To What Extent Did The Democratic System In Britain Change Between 1800-1900?

Read Complete Research Material

To what extent did the democratic system in Britain change between 1800-1900?

To what extent did the democratic system in Britain change between 1800-1900?


Among the four different paths of political development the first and most significant path is that which leads non democratic society to a democratic one. The best example of this way of political development is found in Britain where the democracy once set is never threatened nor destroyed. Democracy is the most frequently used word in the British Politics. The people of the country are always acquainted with the fact that they are living in a democracy in Britain and that their political system is genuinely "democratic" and that the countries that do not adapt these standards are categorized as "undemocratic". In 1986, Robertson, stated that:

"Democracy is the most valued and also the vaguest of political terms in the modern world."

He continued by elucidating that the word democracy only begins to indicate something substantial in the contemporary world when it is attached with other political words, like liberal, representative, parliamentary and direct (Stewart, 1938).


Going back into the history, England and Scotland, the political union of the kingdoms created a new kingdom of Great Britain on May 1st, 1707 in accordance with the Treaty of Union (Blakeley & Collins, 1993).

Many significant developments of Western ideas of parliamentary system are found in the 18th century. During this time period, the country played a significant role by contributing in the fields of arts, science and literature. The main focus was given to the Industrial Revolution; this Industrial Revolution led by the British transformed the entire country and resulted in the rising of the British Empire. Like other great powers of that time Britain was engaged in colonial exploitation, together with the Atlantic slave trade. Though United Kingdom acquired a leading role in fighting the trade in slaves with the 1807 Act of passing of the Slave Trade, the Northern American colonies had been the main concern for the British colonial activity. At the beginning of the 18th century Ireland and the Britain Parliaments approved an Act of Union during the wars with France that united these two kingdoms and formed Ireland and the United Kingdom or UK of the Great Britain, which emerged on 1st January, 1801 (May, 2009).

The Battle of Waterloo manifested the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the commencement of Pax Britannica. United Kingdom appeared on the global map as the most important economic and naval power of the 19th century later than the defeat of France in the Napoleonic and Revolutionary Wars that lasted from 1792 to 1815. London became the biggest city in the world and remained biggest for a period of 100 years i.e. from 1830 to 1930 and also remained a leading power in the mid 20th century. Britain took up the position of global policeman i.e. a state of affairs afterwards identified as the Pax Britannica. During this time, Britain experienced the most the rapid economic, colonial and industrial growth and was portrayed ...