1st Edition

Political Parties in Britain 1783-1867

By Eric J. Evans Copyright 1985
    64 Pages
    by Routledge

    by Routledge

    The theme of Professor Evan's book is the growth of a recognizable modern party system from the much looser and often family-based attachments of the eighteenth century. He examines the significance of the terms 'Whig' and 'Tory' in the later eighteenth century and the growth of a party aligment between 1788 and 1812 - a period in which war was a major factor in polarization. He discusses the years of Tory hegemony under Liverpool and the decline of the independent member, and then takes as his main themes the transition from Whigs to Liberals and from Tories to Conservatives in the period of 1830-46 which saw so much concern both with political reform and with social questions. He also examines the substantial growth of political organizations.
    Professor Evans goes on to deal with the paradox that though the Tory party was shattered by the corn law crisis, the subsequent period to 1867 saw an increasing importance being attached to party allegiance. He also discusses the waning power of the Crown, the growing importance of general elections, and various areas of divergence between parties. Although the emphasis of this book is necessarily thematic, a firm sense of chronology is always maintained.

    Introduction; King, Lords and Commons in late eighteenth-century Britain; Party and party ideology to 1789; Parties and politics in the shadow of the French Revolution, 1788–1812; The decline of royal influence, 1780–1840; Stability, religion and reform, 1812–32; The establishment of two-party politics, 1832–46; Party organization and identity, 1835–67


    Eric J. Evans

    `This is a useful pamphlet for the teacher who needs an analysis of political developments in greater detail than is readily available in standard textbooks. ... a worthwhile investment.' - History Teaching Review