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Word Count: 445
Britain was not a democracy aristocrats dominated it It had a constitutional monarchy that had many limits on the powers of the king and state Landed aristocrats controlled both the House of Lords and the House of Commons The majority of the middle and working class could not vote Many towns continued to be governed by corrupt groups New industrial towns were not allowed to elect representatives to Parliament Younger sons of aristocrats had to make careers in law business the military and the church because they didnt inherit titles The wealthiest merchants bought lands titles and husbands for their daughters The courts Parliament local government the established Anglican church and the monarch were all part of a social and political system dominated by aristocratic interests and values In 1828 Parliament abolished a seventeenth-century act that barred Catholics and Nonconformists from government positions and from universities In 1833 slavery was abolished within the British Empire In 1835 the Municipal Corporations Act gave towns and cities greater authority over their affairs It could make reforms such as sanitation which Parliament passed the first Public Health Act in 1848 The House of Commons passed the Reform Bill of 1832 which gave more people the right to vote But the House of Lords refused to pass the bill So King William IV and many politicians threatened to increase the number of the bills supporters in the House of Lords by creating new peers The threat worked and the bill was passed The Reform Act of 1832 extended the suffrage to the middle class and made the House of Commons more representative During the 1830s and 1840s reformers called Chartists agitated for democratic measures such as the secret ballot salaries universal manhood suffrage the abolition of property qualifications for members of Parliament and annual elections for members of Parliament The chartists were both intellectual radicals and workers All of the Chartists demands were made except
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