Party Structure and the Whigs in British Politics

  • William Anthony Hay
Part of the Studies in Modern History book series (SMH)


After the Foxite-dominated Ministry of All the Talents collapsed in 1807, the main body of the Whigs spent over two decades out of office, and the brief tenure of the Talents itself marked only a short caesura in the party’s exclusion from power since the early 1780s. William Pitt the Younger and his political heirs had held together a remarkably resilient set of administrations, which continued through the last years of the war against France and the peace that followed. Lord Liverpool, who governed longest of Pitt’s protégés from 1812 until his stroke in 1827, faced severe pressure without irretrievably losing the confidence of the Crown or the House of Commons. His Whig opponents led by Lord Grey consistently failed to establish their standing as an alternative source of leadership in spite of their ability to inflict occasional defeats on issues such as the Orders in Council and income tax. Repeated failures to translate those victories into a change of administration left the Whigs increasingly on the political margins.


Party System French Revolution Repeal Campaign Military Policy Prince Regent 
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© William Anthony Hay 2005

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  • William Anthony Hay

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