Parliament is split into two different houses- The House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is publically elected and is made up of 650 constituencies from the United Kingdom. Each area has one representative and the citizens of that area choose their representative. Elections take place every five years.

The members of Commons (MPs) are split into the “government” and the “opposition.” The government is made up of the majority party and the opposition is made up of those who are not in the majority party.

The House of Lords is made of appointed people based on their knowledge and experience. The Lords are referred to for their knowledge. Though they vote, they cannot block financial bills created by the Commons and once a bill has been passed two years in a row in Commons, the Lords cannot stop it from becoming law.

The aims of Parliament are to scrutinize and challenge laws, debate legislature, and enable the increase or decrease of tax.

The Queen chooses the Prime Minister. He oversees the operation of Civil Service and government agencies, appoints members of the government, and is the principal government figure in the House of Commons.

One day each week is for general debate. The Lords do not vote on debate topics. An MP, Lord, or a member of the public can introduce new legislature. This legislature must be passed in both Houses. Controversial bills generally begin in the Commons. The Prime Minister is questioned every Wednesday. The MPs may question the Lords at the beginning of each day. 

Committees are groups of MPs and Lords that look at a specific policy or legislature.

By-elections follow a vacancy in the House of Commons after the death, resignation, bankruptcy, mental illness or criminal offense of a member of parliament


Private Member’s Bills are a public bills introduced by MP or Lord. A minister cannot introduce it and typically little time is spent on these bills and they are rarely passed.


Home Secretary- responsible for internal affairs of England and Wales and immigration and citizenship for the whole of the United Kingdom.

Voting Regulations

As of 1900, 21 year-old males only:

  • Occupiers- Householders or occupants of shops, offices, land, farms, etc. so long as it is valued at £10 a year.

  • Owners of freehold estate that is valued at £5 a year.

  • Lodgers of apartments no less than 3 shillings and 10 pennies per week (roughly 1/5 of a pound.)

  • University graduates of Oxford, Cambridge, London, Dublin, Edinburgh, St, Andrew’s, Glasgow, or Aberdeen.


Along with women’s suffrage, they were fighting for adult suffrage, meaning that anyone over a certain age would be able to vote. Some were only advocates for adult male suffrage.

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