This chapter presents some concluding thoughts from the author. The period 1660-1722 saw political debate and discord become a normal part of English urban life. National politics impinged far more on townspeople's lives than in the 16th century, when few parliamentary elections were contested, so there was no need to place issues before the electors. The clear-cut division between Tories and Whigs was thrown into turmoil by James II, but it reappeared in late 1688 as Whigs and Tories jostled for power under the new king. During the 18th century, some corporations became notorious for self-seeking oligarchy and corruption but such vices were less apparent in the early part of the century.
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