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Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:13 PM

Just heard about the 'Peterloo' massacre. Never HEARD of this atrocity! INCREDIBLE!!


Then I wondered, when did the 'ordinary' people get the vote in England?


I looked up when 'ordinary' people got the vote in England and it's not real clear. It seems the "Representation of the People Act of 1918 let those who fought in the war and women that helped in some way to vote. Also men of 21 years of age were allowed to vote and women 30 years old and owned land were allowed."... does this mean men of 21 who owned land were given the vote but not those who did not own land?

When did 'commoners' who did not own land get the vote? Can anybody help me out here?



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Reply Just heard about the 'Peterloo' massacre. Never HEARD of this atrocity! INCREDIBLE!! (Original post)
Bill USA Jan 2013 OP
sinkingfeeling Jan 2013 #1
Bill USA Jan 2013 #2
intaglio Jan 2013 #3
leveymg Jan 2013 #4
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #5
LeftishBrit Jan 2013 #6

Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:20 PM

1. No, that act gave all males over 21 the right to vote, but not women.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suffrage#United_Kingdom


Representation of the People Act 1918 - the consequences of World War I persuaded the government to expand the right to vote, not only for the many men who fought in the war who were disenfranchised, but also for the women who helped in the factories and elsewhere as part of the war effort. Property restrictions for voting were lifted for men, who could vote at 21; however women's votes were given with these property restrictions, and were limited to those over 30 years old. This raised the electorate from 7.7 million to 21.4 million with women making up 40% of the electorate. Seven percent of the electorate had more than one vote. The first election with this system was the United Kingdom general election, 1918

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:30 PM

2. thank you. very interesting.



Too much history I'm afraid I am ignorant of. ...i.e. 'of which I am ignorant'.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:37 PM

3. Equal sufferage with men 1928 after the USA (19th Amendment of 1920)

Voting age reduced to 18 for all eligible voters 1970, the year before the 26th Amendment

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:37 PM

4. No wonder the Tories were so alarmed by the Labour Party and General Strike of 1919.

The numbers of those who didn't qualify to vote because they didn't own sufficient property or for gender reasons outnumbered the preexisting electorate by 2-1. Britain was hardly what one could call a real Democracy.

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:48 PM

5. Fortunately the number of deaths

were less than Wounded Knee.

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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:42 PM

6. It was a gradual process

The first Great Reform Act was in 1832. It gave the vote to male householders living in properties worth 10 pounds or more per year. In other words, it extended the vote from being almost exclusively the preserve of the upper classes to including a significant section of the middle class - but not the working class, and of course not women.

There were further reform acts that extended the eligibility of people to vote; but even as late as 1870, only about 40% of males were elibible to vote.

1918 was as you imply a pivotal year: it was when property qualifications for men were completely removed, and universal suffrage was established for men of 21 and over. Votes were extended to women for the first time, but they still had to be property owners/ married to property owners, and to be over 30. At that time especially, it could be socially disadvantageous for women to publicly reveal that they were over 30, and this no doubt deterred a number of women from voting, and perhaps was intended to do so. In 1928, all women over 21 were finally given the vote.

All this refers to voting in national elections; rights to vote in local government elections were in some cases more extensive a bit earlier. For instance, women could vote in certain local elections from the late 19th century, and our first woman mayor, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson of Aldeburgh - also Britain's first woman doctor - was elected in 1908.

You may be interested in this song commemorating the Peterloo Massacre:



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