During the Victorian era, all the laws in England were passed by the parliament. The parliament had the sole authority to discuss laws, create laws and also alter existing laws. The current issues affecting the society, and economy were discussed with the king. Then the voting rights were exercised by the members of the parliament.
The success of England during the Victorian times depended largely on the laws that were passed. The laws in the Victorian era served the following purpose:
1. Classified things as rights and wrongs.
2. The laid out the guidelines which served as borders of the social hierarchy.
3. Separated the poor from the rich.
It was due to the laws in the Victorian era that the society of England had different class strata. But in spite of the stringency, we have seen that the laws have been molded by the society. This has been done by either the direct consent of the people or in an indirect way, by the actions of the citizens.
Most prominent laws of the Victorian era
1. Reform Acts: some people are of the opinion that the reform acts started the Victorian Era. More and more people started exercising their voting powers. Thus there were fair elections. The right to vote was being looked upon as the right of every citizen of the country and not the right of the upper-class people. Three reform acts were passed during this era.
2. Corn Laws during Victorian era: this was quite a significant law that was passed during the Victorian era. The Corn Laws consisted of a series of laws. They were enacted during the year 1815. The parliament became concerned about the importation of corn from foreign countries.
The law was passed so that the price of corn remained high at a time when the French wars were getting terminated. Corn became a very expensive food item. This caused the prices of other food items to shoot up. The goods market suffered depression because people were engaged in spending all their money on food.
3. Victorian era Poor Laws: the poor laws were passed by Prime Minister Earl Grey. The laws were passed to examine the living conditions of the poor people and the working class people. The demarcating lines between the rich, middle classes, and the poor were very wide during the Victorian era. This is because the laws of the society favored the rich.