Bolingbroke's Political Writings: The Conservative by Bernard Cottret

By Bernard Cottret

In flip, Tory minister, Jacobite renegade, English thinker and anti-minister, Bolingbroke has elicited combined reactions from his compatriots, either contempories and historians. Bernard Cottret discusses right here his political writings within the context of latest notion in England and France. His analyses of 'A' Dissertation upon events' and 'The inspiration of a Patriot King' are supported by way of an entire mid-eighteenth-century political proposal.

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Eighteenth-Century Comedies (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), p. 242. W. Cobbett, Parliamentary History of England, 33 vols (London, 180618), vol. VIII, p. 953. See alsoP. Langford, The Excise Crisis (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), passim. D. Clark, 'A General Theory of Party, Opposition and Government, 1688-1832', Historical Journal, 23 (1980), 295. ) Rapin de Thoyras, Dissertation sur les Whigs et les Torys (1717), ed. B. -M. Martinet, Partis et factions dans l'Angleterre du premier XVIIIe siecle (Paris: Presses Universitaires de Paris-Sorbonne, 1991), pp.

But this grandiloquent maxim remains ambiguous: which is the dynasty in question? The Stuarts or the Hanoverians? And if the Hanoverians, loyalty to the Georges relies simply on their de facto exercise of power. Likewise, how should we interpret the following extract from Letter X? 32 Bolingbroke's Political Writings To finish the great work, which King WILLIAM began, of establishing the liberties of Britain on firm and durable foundations must be reputed an honor surely; and to whom can this honor belong more justly than to a prince, who emulates in so remarkable a manner, all the heroic virtues of his renowned predecessor?

Even passing references to 1688 should be properly decoded: a new 1688 was bound to happen, but this time against Walpole and George II. Another important assumption to be found in the Dissertation is the distinction between 'constitution' and 'government': 'Government is the business of those, who are appointed to govern, and of those who are appointed to controul them. ' While, according to Bolingbroke, Walpole and George II only aim at corruption and division, his own role is to remind the inhabitants of the kingdom of their duty to control and censure the exercise of power.

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