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Dissenters and the supremacy: the question of toleration; 5. Anticlericals and 'Erastians': the spectre of Hobbes; 6. An innovative book exploring how tensions created by the Reformation influenced relationships between crown, Parliament and law during the Restoration. Avbryt Send e-post.
Les mer. Om boka Godly Kingship in Restoration England The position of English monarchs as supreme governors of the Church of England profoundly affected early modern politics and religion. This innovative book explores how tensions in church-state relations created by Henry VIII's Reformation continued to influence relationships between the crown, Parliament and common law during the Restoration, a distinct phase in England's 'long Reformation'.
Debates about the powers of kings and parliaments, the treatment of Dissenters and emerging concepts of toleration were viewed through a Reformation prism where legitimacy depended on godly status. This book discusses how the institutional, legal and ideological framework of supremacy perpetuated the language of godly kingship after and how supremacy was complicated by the ambivalent Tudor legacy.
Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published First paperback edition A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress cataloguing in publication data Claydon, Tony. ISBN 0 2 hardback 1. Great Britain - History - Revolution of - Propaganda. Great Britain - Politics and government - - Great Britain - Kings and rulers - Succession. James II, King of England, C63 This volume is no exception.
Over the years it has taken for this work to reach its final form, I have been sustained by the generosity and understanding of a great many people. These few paragraphs are an inevitably insufficient attempt to acknowledge some of that sustenance. All these bodies deserve my thanks, both for keeping me solvent, and for showing more belief in my project than I often felt myself. Intellectually, my greatest debt has been to my PhD supervisor, Julian Hoppit. As I worked on my thesis, his encouragement, his insight, and the speed and enthusiasm with which he commented upon my work were much appreciated.
He has also been an invaluable source of advice since my doctorate has beenfinished. Others too have helped me, either through broad discussion of the early modern period, or more detailed observations upon specific aspects of my work. To these I owe much of what is valuable in the following work; mistakes, of course, are my own. In London, I have benefited hugely from the meetings of Penelope Corfield's 'Long Eighteenth Century' seminar at the Institute of Historical Research; whilst in Cambridge, I have found conversation with members of the History Faculty, and with the fellowship of Fitzwilliam College, extremely useful.
In a different, but no less vital way, this project has been aided by the efforts of numerous library staff. Finally, I must thank those who have upheld me in more personal ways. The life of young academics is often lonely and dispiriting, and some of their greatest debts must always be to those whose sympathy, whose faith or whose alcohol were provided at particularly dark moments. Above all, I have to thank my mother and my partner. Only they know how much help they have given me over the past years, and perhaps only I know how important that support was.
To them this book is dedicated. Grey 10 vols. Spelling and capitalisation of seventeenth-century material has been modernised, except in pamphlet titles and block quotations. The titles of some works have, of necessity, been shortened. Except where otherwise stated, all books were published in London. PauPs Church-Yard. M DC XC. Title page of Gilbert Burnet's Sermon preached before the king and queen at Whitehall, 19 October as it would have appeared posted in public places original approx.
The regime of William III, king of England at the end of the seventeenth century, must have felt this need more than most. From his accession at the Glorious Revolution, to his death in , this monarch was faced with a series of extraordinary challenges to his authority which demanded an effective propaganda if they were to be overcome. At the most basic level, William had to deal with doubts about his very right to rule.
Because he had not inherited the throne in , but had gained it after forcibly invading the country, the king was denied the usual claim of English monarchs to hereditary legitimacy, and had to establish some other justification for his exercise of power. Still more unfortunately, William's predecessor, James II, had not renounced his claims to the throne. Once displaced at the Revolution, the old monarch launched a military and ideological campaign to regain his position, whose arguments, as well as whose arms, had to be rebuffed.
Compounding these problems of legitimacy was the need for war propaganda. Soon after becoming king, William took his new realm into a prolonged conflict with France, and consequently had to develop a royal message to preserve his subject's morale during a prolonged, bloody, and frequently discouraging struggle. Finally, the monarch had to find a language which would persuade independently minded legislators of the correctness of his policies.
Since the king's war meant endless royal demands for money, he had to call his revenue-granting parliament every winter during his reign, and accordingly became reliant upon the Lords and Commons. Having to cajole cash from the men gathered at Westminster, William found he needed arguments to win over an often stubborn and factious body of people, and became the first monarch whose prime task was the persuasion of a largely autonomous legislature.
Given William's obvious need for effective propaganda, it is remarkable 2 Introduction how little study has been made of court ideology in the late Stuart era. A period which has been the object of increasing scholarly attention in recent decades has suffered from a perplexing historical lacuna in this crucial area. Some excellent work on royal propaganda has appeared. However, the studies which have been produced have tended to be brief, and have generally concentrated only on particular aspects of the subject. This neglect is doubly surprising, since there has been no lack of interest in either the history of political ideologies in the s, or in the impact of William Ill's regime upon this field.
Over the past few decades, many works have traced such late Stuart developments as the emergence of party philosophies, the impact of John Locke's ideas, and the reconfiguration of constitutional thought after the Revolution; and many of these have recognised that actions by the royal court transformed the content and context of political debates. Baxter, ed. Schwoerer, 'Propaganda in the revolution of ', AHR, 82 , ; Mark Goldie, 'The revolution of and the structure of political argument: an essay and an annotated bibliography of pamphlets in the allegiance controversy', Bulletin of Research in the Humanities, 83 , ; W.
Godly Kingship in Restoration England : Jacqueline Rose :
Speck, 'William - and Mary? Schwoerer, ed. Maguire, ed. No footnote of reasonable length could hope to list all the recent work in this area. Perhaps the most influential overviews have been Mark Goldie, 'Tory political thought, ' unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Cambridge, ; J. Kenyon, Revolution principles: the politics of party Cambridge, ; and H.
Dickinson, Liberty and property: political ideology in eighteenth-century Britain , part 1. Many other important studies published before the middle of the s are surveyed in the introduction to Geoffrey Holmes, British politics in the age of Anne revised edn, ; whilst more recent works are listed in the bibliography of Tim Harris, Politics under the later Stuarts: party conflict in a divided society Harlow, William's neglected ideology 3 England's mixed monarchy.
William is acknowledged to have created the conditions for far-reaching discursive change, but his regime's own contribution to contemporary discussions has been largely ignored. As a result, one of the most innovative regimes ever to have governed England has been left without a recognised voice. This book will attempt to cure this royal muteness. Through a study of the politics and political languages of the s, it will try to enhance understanding of the late Stuart period with a more complete account of court thought.
First, the book will describe the challenges faced by court polemicists at the end of the seventeenth century. It will then demonstrate how these were met by the development of a biblically based discourse which will be labelled 'courtly reformation', and which presented William as a providential ruler who had a divine commission to protect the protestant church in England, and to return the nation to its pristine faith, piety, and virtue. The book will go on to trace the intellectual roots of this ideology; it will assess its strengths as a justification for William's rule; and it will show how it was broadcast through English society.
Finally, this volume will describe the flexibility of royal propaganda. Concentrating on particular political difficulties faced by William, the work will show how court propagandists directed their message to deal with these, and will show how they adapted their arguments to appeal to a number of different audiences. As it lays out its description of Williamite polemic, this book will pursue four further ambitions. The first will be to examine the public presentation of English monarchy at a crucial point in its development. The work will study communication between an English king and his political nation at a time when rulers were being forced to rethink strategies for self-promotion.
There were two main reasons for this re-evaluation. First, the traditional point of contact between the monarch and the English elite had fallen into decline. The royal court, which since early Tudor times had encompassed most leading Englishmen, or drawn them into its ambit, had forfeited its central position as it had failed to compete with rival centres of political and social power. Jones, ed. Britain before and after Stanford, 4 , pp.
Pocock has done most to describe these new analyses of politics - see below, pp. Pocock, The Machiavellian moment: Florentine political thought and the Atlantic republican tradition Princeton, , part 3. Secondly, the political nation had expanded as the court had lost ground. The number of people whom the monarch had to persuade had grown as parliament and its electorate had taken a more central position within the polity. As a result, effective power had been diffused among a larger number of individuals, and the monarch had had to face a mass public, instead of merely having to deal with the interests and attitudes of a small elite.
Godly Kingship in Restoration England
Taken together, these developments forced a remodelling of the monarch's publicity. Established, court-based methods of propaganda which have received considerable attention in studies of earlier regimes became increasingly ineffective because they could no longer reach important audiences. The use of traditional persuaders such as ceremonial, etiquette, visual display, or cultural patronage, had been appropriate when the political elite had crowded round the monarch, but it ceased to be effective once leading politicians stopped coming to court, and once a mass electorate, who could never directly witness royalty, wielded more power.
This book will examine some of William's experiments in this area and will show how an imaginative English ruler could launch a penetrating propaganda campaign, even within the comparatively limited resources of an early modern state. This volume's second aspiration will be to contribute to an ongoing reinterpretation of the late Stuart era.
Hitherto, most students of the later seventeenth century have assumed that it was a period of steady secularisation. In particular, political and intellectual historians have suggested that the issues discussed in contemporary debates, and the languages in which these debates were couched, became less religious in the decades following the Civil War. The rise of natural philosophy, nervousness about sectarian extremism, and a new emphasis upon 'politeness' have all been held to have replaced theological modes of thought with 'scientific', 'sociological' or 'economic' interpretations of the world.
The study of Williamite 5 6 For elucidation of all these points, see below, pp. For this historiography, see C. Somerville, The secularization of early modern England: from religious culture to religious faith Oxford, ; and the works noted below, pp. William's neglected ideology 5 propaganda which follows will cast doubt on this set of assumptions, and upon this scholarly approach.
According to the prevailing account of Stuart politics, such religious discourses should have become outmoded by the time of William's accession. If this is wrong, and if theological language remained as crucial in the s as will be argued, then the established view of the later seventeenth century would need considerable revision. As other historians have already begun to argue, protestant beliefs which are believed to have been marginalised would have to be returned to the centre stage, and an era which has been claimed as part of a secularising enlightenment would appear still enmeshed in the spiritual thoughts and concerns of an earlier period.
This is an area of considerable importance to students of the late Stuart period, which has attracted considerable study in the last few decades. At base, debate has centred on how much damage the events of did to the perceived power of the monarchy within England'sfluidand unwritten constitution. Over the past years, an old 'whig' view of this question, which held that the Revolution reasserted traditionally recognised restraints upon the royal prerogative, has been challenged by groups of historians who have either tried to prove that introduced entirely new limitations upon the court, or have claimed that it actually did very little to reduce the king's majesty.
The classic statement of the whig view was T. Whilst demonstrating that the king's rhetoric of 'courtly reformation' was essentially non-constitutional it deliberately avoided detailed analysis of the king's precise legal status , the volume will show that the discourse did have some implications for contemporary perceptions of royal power, and will examine its rather ambiguous messages in this area. This book's final, and perhaps most ambitious, aim will be to help explain the extraordinary development of Britain over the centuries which flanked William's reign.
Between and , the British nations were transformed as a remarkable series of events remoulded their internal structures, their mutual relationships, and their wider international positions. Of these changes, two were of particular importance for this study. First, Britain became a major world power. By the early years of the nineteenth century, the relatively weak kingdoms which had been ruled by the Tudors and Stuarts had become united into an impressive military state, which had acquired an extensive empire overseas and had overawed its European rivals. Second, England and by extension Britain developed a viable parliamentary system.
The repeated constitutional crises of the seventeenth century, in which authoritarian monarchs had become deadlocked with factious and uncooperative parliaments, gave way to a relatively stable political system in which crown and legislature largely accommodated one another's claims, and in which the House of Commons took responsibility for the support and scrutiny of royal government.
In these processes, the years of the s were crucial. The decade of William's rule not only saw the first truly successful experiment in parliamentary government, as a king who could not dispense with the legislature found ways to work with that body, but also witnessed the first prolonged commitment by British peoples to the sort of European war which would eventually secure their military dominance.
By examining the court's political language in the s, this volume hopes to explain how such things might have been possible. It will describe the ideological contexts in which 10 Weston and Greenburg, Subjects and sovereigns, ch. Speck, Reluctant revolutionaries: Englishmen and the Revolution of Oxford, , ch.
Thompson, T h e reception of Locke's Two treatises of government, ', Political Studies, 24 , ; Mark Goldie, 'The roots of true whiggism, ', History of Political Thought, 1 , William's ideological challenge 7 William built his military machine and managed his legislature; and it will argue that government propaganda played an important role in resolving the tensions which these innovatory activities created. Overall, therefore, this book will suggest that the discourse of courtly reformation had a significance far beyond the last years of Stuart rule. The long-neglected propaganda of the Williamite court certainly shaped English political thought between and It may also, however, have permitted the vital changes of that period, and in doing this have influenced Britain's development for many subsequent decades.
The first was the doubt about his basic legitimacy; the second was the need to sell his war, and particularly to overcome the suspicion that England was being exploited by her Dutch military allies; and the third was the fact that the king had to govern through parliament. It is worth studying each of these areas in some detail.
Once elucidated, they provide both an understanding of the difficulties with which William's publicists had to deal, and a framework for describing the strategies which these men adopted to cope with their situation. Any account of William's problem with his basic legitimacy has to start with the circumstances of his accession. Explaining these involves some acquaintance with English history before , and in particular with the career of James II — William's predecessor on the English throne.
No discovery could have worried the English political nation more. For generations, Englishmen had associated the Roman faith with cruel and tyrannous government; and many feared that the advent of a catholic monarch would spell a fanatical persecution of the majority protestant population, a loss of traditional liberties and civil rights, and the subjection of the realm to catholic powers on the continent.
The change in James's religion thus sparked nearly three decades of opposition to the man, and became a major cause of instability in English politics. In those assemblies, James's influence at court was heavily criticised as government miscarriages were blamed upon him, and tentative moves were made to bar 11 The best short account of these developments is John Miller, Popery and politics in England, Cambridge, In these currents became a flood when the apparent discovery of a catholic plot to assassinate Charles led to an antiRoman panic.
An exclusion bill was introduced into the Commons to disqualify the king's brother from the crown, and afiercethree-year crisis began in which English opinion polarised, and James's succession appeared to be in great jeopardy. In three successive parliaments, exclusionist majorities promoted their measure, and Charles was forced to exile his heir to protect him from the widely expressed wrath of his subjects. Fortunately for James his position was saved by astute political manoeuvring on the part of the king, and by a gradual, but widespread, reaction against exclusionist tumults.
His enemies were defeated, his popular stock rose, and in he was able to succeed to the throne when his brother died. However, opposition was not over. Within a few weeks of his accession, Scotland and the West Country burst into unsuccessful rebellions, and the new king's actions soon began to alienate those who had supported him in the earlier s. Royal determination to promote fellow catholics led to resentment amongst protestant elites, whilst James's grant of toleration and public office to his co-religionists contravened statute law, and led to new fears that he was bent on tyrannical government.
In the three years of his reign James became locked in conflict with much of the political nation as his attempts to emancipate catholics were interpreted as attacks upon his subjects' rights to their property, upon the independence of the legislature and the judiciary, and upon that protestant faith which most of the English viewed as the only true form of Christianity.
Relations reached their lowest ebb in the summer of As the church of England openly defied the regime's religious programme, and local elites protested against royal attempts to pack parliament with court supporters, James announced the birth of his son. The new heir would certainly be raised a catholic, and his arrival horrified a nation who now feared a perpetual Roman monarchy. This man, who was both the hereditary prince of Orange, and the elected Stadholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, became a focus of hope for protestant Englishmen who believed that he might be persuaded to rescue them from their popish fate.
There were several reasons why this was so. First, William was the protestant leader of a neighbouring protestant state. It was therefore possible that he might be persuaded to use the resources at his command to protect his religion in England. Second, William was James's nephew and son-in-law, and so had considerable concern in the future of the English monarchy.
Until the birth of the new heir in , his wife, Mary, had been next in line for the English throne and it had been widely expected that he 12 John Miller, James II: a study in kingship , pp. William's ideological challenge 9 would be the effective ruler of England when she succeeded. It was therefore logical to think that William might intervene in English affairs to protect his interests, and this belief was reinforced when rumours began to circulate that James's son was supposititious - a fraud perpetrated by a catholic court to prolong its hold on power.
Third, William had long been involved in English politics. Since the early s he had consulted closely with leading Englishmen, and had periodically cultivated a party of supporters within the English elite. From his activities had become intense as he had communicated with James's opponents, and had built popular support for himself through highly publicised criticism of the king's religious ideals. This behaviour was interpreted as a prelude to intervention, and in June it encouraged seven English notables to send an 'invitation' to the prince to come to their country and force the king to reverse his policies.
In the autumn of he issued a Declaration demanding that James call a free parliament to discuss his recent government and the legitimacy of his son, and then organised a huge invasion force in Holland, which landed at Torbay in Devon on 5 November. Advancing from the West Country, and appealing for English support, he terrified James into fleeing the country, and occupied London as the opposing royal army melted into ineffectiveness. This extraordinary, and perhaps unexpected, success raised the problem of what to do now that the king had left his realm. Over the early winter, consultations between the prince and those peers assembled in the capital led to the calling of a constitutional 'convention', which was empowered to decide what political settlement should be made.
Constituted in the same way as a parliament, the convention met at the end of January , and immediately began to discuss whether James could be said to have abdicated his crown, and whether the throne could now be filled by someone else. Debate on these points was intense, but pressure from the prince of Orange, and from his partisans in the convention's two houses, eventually led to an agreement to appoint William as his uncle's successor. On 13 February, in a ceremony at the Guildhall, London, the throne was offered to William and Mary jointly, with the proviso that the prince alone would actually exercise the monarch's power.
James was displaced, and the hereditary claims of his son now dismissed as supposititious were disregarded. From the course of events described above, it is fairly clear what William's problems with his legitimacy were to be. He had secured the English throne after his invasion of the country, but had done it in such a way that there were bound to be questions about his right to power. In the first place, real questions could be raised about the authority of the convention to 13 Stephen B. Baxter, William III , pp.
It was widely recognised that an English parliament had the right to deliberate upon, and decide, the royal succession - but the body which had met after William's arrival could not claim to be such a legislature. Any true parliament had to be summoned by royal writ, and had to include a reigning monarch as an integral part of its constitution.
The convention had lacked these features, and it was therefore unclear on what grounds it had proceeded. Secondly, the convention's choice of William had violated the hereditary succession of the English crown. This was a problem because most contemporaries accepted direct inheritance as the only legitimate means of acceding to the throne. The history of England since the later middle ages, and vigorous royal propaganda, had persuaded many that heredity was the normal means of transferring sovereign power, and that any other system of succession risked confusion and disorder.
In this situation, William's position looked decidedly anomalous. No hereditary account of what had happened in could be constructed to give him a right to the throne. If one accepted that James had abdicated byfleeingthe country, then the succession should have passed directly to his infant son. If one thought that this was impossible because the son was fraudulent, then the crown should pass to James's daughter Mary, and William should at most have gained power as his wife's husband.
In no circumstances should the prince of Orange have been granted a full monarchical title. Thirdly, and as a consequence of the other two objections, it was quite possible to view what had happened in as a rebellion followed by a usurpation. William had encouraged Englishmen to join him in arms against their monarch, and could be said to have used his force to expel a legitimate king. Such behaviour had always been condemned as sinful and illegal in English constitutional thought, and its heinousness had been particularly stressed after the 'great rebellion' of the English Civil War.
As a result of all these doubts, many Englishmen were uneasy about the justice of William's elevation and would need considerable reassurance on this point. Despite a careful rewording of the oaths to make them as widely acceptable as possible, large numbers of clergy and several prominent laymen refused them; and a bitter pamphlet controversy erupted over the justice of imposing allegiance to the new monarchs.
The new 14 15 Accounts of the doubts about William's title can be found in Paul Monod, Jacobitism and the English people, Cambridge, , pp. Findon, 'The non-jurors and the church of England, ' unpublished DPhil dissertation, University of Oxford, , pp. Goldie, ' and the structure of political argument'. William's ideological challenge 11 regime's problem here was that the displaced king did not retire into despondency after , but set up court in France, and made a series of attempts to regain his throne.
He temporarily reconquered and occupied Ireland between and ; he persuaded the French to amass invasion forces in , , and ; and he sponsored a series of English plots against the Williamite regime. A Jacobite restoration did not, therefore, look impossible in the s, and those Englishmen who worried about William's title were consequently encouraged to hope for James's return. Quite how many of the English actively worked for the exiled king under William is uncertain, and has not been made much clearer in a series of historiographical debates on the issue.
A vigorous underground press, staffed by James's supporters, savaged William's policies and position throughout the reign, and demonstrated a disturbing talent for setting the agenda for public debate. As we shall see, such Jacobite writers as Charlwood Lawton, William Anderton, and James Montgomery set trends with their attacks upon the court's cost and corruption, and forced a desperate government into Draconian policies to control their activities. Unless he could assert and persuade his subjects of his basic legitimacy, he risked losing ground to an implacable and skilful enemy, and might forfeit his position back to his predecessor.
William's second great reason for requiring an effective propaganda stemmed from his war with France. To understand why William took his new country into battle so soon after gaining the throne, it is again necessary to delve back into history. This time the story must be started at Then, French forces directed by Louis XIV had launched a massive attack upon the United Provinces of the Netherlands, and in this time of crisis, the Dutch people had turned to William. As prince of Orange, William was head of the family who had led Holland to independence over the previous hundred years, and during the emergency he came to be regarded as the man most likely to inspire a successful defence of his country.
Accordingly he was appointed Stadholder, and masterminded resistance to the French until the peace of Nijmegen in The war had been crucial for William's career as it established him 16 17 Paul Monod describes these feuds, and offers a sensible way out of them, suggesting that arguments over the popularity of Jacobitism cannot be settled, since historians use such widely different definitions of the phenomenon.
See Monod, Jacobitism, introduction. For more on the Jacobite press, and the Williamite response, see below, pp. Both during the conflict, and through the peace which followed, he had portrayed Louis's territorial demands as the greatest contemporary threat to the continental balance of power and had devoted himself to rinding a way to contain them. As head of state in the Netherlands, he had emphasised the French threat to his own citizens, and had reminded fellow rulers that seizure of Dutch land by Louis might endanger their own security.
As sovereign lord of Orange, the small principality in Provence illegally occupied by French troops in , he had argued that Louis was a threat to every independent state. As a protestant, he had urged more vigorous resistance to a catholic France which was becoming increasingly intolerant of reformed Christianity. From the middle of the s, these arguments began to reap their reward. It became clear that Louis was bent on a new round of expansion, and the other states of Europe started to unite behind William's plan to assemble a grand alliance against the French king.
By the end of the decade many of the continental powers, including the Netherlands, several German princes, and the Habsburg Empire, were actively engaged in a war to curtail France. The introduction of England to the European war against Louis was the primary objective of the prince's intervention in the country.
William may have been concerned by the apparent loss of English liberties after James had come to the throne, but the main motivation for his expedition was his fear that James's religion, and the weakness of his domestic political position, might force him into a dependence on France.
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If this happened, and England became a French client, it was likely that the country would come into battle on Louis's side: so William had had to invade to prevent this possibility. In a sense, therefore, entry into the war against France was the prince's condition for intervening in England.
Given this, it was not surprising that William ordered attacks upon French forces even before he had been offered the crown; nor that he harried parliament for a formal declaration of war as soon as he became king. In early May the new monarch achieved his aim and England joined in hostilities against France. Yet once the war had started William was faced with the need to sell it. If he could not produce an effective war propaganda, then there was a risk that English morale might fail, and that the political elite who had to agree to pay for the conflict through their representatives in parliament might question whether they should be involved in such a 18 For the European context of William's invasion see John Carswell, The descent on England: a study of the English revolution of and its European background ; Jonathan Israel, 'The Dutch role in the Glorious Revolution', in Jonathan Israel, ed.
William's ideological challenge 13 struggle. Of course, all wars create a need for effective publicity. However, two specific factors ensured William's requirements were particularly urgent.
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The first was the massive expense involved in the war against France. Over the preceding two centuries, the cost of conflict had escalated tremendously, as military techniques had developed in complexity and sophistication, and as battling states had deployed ever larger forces in the field.
By , warfare required the provision of huge, well-drilled armies, and proceeded largely by prolonged and bitter sieges of enemy fortifications. Fears were also raised about economic disruption.
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William's conflict closed traditional trade routes, created an acute monetary crisis, and transported around 50, of the nation's workforce to fight on the fields of Flanders. However, even after this respite, royal policy still threatened to impose a heavy military burden. The king first requested a large standing army to be kept in readiness for future French aggression; and then, in , led the country back into war to prevent Louis dominating Spain.
In the face of this huge cost, persuading the English that their sacrifices were worthwhile was a Herculean task. William needed a brilliant ideological strategy to keep a nation unused to war behind his wearying campaigns. The king also had to sell his war particularly vigorously because it involved co-operation with the Netherlands. This was a problem, because many late Stuart Englishmen suffered from an inbred suspicion of the Dutch. Despite England's role in securing Holland's independence over the previous hundred years, the two countries had drifted apart in the later seventeenth century as three wars ,, , and a bitter trade rivalry, had fostered an intense anti-Dutch xenophobia amongst many Englishmen.
After the s, some English commentators had even claimed that the United Provinces aimed at a 'universal monarchy'. Citing that nation's mercantile and colonial aggression, these Englishmen accused Hollanders of being brutal deceivers, who would stop at nothing to engross the world's wealth and 19 20 For a general account of these changes see Geoffrey Parker, The military revolution: military innovation and the rise of the West Cambridge, At moments of tension they boiled over, as pamphleteers and parliamentarians accused the Dutch of exploiting their country.
Dark complaints about William's bias towards Holland led to accusations that the Dutch were not contributing their fair share to the war, and to the suggestion that England had been tricked into a conflict fought solely for the Netherlands' benefit. As a result William's prime task in developing a war propaganda became the elucidation of a rhetoric to counter anti-Dutch sentiment. Unless he could calm English xenophobia, it was unlikely that the king could persuade his subjects to go on supporting his military activities. William's third reason for developing an effective propaganda was closely linked to his second.
Constant conflict with France meant constant demands by the crown for money. Chronic fiscal need involved repeated sessions of parliament. As a result, the legislature became an indispensable part of the English administrative system. Since it has met every winter for a substantive session, and rulers have had to govern through teams of ministers broadly acceptable to its two houses.
William was thus the first English monarch whose essential task was the management of an independent legislature. At least once a year he had to present his case to the Lords, and to the purse-carrying Commons, and secure their support. He therefore faced, not only a general population to be won over to his cause, but a primary audience of parliamentarians, who had to be swayed and convinced on an almost daily basis.
Unresolved political disputes and ingrained political attitudes ensured that the legislature would not be easily persuaded to rally behind the king.
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Two problems in particular caused difficulty. The creation of parties in the late seventeenth century, and the tradition of 'country' sentiment, ensured that parliament tended towards contentious and uncooperative behaviour. The emergence of parties was perhaps the most remarkable development in late Stuart England. Previously there had been factions and temporary alliances between politicians, but these had not dominated politics in the way 21 22 23 Steven C. Pincus, 'Popery, t r a d e and universal m o n a r c h y : the ideological context of the o u t b r e a k of the second Anglo-Dutch w a r ' , EHRy 1 0 7 , See below p p.
For the shift in the balance of p o w e r between executive and legislature see Angus M c l n n e s , ' W h e n w a s the English revolution? William's ideological challenge 15 that the whig and tory camps which had formed under Charles II came to. Although these early groupings had lacked the centralised organisation and tight parliamentary discipline of later political parties, their rivalry had polarised the entire nation in the s, and had filtered almost all contemporary issues through its bifurcating lens.
The division between whigs and tories can most safely be dated to the exclusion crisis of As that drama had unfolded, the term 'whig' had been applied to those who attempted to debar the duke of York the future James II from the throne; whilst the tag 'tory' had been attached to those who opposed this attempt, and stood by the principle of indefeasible hereditary right. When Charles II had returned from exile in , he had come with a scheme to end the confessional quarrels between Englishmen which had contributed to his father's downfall.
He had suggested that, whilst the pre-Interregnum church should be re-established, concessions should be made in its government and liturgy to satisfy those who had objected to some of its forms in the s. Unfortunately, the capture of church and parliament by anglican hardliners had meant that such concessions were not to be forthcoming.
An act of uniformity in had led to 'Black Bartholomew's Day', when those parish ministers who had served during the Interregnum, but could not accept the church as reimposed under Charles, were ejected from their livings. These events created a body of 'dissenting' clerics and their followers, who would pose the central political dilemma for Caroline Englishmen. In the early s, debate about how to treat the considerable body of nonconformists helped to define the differences between the emerging political parties.
Whilst the tories coalesced around a rigid view, which wanted the schismatic sectarians eliminated and supported a persecuting legislative code to effect this; the whigs drew on dissenting support, and campaigned for toleration of nonconformity. In fact, so strong was the religious polarisation between the two parties, that historians are coming to agree that confessional disagreements were the main cause of partisan division.
For a summary of recent discussion between historians about party polarities see Harris, Politics under the later Stuarts, ch. The virulence of party strife in the period is well surveyed in Paul Seaward, The Restoration, , pp. When he came to the throne, he was faced, not only with a nation divided on its interpretation of the constitution, but one deeply fractured into rival religious camps. At the beginning of his reign, the new king hoped that the shock of James IPs regime might have united whigs and tories, and he included men from both sides in his first government.
The royal dream proved illusory, however, and inherited party hatreds soon burst forth in renewed bouts of political wrangling. These divisions horribly complicated the king's attempts to work with parliament, and ensured that that body was not a helpful partner in William's rule.
In the s, the Lords and Commons did not spend their time calmly deliberating on the king's need for money, as the royal court might have hoped; but rather developed into a forum for the factions' endless rivalry, and became a weapon in their mutual struggle. The two sides battled to gain majorities in the two houses; they tried to monopolise the king's government; they pressed for legislation against their opponents' interests; and they attempted to use the judicial authority of parliament to prosecute and destroy their enemies.
In this internecine warfare, the monarch's needs were frequently ignored. William was to face a series of political crises as his parliamentary managers lost control of the houses to independent factional leaders - or more frighteningly, as the ministers he had appointed mutated into party politicians and placed the interests of their own faction above those of the ministry to which they belonged.
During the seventeenth century, 'country' sentiment - a nagging mistrust of the executive and its ambitions - had become a characteristic element of the national psyche. It had drawn strength from mounting evidence that successive governments had been corrupted by the temptations of power, and had aimed to impose a tyrannical regime. The cumulative experience of Charles I's autocratic proclivities, of the luxury and double-dealing of Charles IPs government, and of James IPs assault on traditional liberties, had led to the pessimistic conclusion that courts were full of immoral and extravagant men who strove constantly to extend their authority beyond its legitimate bounds.
In response to this conviction, a recognisable platform of country policies had been formulated. The crucial period in the process was the s when country-minded politicians in parliament had begun to campaign against court resistance for a series of measures to control the damage a corrupt executive might do.
These included limits on royal expenditure, better parliamentary scrutiny of 27 The most comprehensive account of parliamentary politics in the s is Henry Horwitz, Parliament, policy and politics in the reign of William Manchester, William's ideological challenge 17 government, resistance to standing armies, and guarantees against interference in the judiciary and legislature. When he came to the throne, he faced a country morbidly sensitive to administrative corruption and influence. This was not an ideal situation for a monarch whose bellicose policies would require strong government, and would inevitably extend the state's activities.
In the s the war would vastly expand the armed forces; it would increase the numbers employed in fiscal and military administration; it would erode civil liberties as ministers tried to control the actions of enemy agents; and it would create a myriad of new government creditors as people lent money to finance the conflict. All these developments could be interpreted as increases in court power, and all would be opposed by men of 'country' opinions. In the eyes of 'country' politicians, the legislature must never degenerate into a tax-raising department of a military state.
Rather, it must develop its role as a check upon the executive, both asserting its independence from the court, and developing its power to inquire into and control the administration. The heritage of political suspicion thus ensured that William would face a struggle when trying to work with parliament. Throughout his reign he had to appeal for support at Westminster, whilst enduring a barrage of legislators' attacks upon his prerogative and administration.
He not only had to win over majorities of the two houses in order to finance his war, but had to deal with specific obstacles to that goal. In the first place, he required a rhetoric which could address party strife. He had to try to persuade whigs and tories to moderate their destructive battles, and to convince them that the national interest must override their private ambitions. Secondly, William needed arguments to calm country suspicions.
Unless he could convince legislators that he was more trustworthy than his predecessors, he risked total rupture with parliament, or endless attempts to strait jacket him with limitations and controls. The overall task facing William's propagandists was therefore extraordinarily demanding. A king who already had to assert his basic right to rule, and counter English xenophobia, 28 29 30 See K. Haley, The first earl of Shaftesbury Oxford, , p p.
Jones, Charles royal politician , pp. T h e clash between William's w a r administration and the country party is well described in John Brewer, The sinews of power: war, money and the English state , ch. For a detailed a c c o u n t of this parliamentary pressure which unfortunately overstates its coherence and organisation see Dennis Rubini, Court and country, The rest of this book will examine how the Williamites met their challenge. Broadly, the work can be divided into three sections, each corresponding to one of the three basic difficulties which the royal propagandists faced. The first section encompassing chapters 1 to 3 will discuss the fundamental problem of legitimacy.
Examining some hitherto understudied sources for s politics, it will suggest that a small coterie of men close to William developed the ideology of courtly reformation and attempted to justify the Orange regime by setting it in a protestant and providential pattern of English history. Over the s, it will be argued, their ideas became the keystone of government propaganda, and were broadcast through a remarkably comprehensive and imaginative publicity machine. After this, the second section contained in chapter 4 will turn to the problem of anti-Dutch sentiment and the war.
It will show how the doctrine of courtly reformation was adapted to drum up support for the military effort against France, and how it attempted to persuade the English to accept the alliance with Holland by manipulating their sense of nationality. Finally, the third section chapters 5 and 6 will deal with William's difficulties with his legislature. It will demonstrate that courtly reformation could be used in appeals to whig, tory, and 'country' sentiment, and that it helped to moderate the unruliness of late Stuart Westminster.
For a start, its concentration upon one area of government ideology may give a distorted picture of the phenomenon as a whole. Williamite publicists did not devote all their time to the promotion of courtly reformation, and in seeking to explain the centrality of this particular doctrine there is always a danger that the regime's efforts in other fields will receive relatively short shrift.
Similarly, Scotland and Ireland are neglected in this study of English politics. Although the 'British' context of William's rule is of crucial importance, and although the king obviously had to sell himself in his other realms as well as England, no study of royal propaganda in these other countries will be attempted here as it would entail descriptions of quite different sets of political circumstances, and would consequently render this work unfeasibly large. Williamite propaganda in Scotland is less well served, though P. Riley, King William and the Scottish politicians Manchester, , provides useful insights into the practice and contexts of Orange government in that country.
The use of the term 'British' to cover Ireland as well as England and Scotland in this work is inaccurate, and possibly offensive. No alternative word to describe the three island kingdoms suggests itself, however. The limitations of the study 19 ideological campaign. Despite some attempts to assess the effectiveness of William's rhetoric, this book can offer only unsatisfying claims about the discourse's ability to persuade its audience, or to win support for its sponsor.
At first sight, such reticence over the actual achievements of courtly reformation may seem strange. Superficially, at least, there does seem to be good evidence for the cogency and power of Orange propaganda. Considering the circumstances of the s, the post-Revolution monarchy was remarkably successful, and rose well to the myriad of difficult challenges which faced it. At a very basic level, it contained Jacobitism. Appeals from supporters of the exiled king for the English to rise up against their usurping monarch fell on largely deaf ears, and the various invasion scares and assassination plots seem merely to have strengthened support for the king.
Similarly, William managed to involve his new kingdom in war. He proved more adept than his Stuart predecessors in mobilising the realm for armed conflict abroad, and was able to employ considerable English forces in his battles in Ireland and Flanders. Again, William worked surprisingly well with parliament. Despite his foreignness, the strains of war, and the legacy of English political dispute, William's relations with the legislature never reached an impasse which interfered with his hold on the country, or the conduct of his struggle with Louis XIV. English legislators were generous and innovative in providing funds for their king's armies; they avoided pushing arguments with him to the point of constitutional crisis; and they rarely subjected him to outright parliamentary defeat.
Unfortunately, however, the situation was not as clear as this.