Party Propaganda under Queen Anne: The General Elections of 1702-1713

Party Propaganda under Queen Anne: The General Elections of 1702-1713

Party Propaganda under Queen Anne: The General Elections of 1702-1713

Party Propaganda under Queen Anne: The General Elections of 1702-1713

Excerpt

The election of 1710 had turned primarily on ideology, and Tories had won because they were right on the issues. They were right on the most important issue of 1713 -- peace -- and won again, but their victory rested less on the strength of issues and more on the operation of electoral interests (governmental, private, and clerical) than it had in 1710. Tories had won so many seats in the counties and larger boroughs in 1710 that they could hardly make the same percentage of gains there in 1713. But the issue of trade, which divided Tories ideologically and on which the ministry misread the public, probably helped account for the nature of the Tory electoral victory. If peace itself had not been so popular Tories might not have done as well as they did. When the general election occurred the politically conscious were still euphoric enough to send thirty-two more Tories to Westminster than had been in the 1710 Parliament.

Soon after taking office in 1710 the new Tory ministry, while publicly professing no change of policy, secretly began negotiating with the French to end the war. English agents, but principally Henry St. John, worked out with the French Preliminary Articles of Peace which both countries signed in October, 1711. It still remained to be seen what the allies and the Whigs would say when they learned of the settlement. The Dutch were particularly incensed because few of the terms they expected from earlier English commitments in the Barrier Treaty of 1709 were in the articles. The Elector of Hanover accused the ministry of betraying the allied cause by leaving Spain in . . .

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