Reform Act

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The Reform Act of 1832 brought about by the Whig government of Earl Grey extended the Parliamentary franchise in Great Britain to include most of the growing urban middle class; it abolished 'rotten boroughs' (ancient decayed towns which had a minuscule electorate, often of only one or two landowners, but which still sent MPs to Parliament); and it established separate parliamentary constituencies for new industrial towns and cities such as Manchester.

The government went on to partially reform the local government of the larger towns and cities by passing the Municipal Corporations Act in 1835.