Edexcel coursework unit 4 cw19: Representation and



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  • EDEXCEL COURSEWORK UNIT 4
  • CW19: Representation and
  • Democracy in Britain, c.1830-1931
  • What, in your view, was the short-term significance of the Reform Act of 1832?
  • B) In considering the process of change in representation and democracy over the whole period 1830-1931, how far can the Reform Act of 1832 be seen as the key turning point?
  • FOCUS: The process of change whereby a representative system of government developed in Britain from just before the 1832 Reform Act to just after 1928 when women obtained the vote on the same basis as men.
  • What, in your view, was the short-term significance of the Reform Act of 1832?
  • YOUR TASK:
  • You must define the terms ‘significance’ and ‘short-term’ (no more than 20 years but could be less) in the introduction and explain that the Reform Act of 1832 was the first Act of Parliament that attempted to change the British Parliamentary system for centuries.
  • For each section you will need to briefly summarise the situation prior to the Act before analysing significance of changes, but keep this brief as it’s the changes that are more important and need the analysis.
  • You must look at what the Act changed: it made changes to the Franchise and Distribution of seats, although Electoral corruption became worse in many places after the Act.
  • You must consider the aims of the Act and whether they were realised. The aims of the Act were not intended to be revolutionary or indeed ‘significant’ as it was introduced by the Whigs to maintain the ‘elite’s power’ and the status quo; to prevent the revolutionary activity seen between 1830-32. You must analyse whether these aims were met and whether this was significant?
  • You must also look at the unintentional changes brought about by the Act. Ironically, the unintentional changes to political parties; which became more organised, used manifestos and began to canvass for votes were probably the Act’s greatest significance.
  • What, in your view, was the short-term significance of the Reform Act of 1832?
  • You must select a range of primary sources (at least 6 contemporary sources) to show the significance (or otherwise) of the Act’s changes with regards to: Franchise, Distribution of seats and Electoral corruption; the Whig’s aims and whether they were achieved, analysing their significance and finally look at the unintentional changes to Parties and Parliament and again question significance.
  • We will provide you with example sources in a ‘Source Booklet’, but must encourage you to find other contemporary sources as well. Part of the marks for this question will be awarded for selection of evidence.
  • You must write the essay through the sources (see the example on the next slide) and evaluate their purpose, origin, value and limitations, cross-referencing sources with other primary material or historians’ opinions.
  • You must weigh the evidence in your analysis. How valid or relevant is each source?
  • You must record all sources, contemporary and historical in the ‘resource record sheet’, comment on what they say and their provenance, date and sign each.
  • AN EXAMPLE OF HOW TO WRITE A PART A) QUESTION THROUGH THE SOURCES.
  • (This is a paragraph looking at electoral corruption)
  • The short-term significance of the GRA can also be attributed to its attempt at ending electoral corruption. Before 1832 elections saw varying forms of corruption; in Hogarth’s depiction of an election (Whitfield, B., 2001,p31) men are to be seen bludgeoning each other accompanied by rampant pigs and monkeys, Dickens also described how ‘struggling and pushing and fighting succeeded’ during an election in his fictitious work ‘The Pickwick Papers’ (Briggs, 2000). As satiric artists both Hogarth and Dickens have exaggerated, however Lord John Russell, a pro-reformist, also described a ‘gross venality and corruption’ as pervading electors in his speech to the Commons (’World Book’,2009). The GRA’s attempt at eliminating this corruption was rather feeble, as Disraeli commented in 1837 ‘the stain of borough mongering has only assumed a deeper and darker hue’, corrupt techniques had become ‘more highly organised than under the old system’ (Briggs, 2000, p230). This view is supported by Joseph Parkes’ evidence to a Commons committee in 1835. Talking of bribery in his home town, Warwick, Parkes comments, ‘I heard it insinuated to have taken place in 1831, I am not sure that it was practised then, but in 1832 it was most openly practised’ (Bloy, M, ‘The Peel Web’, 2009). Both contemporary sources, realised within 10 years of the GRA , illustrate a failing of the GRA to eliminate electoral corruption. Parkes’ evidence is questionable, however, as the parliamentary committees established to evaluate disputed election cases after 1832 were often biased towards party loyalties and tended to hide certain facts from enquiry. However, Lord John Russell conceded in 1837 that ‘corruption and intimidation prevailed to a lamentable extent’ after the GRA (Bloy, M, ‘The Peel Web’,2009). As a reformist himself, Lord John Russell would be reluctant to admit to continued corruption had it not been an inescapable fact. With the evidence of both Joseph Parkes, an election agent, and Lord John Russell, a parliamentary official, it is apparent that electoral corruption was little changed, if not worsened in the short-term by the Great Reform Act of 1832.
  • Serafina Vick 2010.
  • CHECKLIST FOR PART A):
  • Have you used at least 6 primary sources?
  • (These sources must be evaluated and used to show the changes of the Act)
  • Is your focus mainly on the significance of the changes?
  • (Yes you must mention the situation before the act to evaluate changes – but this only needs to be brief and the source evaluation needs to be on the changes themselves)
  • Is it written through the sources?
  • (Detailed own knowledge is not needed)
  • Have you evaluated the sources and set them in their historical context?
  • (You need to question why they were written; whether they are likely to be biased and why; whether you would trust the evidence; compare and contrast a number of primary sources and match them to historians’ opinions)
  • Have you ‘weighed’ the evidence in your analysis?
  • (You must take into account their reliability (can you rely on it?) and have cross-matched them to determine your opinion regarding significance)
  • Have you correctly referenced the evidence using the Harvard system of referencing? (Check the referencing guide on the shared drive)
  • Have you completed the resource record sheet correctly? (See example on next slide)
  • ISSUE
  • SOURCES
  • COMMENTS
  • TEACHER’S INITIALS AND DATE
  • Was the Reform Act of 1832 significant in terms of changes to electoral corruption?
  • An extract from ‘The Pickwick Papers’ Charles Dickens, Pearce , R and Stern, R, ‘Government and Reform 1815-1914, Hodder Murray, 2000, page 32
  • MP Lord John Russell’s parliamentary speech to the Commons in 1836, Bloy M, The Peel Web, accessed March 16th 2010
  • Bob Whitfield’s opinions on electoral corruption post 1832, Whitfield, B, ‘The Extension of the Franchise 1832-1931’, Heinemann, 2000, page 256
  • This is a fictional account by Dickens, however as a known social commentator his account was based on the realities of the time. He comments that electoral corruption was rife during this period.
  • Russell was an MP at the time and was pro-reform. His views that electoral corruption was worse is therefore likely to be true and can back up the account by Dickens.
  • Whitfield is a modern historian who has undertaken extensive research on the subject of Parliamentary Democracy. His views were that electoral corruption in many places did get worse after 1832 and can back up the 2 contemporary sources above.
  • JAT
  • March 20th 2010.
  • JAT
  • March 20th 2010.
  • JAT
  • April 1st 2010.
  • AN EXAMPLE OF HOW TO COMPLETE THE RESOURCE RECORD SHEET.
  • THIS IS LOOKING AT THE PART A) QUESTION ON SIGNIFICANCE AND PRIMARY SOURCES.
  • B) In considering the process of change in representation and democracy over the whole period 1830-1931, how far can the Reform Act of 1832 be seen as the key turning point?
  • This question requires a clear understanding of what a turning point is and therefore you must define it in the introduction and keep analysing whether the GRA is a turning point throughout your essay.
  • You must clearly show that a Representative Government or Democracy needed every adult the chance to cast a vote (the Franchise), every adults’ vote to be counted equally (redistribution) and each vote to be cast freely according to conscience (elimination of corruption).
  • Was the Reform Act of 1832 the most important Act in the short and long term that changed Parliamentary Democracy more than any other Act in the period?
  • You must look at events and highlight patterns of change over the whole period. This has no focus on causation, instead you must consider ‘What patterns of change can be seen over the whole period’ and ‘what change in pattern is associated with the Reform Act of 1832? - what difference did the event make? Did it see the biggest change over the period, or were other events associated with greater degrees of change?
  • Judgements about the extent to which the Reform Act of 1832 is a ‘turning point’ primarily involves looking at its impact, effects and/or consequences. Hence a judgement about the importance of the 1832 Reform Act as a turning point, for example, would involve looking at such matters as its impact on the size of the electorate, the impact of redistribution of seats and the impact of ending electoral corruption(1883); its effects on methods of electioneering and the organisation of political parties, and its impact on the distribution of political power within Britain.
  • Judgements about a turning point will necessarily involve comparison of the states of affairs before and after the event in question in order to establish the difference it made.
  • The qualities of high level work are:
  • • sustained analysis of the process of change over the whole period
  • • analysis supported by well selected information referenced appropriately
  • direct references to historians and comparing their opinions based on the Turning Point question
  • • information used from a range of reading/other appropriate sources
  • • discriminating use of reading and other material - evaluation of argument and, as appropriate, interpretations
  • • cogent and lucid exposition.
  • A02: 25 marks
  • B) In considering the process of change in representation and democracy over the whole period 1830-1931, how far can the Reform Act of 1832 be seen as the key turning point?
  • CHECKLIST FOR PART B) QUESTIONS:
  • Have you clearly defined a ‘Turning Point’ in your introduction?
  • Have you analysed ‘Turning Point’ in every paragraph?
  • (This is where you need to bring in historians’ contrasting opinions and show that you are questioning an interpretation)
  • Do you have a clear focus and structure?
  • ( Do you look at the situation before each act; what changed and what stayed the same after each Act? Have you mentioned changes to Franchise, Redistribution of Seats, Elimination of Electoral Corruption, Impact of events on Parties and Parliament?)
  • Does your Conclusion fully analyse whether the Act was a Turning Point?
  • Have you directly referred to historians throughout and questioned their opinions on Turning Points?
  • Do you show and are aware of the patterns of change over time?
  • Have you correctly referenced facts and opinions, using the Harvard system of referencing?
  • Have you analysed each ‘change’ and ‘historian’ in your resource record sheet? (See the example on the next slide)
  • AN EXAMPLE OF HOW TO COMPLETE THE RESOURCE RECORD SHEET.
  • THIS IS LOOKING AT THE PART B) QUESTION ON CAUSATION AND SECONDARY HISTORIANS.
  • ISSUE
  • SOURCES
  • COMMENTS
  • TEACHER’S INITIALS AND DATE
  • How far was German nationalism the key factor in the outbreak of the First World War?
  • Ruth Henig Origins of the First World War 1989, Routledge, London.
  • J A G Roberts On the Origins of the First World War, Huddersfield
  • University, 1990,
  • Huddersfield.
  • Zara Steiner Britain
  • and the origins of the
  • First World War, 1977 Macmillan London
  • I read this as an introduction to the information about the reasons for the outbreak of the war. It highlighted the long-term causes of the war.
  • This summarised the contributions of historians to the debate about the origins of the war. It highlighted historians I could read e.g. Fritz Fischer and James Joll.
  • This gave more emphasis to Britain’s involvement in the origins of the First World War. It stressed the importance of Anglo-German Naval rivalry.
  • FINAL CHECKLIST:
  • Have you counted your words? Both parts A and B together must not come to more than 4,000 words. You must include the number of words on the front cover.
  • If you go over, it will not be marked from 4,000 words onwards.
  • Quotations or anything in your text will count towards the word limit, but any reference in parenthesis () will not count.
  • Have you completely and correctly filled out the front cover?
  • Have you completed, in full, the resource record sheet and signed and dated each section?
  • Have you checked your references closely, following the Harvard system of referencing? (authors surname, initial of first name, year of publication, page number)
  • Do you have a full bibliography in alphabetical order (Surname) which provides: Author’s surname, initial of first name, Title of Book/article, publisher, year of publication and where appropriate place of publication.
  • If appropriate have you included an Appendix?
  • SUGGESTED READING:
  • Bibliography – Books:
  • Evans, E.J - Parliamentary Reform 1770-1918 (Pearson Education, 2000)
  • Mayer, A - The Growth of Democracy in Britain (Hodder + Stoughton, 1998)
  • Pearce, R and Stearn, R - Government and Reform 1815-1914 (Hodder Murray, 2000)
  • Pugh, M - The Evolution of the British Electoral System 1832-1987 (Blackwell, 1993)
  • Whitfield, B - The Extension of the Franchise 1832-1931 (Heinemann, 2000)
  • Fictional books:
  • Dickens, C., 2000. The Pickwick Papers. Penguin Classics. First published 1837
  • Beechen Cliff History Department’s Source Booklet – but do not use this only!
  • Websites:
  • Bloy, M, ‘The Peel Web’: http://www.historyhome.co.uk/peel/reftopic.htm
  • http://www.historyhome.co.uk/primary.htm
  • http://www.historyhome.co.uk/primary.htm
  • Spartacus Educational: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/
  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/REVhistorysources.htm - list of primary sources websites.
  • The National Archives: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/politics.htm


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