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.
The first of these, the Reform Bill of 1832, disfranchised boroughs of very few inhabitants (called rotten boroughs), giving increased representation to large towns and extending the number of holders of the county and borough franchise.
Today, with a vote for the SNP, people can clear out Labour's rotten boroughs and stand up to Tory cuts with the SNP.
This seems to be yet another case of the Labour Party using its South Wales "rotten boroughs" to provide a favoured son with a safe seat.
GOVERNMENT communities boss Eric Pickles has blasted Merseyside councils as "incompetent rotten boroughs" who are soft on council tax evaders.
The old aristocracy not only dominated the House of Lords, but also used its influence to get relatives, friends, and family retainers elected to the House of Commons by exploiting a key institutional weakness -- the existence of "rotten boroughs" that could be bought and sold.
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.
NICOLA Sturgeon last night claimed voters can clean out Labour's "rotten boroughs" at Thursday's council election after a cronyism row erupted in Glasgow.
1832: The Great Reform Bill, an which disenfranchised rotten boroughs, became law.
The first Reform Bill, which abolished the rotten boroughs and gave the vote to many more workers, was drafted in his house and his Durham Report, in which he told the British Government they could not forever hold down the colonies and must give them self-rule, known as the Magna Carta of the Second British Empire, was the blueprint for the Commonwealth as we know it today.
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.