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UK Politics – The Voting Age Debate

1. The History of Voting Age Reform

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we discuss the history of voting age reform in the UK, focusing in particular on: (i) the Reform Acts of the early nineteenth century, particularly the 1832 Reform Act; (ii) the expansion of the electorate during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in which the voting age was clearly established at the age of 21; (iii) the importance of the suffragettes and the votes for women movement; (iv) the 1918 Representation of the People Act; (v) changes during the Second World War; (vi) debates over the voting age in the 1960s, including the case for lowering the age of both majority and enfranchisement to 18; (vii) public opinion during these debates; (viii) the 1970 general election.

Course

In this course, Dr Andrew Mycock (University of Huddersfield) explores the debate around lowering the voting age to 16 in the UK. In the first module, we discuss the history of voting age reform in the UK, beginning with the 1832 Reform Act and concluding with the lowering of the voting age to 18 in the 1960s. In the second module, we cover the voting age debate in the UK from the 1980s to the present day. In the third module, we discuss the voting age debate in Scotland and Wales and the implication of the asymmetrical implementation of franchise rights in these UK regions (where young people aged 16-18 are able to vote in national and local elections, but not general elections). In the fourth module, we consider the politics of votes at 16, focusing in particular on its implications for devolution and the complicating factor of the so-called “culture wars”. Then, in the fifth and final module, we conclude with a discussion of the future of voting age reform.

Lecturer

Dr. Andrew Mycock is a Reader in Politics at the University of Huddersfield. He is co-founder of the Academy for British and Irish Studies based at the University of Huddersfield. I am also co-convenor of the Politics Studies Association Britishness Specialist Group. His research interests include post-empire citizenship, multiculturalism, and identity in the UK including devolution and nationalism across the UK, as well as youth citizenship and democratic participation.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Mycock, A. (2022, August 15). UK Politics – The Voting Age Debate - The History of Voting Age Reform [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/uk-politics-the-voting-age-debate/the-history-of-voting-age-reform

MLA style

Mycock, A. "UK Politics – The Voting Age Debate – The History of Voting Age Reform." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/uk-politics-the-voting-age-debate/the-history-of-voting-age-reform

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