William became King in June 1830. He was initially very popular. His insistence on a simple coronation contrasted with the extravagance of his brother’s reign.
William’s reign was dominated by the Reform crisis. It began almost immediately when the Duke of Wellington’s Tory government, which William supported, lost the general election in August 1830.
The Whigs, led by Lord Grey, came to power intent on pushing through electoral reform against strong opposition in the Commons and the Lords. Another general election in 1831 gave the Whigs a majority in the Commons but the Lords continued to reject the Reform Bill. There was a political crisis during the winter of 1831-1832, with riots in some parts of the country.Read More...