of local governance in the nineteenth century. This chapter discusses the impact of industrialisation on local government in Britain, radical and liberal opinion on local government, the philosophical radicals and the centralised State, the conservative radicals and decentralisation, local government and the 1832 Electoral Reform Act, the Poor Law and the 1835 Municipal Corporations Act.

Keywords: Britain; Electoral Reform Act; centralisation; Municipal Corporations Act; Poor Law; local government; industrialisation; decentralisation; philosophical radicals; conservative radicals

Chapter.  9757 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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