Rotten Boroughs


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Rotten Boroughs

 

depopulated towns and villages of Britain at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century that retained the right of representation in Parliament. A member of Parliament from a rotten borough was usually appointed by its proprietors—the landlords. The system of rotten boroughs, by which important cities such as Birmingham and Manchester had no representation in Parliament, was an obstacle to the penetration into Parliament of the representatives of the industrial bourgeoisie. The majority of the rotten boroughs (56) were deprived of their independent representation by the parliamentary reform of 1832; the remainder by the electoral reform of 1867. As a result, from 1832 to 1867, about 200 members’ seats in Parliament were liberated.

References in periodicals archive ?
The reformers in the Association Movement were intent on abolishing the glaring evils of the rotten boroughs and, more generally, were critical of what they perceived to be the excessive political power wielded by the boroughs in the provinces.
The Reform Bill of 1832 resulted in the elimination of all of the over two-hundred rotten boroughs while redistributing these among the under-represented counties and the new industrial towns, some of which returned no members at all under the old representational system.
Ultimately, the Reform Act of 1832 abolished the rotten boroughs and extended the franchise to the new middle class (the working class and women would have to wait).
A chasm is opening up between politicians and people, the like of which has not been seen since the time of rotten boroughs.
The expenses scandal, which tarnished so many MPs and forced some into premature retirement, has wearied the electorate, with some commentators comparing the last Parliament with those produced by the unreformed constitution of the 18th century, a period marked in the popular imagination by rotten boroughs where the nomination was in the hands of a single person or family.
One might almost think it was possible we might revert to the days before Lord Grey's Great Reform Act, when rotten boroughs were routinely handed to unemployable young aristocrats.
Sturgeon said: "Voters have a chance on Thursday to clear out Labour's rotten boroughs and secure a fresh start for councils.
This was a time of great political change when the Great Reform Bill scrapped many anomalies such as Rotten Boroughs, where vanished villages still returned MPs.
In the scale of things, rotten boroughs, universal suffrage and a General Strike were very much small potatoes.
Peel promised that he would not seek to turn back the tide of political Reform (enacted by the Whigs) that had swept away the rotten boroughs and brought voting rights to the new industrial town.
It's taxation without representation and that went out with rotten boroughs.