Definition of the Reform Acts from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the Reform Acts

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three British Acts of Parliament passed during the 19th century to change the way Members of Parliament were elected and to allow more people to vote. The first Reform Act (1832) got rid of the rotten boroughs (= constituencies where very few people were entitled to vote), created more seats in Parliament and increased the number of men able to vote. The second and third Acts (1867 and 1884) created new seats for city and county areas and increased the number able to vote to about 5 million.