Social progress in Queen Victoria London times.
Political and social progress, though less astonishing, was substantial. In 1830 England, nominally a monarchy was in reality a plutocracy of about a hundred thousand men--landed nobles, gentry, and wealthy merchants--whose privileges dated back to fifteenth century conditions. The first Reform Bill, of 1832, forced on Parliament by popular pressure, extended the right of voting to men of the 'middle class,' and the subsequent bills of 1867 and 1885 made it universal for men. Meanwhile the House of Commons slowly asserted itself against the hereditary House of Lords, and thus England became perhaps the most truly democratic of the great nations of the world. At the beginning of the period the …
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