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Cities DividedPolitics and Religion in English Provincial Towns 1660-1722$
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John Miller

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199288397

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199288397.001.0001

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The Triumph of the Whigs? 1714–1722

The Triumph of the Whigs? 1714–1722

(p.280) 13 The Triumph of the Whigs? 1714–1722
Cities Divided

John Miller (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Following their victory in the general election of 1715, the Whigs consolidated their hold on power. Tories were excluded from office and Whig politicians used government patronage to establish a firm grip on many small parliamentary boroughs. A wave of riots against Dissenting meeting houses in 1715, followed by the Jacobite rising, led to the passing of the Riot Act and a much increased peacetime military presence. The army, indeed, took it upon itself to punish ‘disaffection’ (much of it symbolic), and to this end it increasingly controlled civic celebration. After winning the general election of 1722, the Whig hold on power seemed impregnable. This chapter suggests that Tory resistance remained remarkably resilient and in some ways effective, especially as George I did not attempt to manipulate borough charters in the way that Charles II and James II had done.

Keywords:   Whigs, Tories, riots, elections, army, George I

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