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Aristocratic Government in the Age of ReformWhigs and Liberals 1830-1852$
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Peter Mandler

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198217817

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198217817.001.0001

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Aristocratic Styles in the Age of Reform: II. Liberals and Moderates

Aristocratic Styles in the Age of Reform: II. Liberals and Moderates

Chapter:
(p.85) 3 Aristocratic Styles in the Age of Reform: II. Liberals and Moderates
Source:
Aristocratic Government in the Age of Reform
Author(s):

Peter Mandler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198217817.003.0004

Only a small minority of the landed elite in England ever embraced the highly political understanding of the aristocrat's responsibility characteristic of the Foxite Whigs. Although that small minority grew more visible and cohesive, and took on a disproportionate political importance in the Age of Reform, it was always swimming against the mainstream. This chapter examines the process by which aristocrats from different political backgrounds came to the idea of a liberal–conservative union by 1852. Three circles will be taken as exemplary: the Young Whigs, offspring of the Grand Whiggery who shrugged off their Foxism for liberalism; the Bowood set, a group of moderates who followed the independent Whig Lord Lansdowne; and the Panshanger set, liberal Tories who made a somewhat cynical decision for Reform in 1832 deliberately to moderate the course of Whig government. The chapter demonstrates how the politics of the 1830s and 1840s delayed the advance of a moderate liberalism which seemed so inexorable before 1830 and so natural after 1850.

Keywords:   England, Age of Reform, aristocrats, liberal–conservative union, Young Whigs, liberalism, moderates, Bowood set, Panshanger set, politics

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