Party Ideology and Popular Politics at the Accession of George IIIby John Brewer
Pub. Date: 12/10/1981
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This book is a reappraisal of English politics in the first decade of George III's reign. It sets out to explain how party politics changed, and what problems that created for the parliamentary elite. The issues of party, of patriotism as it manifested itself in the elder Pitt's political career, and of the relations between the notions of ministerial… See more details below
This book is a reappraisal of English politics in the first decade of George III's reign. It sets out to explain how party politics changed, and what problems that created for the parliamentary elite. The issues of party, of patriotism as it manifested itself in the elder Pitt's political career, and of the relations between the notions of ministerial responsibility and the powers of the Crown are all used to illuminate the nature of political conflict. Special emphasis is placed on Burke's notions of party. The schisms created by this reconfiguration of party politics, Dr Brewer argues, had effects beyond Westminster. He discusses extra-parliamentary forms of political expression, notably the press, and goes on to show how the career of John Wilkes and the critique of British politics developed by American radicals gave focus to a variety of political discontents, and produced new arguments in favour of parliamentary reform. Throughout his study he emphasises the interplay between popular and parliamentary politics. His work is designed to show that the 'political nation' included many other than the parliamentary classes, and that the political conflicts of the period cannot be properly understood without a full examination of political ideology.
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Table of Contents
Part I. Introduction: 1. Hanoverian politics and the 1760s; 2. Historiography and method; Part II. The Reconfiguration of Politics: 3. Whig and tort; 4. Opposition and the proprietary parties; 5. From Old Corps to Rockinghamite whigs: the emergence of a party; 6. Pitt and patriotism: a case study in political argument; 7. Ministerial responsibility and the powers of the Crown; Part III. An Alternative Structure of Politics: 8. The press in the 1760s; Part IV. Focused Radicalism: 9. Personality, propaganda and ritual: Wilkes and the Wilkites; 10. American ideology and British radicalism; the case for parliamentary reform; Part V. Two Political Nations: 11. The politicians, the press and the public; 12. The present discontents; party ideology and public unrest.
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