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The Whig Revival, 1808-1830

The Whig Revival, 1808-1830 by William Hay
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William Anthony Hay provides in this book a brilliant reassessment of British party politics in the first third of the Nineteenth Century. The transformation of the Whig party between 1808 and 1830 laid the foundations for the Whig-Liberal ascendancy that dominated British politics until 1886. On the basis of painstaking research Hay shows how and why the Whigs gained power in 1830. With their ranks thinning after the collapse of the Whig-dominated Talents Ministry in 1807, the party seemed doomed to obscurity. Byron famously quipped that "Nought's permanent among the human race/Except the Whigs not getting into place." Contrary to expectations, the whigs had rebuilt their support by 1830 through an alliance with provincial interest groups brokered by Henry Brougham. While Edmund Burke had crafted the original justification for party activity by the Rockingham Whigs, Brougham applied the concept practically and extended it beyond Parliament to the political nation as a whole. In doing so, he integrated the vibrant popular politics of the Hanoverian counties and boroughs into the struggle for power at Westminster. Hay makes clear how Brougham's appeals to provincial merchants, manufacturers, and religious Dissenters transformed a faction of aristocratic, metropolitan oriented Whigs into the dominant force of Victorian Britain.
Palgrave Macmillan; November 2004
252 pages; ISBN 9780230510623
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Title: The Whig Revival, 1808-1830
Author: William Hay
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