1st Edition

Documents on the Nineteenth Century United Kingdom Constitution

Edited By Andrew Blick
    688 Pages
    by Routledge

    This four-volume collection presents a range of documents related to aspects of the constitutional history of the United Kingdom (UK), covering the ‘long’ nineteenth century. It examines material dating from the period of the American and French revolutions through to the advent of an equal franchise for men and women.

    During the long nineteenth century, the country passed through immense socio-economic changes. It underwent internal strains involving its multinational composition. It became the dominant global power, then saw that position become subject to various challenges. These tendencies helped generate sustained and wide-ranging controversy about how the country should govern itself. They also helped produce a series of important changes in the nature of the constitution. At the outset of the long nineteenth century, only a tiny proportion of the population were allowed to vote; and an hereditary monarch remained an active political figure. By the end, democratic ideas and practices had achieved ascendancy. Yet in other ways, the constitution retained some long-established characteristics.

    The purpose of these volumes is to support research into and understanding of these tendencies. They will enable readers to approach concepts such as democracy and constitutional change from a critical standpoint, evaluating existing interpretations and encouraging the consideration of possible different conclusions. The collection will encourage consideration of matters such as paths that were not taken, what resistance there was to change, how particular outcomes came about, and the compromises involved. It will also facilitate comparison between constitutional ideals and realities.

    Documents on the Nineteenth Century United Kingdom Constitution

    Edited by Andrew Blick

    Volume I: Reform

    General Introduction

    Volume 1 Introduction

    Part 1. 1776 - 1832

    1. John Wilkes, ‘Parliamentary Reform’

    2. John Cartwright, Take Your Choice! Representation and Respect, Imposition and Contempt

    3. William Pitt, ‘Reform of the Franchise’

    4. William Pitt, ‘Reform of the Franchise’

    5. Thomas Spence, The Constitution of Spenconia,

    6. Jeremy Bentham, Parliamentary Reform Catechism

    7. William Cobbett, To the Journeymen of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland

    8. Lord John Russell, ‘Parliamentary Reform’

    9. Sir Robert Peel MP, ‘Parliamentary Reform’

    10. Duke of Wellington, ‘Parliamentary Reform’

    11. Henry Hunt, ‘Rights of Women’

    12. Reform Act, 1832

    Part 2. 1832 - 1884

    13. Petition Agreed to at the Crown and Anchor meeting, 28 February 1837

    14. George Grote, ‘The Ballot’

    15. Marion Reid, ‘A Plea For Woman’

    16. Benjamin Disraeli, ‘Reform’

    17. Edward Baines, ‘Borough Franchise Bill’

    18. William Gladstone, ‘Borough Franchise Bill’

    19. William Gladstone, ‘Representation of the People Bill’

    20. Mrs Bodichon Reasons for the Enfranchisement of Women

    21. J. S. Mill, ‘Suffrage’

    22. Reform Act, 1867

    23. George Eliot, ‘(Fictitious) Address to Working Men, by "Felix Holt"’

    24. Thomas Hare, ‘Machinery of Representation’

    25. The Ballot Act, 1872

    26. Millicent Fawcett, ‘Women’s Suffrage’

    27. W. E. Gladstone, ‘Representation of the People Amendment Bill’

    28. Representation of the People Act 1884


    Part 3. 1884-1928

    29. Albert Venn Dicey, ‘Ought the Referendum to be Introduced into England?’

    30. Mrs Pankhurst, ‘The Importance of the Vote’

    31. John Humphreys, ‘A Study in Methods of Election’

    32. Lord Balfour of Burleigh, ‘Reference to the People Bill’

    33. Earl of Crewe, ‘Reference to the People Bill’

    34. Violet Markham, ‘Woman’s Sphere’


    35. Joseph Compton-Rickett, ‘Representation of the People (Women) Bill’

    36. Philip Snowden, ‘Representation of the People (Women) Bill’

    37. Conference on Electoral Reform, Letter from Mr. Speaker to the Prime Minister

    38. Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918

    39. Representation of the People Act 1918

    40. Sir William Joynson Hicks, ‘Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Bill’

    41. Brigadier-General Sir George Cockerill, ‘Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Bill’

    42. Ellen Wilkinson, ‘Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Bill’

    43. Margaret Bondfield, ‘Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Bill’

    44. Viscountess (Nancy) Astor, ‘Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Bill’

    45. Stanley Baldwin, ‘Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Bill’

    46. Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928, Polling Districts and Places

    47. Virginia Woolf, ‘A Room of One’s Own’




    Volume II: People, Parties and Politicians

    General Introduction

    Volume 2 Introduction

    Part 1. Perspectives

    1. Mary Woolstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

    2. Lord Byron, ‘Framework Bill’

    3. Alfred Tennyson, ‘You Ask Me Why, Tho’ Ill at East’

    4. Karl Marx, ‘The British Constitution’

    5. Benjamin Disraeli, speech at Crystal Palace, 24 June 1872

    6. William Morris, ‘Concerning Government’

    7. J. A. Hobson, ‘The Crisis of Liberalism: New Issues of Democracy’

    Part 2. Campaigns and groups

    8. Society for Constitutional Information

    9. The London Corresponding Society’s Regulations

    10. Percy Bysshe Shelley, ‘Masque of Anarchy’,

    11. Thomas Duncombe, ‘The People’s Charter – Petition’

    12. Address of the Committee to the People of England, Administrative Reform Association

    13. Charles Watts, ‘Secularism in its Various Relations’

    14. Christabel Pankhurst, ‘The Militant Methods of the NWSPU’

    15. Chrystal Macmillan, ‘The Struggle for Political Liberty’

    Part 3. Representation

    16. Admission of Baron de Rothschild

    17. Sir Mancherjee Bhownaggree, ‘Indian Taxation’

    18. Viscountess (Nancy) Astor, ‘Liquor Traffic (Restrictions)’

    19. Margaret Wintringham, ‘Royal Parks and Pleasure Gardens’

    20. Shapurji Saklatvala, ‘Debate on the Address’

    21. Margaret Bondfield, ‘Debate on the Address’

    22. Eleanor Rathbone, ‘Housing (Revision of Contributions) Bill’

    23. Marion Phillips, ‘Annual Holiday Bill’

    Part 4. Rights and freedoms

    24. Charles James Fox, ‘Religious Liberty’,

    25. A Habeas Corpus Suspension Act, 1794

    26. The Case of Wolf Tone,

    27. Combination Act 1800

    28. Richard Sheridan, ‘Standing Order for the Exclusion of Strangers’

    29. Sir Samuel Romilly, ‘Habeas Corpus Suspension Bill’

    30. Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts 1828

    31. Roman Catholic Emancipation Act, 1829

    32. Edward Lytton Bulwer, ‘Newspaper Stamp Duties’

    33. Charles Bradlaugh, ‘Public Meetings in the Metropolis’

    34. (Industrial action) Taff Vale Case, decision of Mr. Justice Farewell

    35. Aliens Act, 1905

    36. Lord Loreburn, ‘Trade Disputes Bill’

    37. Cinematograph Act, 1909

    38. Official Secrets Act, 1911

    39. Defence of the Realm Act, 1914

    40. Emergency Powers Act, 1920

    41. Report of the Broadcasting Committee

    42. Ellen Wilkinson, ‘Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Bill’


    Volume III: Institutions

    General Introduction

    Volume 3 Introduction

    Part 1. Monarchs and Administrations

    1. Samuel Romilly, ‘Change of Administration’

    2. Lord Erskine, ‘Change of Administration’

    3. Robert Peel, ‘The Address’

    4. Lord John Russell, ‘Address in Answer to the Speech’

    5. Walter Bagehot, ‘The English Constitution’

    6. Austin Holyoake, ‘Would a Republican Form of Government Be Suitable to England?’

    7. Lord Curzon, ‘Parliament Bill – Vote of Censure’

    Part 2. The Prime Minister

    8. Lord Melville to Mr. Addington

    9. Sir Robert Peel, Lord Rosebery

    10. Sidney Low, ‘The Governance of England’

    11. The Prime Minister’s Precedence, J.S. (‘Jack) Sandars to Lord Knollys

    12. Chequers Estate Act, 1917

    Part 3. Cabinet

    13. George Canning to Lord Malmesbury

    14. Lord Castlereagh, ‘Lord Ellenborough’s Seat in the Cabinet’

    15. Walter Bagehot, ‘The English Constitution’

    16. Minutes of a Meeting of the War Cabinet

    17. Draft Rules of Procedure for the War Cabinet


    Part 4. Administrations and Mandates

    18. Benjamin Disraeli, ‘Commercial Policy’

    19. Sir Robert Peel, ‘Resignation of the Ministry’

    20. William Gladstone, ‘Defeat of the Government on the Irish Church Resolutions’

    21. Marquess of Hartington, ‘Government of Ireland Bill’

    Part 5. Civil Service and Machinery of Government

    22. Report on the Organisation of the Permanent Civil Service

    23. Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit

    24. Anthony Trollope, An Autobiography

    25. Report of the Machinery of Government Committee (‘Haldane’ report), 1918

    26. Subcommittee Appointed to Consider the Position after the War of Women Holding Temporary Appointments in Government Departments

    Part 6. Parliament

    6. 1 General

    27. Edmund Burke, ‘Economical Reform’

    28. Sir Robert Peel, ‘Resignation of Ministers’

    29. Sir Robert Peel, ‘Confidence in the Ministry’

    30. Earl of Rosebery, ‘Motion for a Select Committee (House of Lords Reform)’

    31. A. V. Dicey, Law of the Constitution (the Sovereignty of Parliament)

    32. A. J. Balfour, ‘New Procedure Rules (for the House of Commons)’

    33. Earl of Clarendon, ‘House of Lords Reform’

    6.2 Commons-Lords Relations

    34. Earl Grey, ‘Ministerial Arrangements’

    35. Lord Chelmsford, ‘Paper Duty Repeal Bill’

    36. Lord Salisbury, ‘Irish Church Bill’

    37. Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, ‘Education (England and Wales) Bill’

    38. Herbert Henry Asquith, ‘Parliament Bill’

    39. Ramsey MacDonald, ‘Parliament Bill’

    40. Parliament Act, 1911

    Part 7. Local Government

    41. Municipal Corporations Act, 1835

    42. Lydia Becker, ‘The Rights and Duties of Women in Local Government’

    43. Local Government Act, 1888

    44. London Government Act, 1899

    Part 8. The Courts and the Legal System

    45. Judicial Committee Act, 1833

    46. County Courts Act, 1846

    47. Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1876

    48. Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1873



    Volume IV: Nations and Empire

    General Introduction

    Volume 4 Introduction

    Part 1. Independence, Revolution and War

    1. American Declaration of Independence

    2. Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

    3. Mary Woolstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men

    4. Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, Part One

    5. Hannah More, Village Politics

    Part 2. Imperial and External Policy

    6. Olaudah Equiano, Equiano’s Travels

    7. An Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade

    8. Te Tiriti O Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi

    9. Sir William Molesworth, ‘The Australian Colonies’

    10. William Gladstone, ‘New Zealand Government Bill’

    11. Report on the Indian Civil Service

    12. Government of India Act, 1858

    13. Colonial Laws Validity Act, 1865

    14. John Seeley, ‘The United States of Europe’

    15. Henry Richard, ‘National Engagements’

    16. Report of the Special Committee of the League, Imperial Federation

    17. Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, 1900

    18. Peace of Vereeniging

    19. Arthur Ponsonby, ‘Parliament and Foreign Policy’

    20. Mahatma Gandhi, statement at trial Ahmadabad


    Part 3. Nations and Union

    21. An Act for the Union with Ireland, 1800

    22. An Act for Restoring Order in Ireland, 1803

    23. Daniel O’Connell, speech at Mullaghmast, 1 October 1843

    24. Isaac Butt, ‘Home Government for Ireland: Irish Federalism! Its Meaning, Its Objects and Its Hopes’

    25. Secretary for Scotland Act, 1885

    26. W. E. Gladstone, ‘Government of Ireland Bill’

    27. Thomas Waring, ‘Government of Ireland Bill’

    28. Charles Parnell, ‘Government of Ireland Bill’

    29. Joseph Chamberlain, ‘Government of Ireland Bill’

    30. W. Mitchell, ‘Home Rule for Scotland’ 

    31. W. Llewelyn Williams, ‘Cymru Fydd: Its Aims and Objects’

    32. James Joyce, ‘The Death of Parnell’

    33. Government of Ireland Act, 1914

    34. Welsh Church Act, 1914

    35. 1916 Proclamation (of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic)

    36. Major Edward Wood, ‘Creation of Subordinate Legislatures’

    37. Government of Ireland Act, 1920

    38. Anglo Irish Treaty, Articles of Agreement



    Professor Andrew Blick is Head of the Department of Political Economy and Professor of Politics and Contemporary History at Kings College London, UK.