The Essay: Reasons for the Growth of British democracy

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economic change?

Here you have to analyse what is called the isolated factor listed in the question. In terms of structure you have to analyse the importance of this factor. If it wasn’t important it wouldn’t be alluded to in the question! It is wise to analyse the isolated factor in the first paragraph of your main section. This is important for structure.

A key point to remember is that there will be at least 3 or 4 other important factors for you to discuss and analyse.


In any introduction you need to set the question in context. You also need to allude-link to the question posed by the SQA. A good way to do this is by posing or repeating the question again. You should also refer to the isolated factor, but concede other important factors. By doing this, you will make it clear to the reader how your essay will flow. I.e if you mention pressure groups, political advantage and foreign influences I would expect a paragraph on each. Below is an example of an introduction I would use for the 2008 question. *NB – I have not chosen to define democracy in this introduction – I would for the other question. However, you can do this if you like.

Between 1850 and 1928 British democracy witnessed a dramatic transformation and a series of political reform was passed by successive governments. Many argue that Britain became a model of modern democracy by 1928 but why did it take so long to arrive? What were the main factors influencing political reform? There is no doubt social and economic change heavily influenced society and to many, political change seemed inevitable. However, one cannot ignore other important factors like the changing attitudes to democracy and the role of Pressure Groups. Foreign influences, political advantage and the impact of the Great War are also crucial factors which must be analysed in order to reach a conclusion. This essay will explore the reasons behind the growth of British Democracy.

  • Essay Guide

  • This guide will hopefully assist you in writing an essay on The Reasons behind the Growth in British democracy. I originally listed The Great War as a stand alone factor, however I would incorporate the impact of war in to the section on Pressure Groups. (You will understand why when you read that particular section.)

  • There is 5 factors you should consider for this essay and 5 paragraphs in the main body of any Higher essay is perfectly adequate. Particularly when you consider you can gain at least 2 marks for analysis in every paragraph – if you use the correct technique and construct an argument.

  • There is no right or wrong answer in this essay. Every factor is important in some way, although the evidence suggests that some factors are more important than others. For example, there is overwhelming evidence that political advantage was a key factor in the reform of 1867 and 1885. However, your essay must be balanced and you must discuss the other factors – even if it is to argue against one of the other factors i.e – Pressure Groups.

The Opening of the Manchester to Liverpool Railway in 1830.

Growing industry and the urbanisation of Britain.

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