Whigs


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Whigs

 

a British political party that existed from the 17th century to the 19th.

The Whig Party arose at the end of the 1670’s as a faction representing the interests of those noblemen who were be-coming bourgeois, and of the big commercial and financial bourgeoisie. These groups were opposed to the restoration of royal absolutism. After the coup d’etat of 1688-89 the Whigs passed the“Bill of Rights” and other measures aimed at asserting the supremacy of Parliament. The Whigs’ stay in power was marked by increased parliamentary corruption, a growth of the state debt, and the flourishing of speculation of the stock exchange, as well as land confiscations in Ireland. After a short interval the Whigs, led by R. Walpole and later by W. Pitt the Elder, were the ruling party from 1714 to 1762. In the 1760’s, 1770’s, and 1780’s, in the course of a complicated regrouping of political forces, a number of Whigs went over to the Tory Party. During the Great French Revolution the more influential Whig faction (whose ideological leader was E. Burke) actively supported war against France, while another Whig group, led by C. Fox, condemned it. During the first third of the 19th century the rapid growth of the economic power of the bourgeoisie strengthened the party’s liberal wing and prompted the Whigs to support the demands for a parliamentary reform, which, however, was adopted in 1832 in a very limited form. After this reform, the Whigs, who alternated in office with the Tories, conducted an antiworker policy and attempted to suppress the Chartist movement. In the middle of the 19th century the Whig Party became the party representing the interests of the industrial and commerical bourgeoisie. After uniting with other political groups, such as the free traders, the Whigs formed the Liberal Party of Great Britain.

REFERENCES

Marx, K.“Vybory v Anglii: Tori i Vigi.” In K. Marx and F. Engels. Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 8.
Williams, B. The Whig Supremacy, 1714-1760, 2nd ed. Oxford, 1962.

E. B. CHERNIAK


Whigs

 

a bourgeois party in the USA during the period 1834-54.

The Whig Party included northern industrialists, southern planters whose economic interests were linked with the North, and some farmers. The Whigs opposed the strengthening of federal power and favored the development of industry not only in the North but in the South as well. The Whigs were twice victorious in presidential elections (in 1840 and 1848). Diversified in its composition, the Whig Party had fallen apart by 1854: the northern Whigs joined the newly created Republican Party, and the so-called Cotton Whigs went over to the Democratic Party.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Whigs favored big business, banks and internal improvements like canals and railroads.
As a consequence, Do To The Beast sounds as much like Dulli's post-Whigs projects, the Gutter Twins, his collaboration with Mark Lanegan as it does the Whigs, but it can certainly stand alongside their best work.
As a consequence, Do To The Beast sounds as much like Dulli's excellent post-Whigs projects, the Gutter Twins, his collaboration with Mark Lanegan, and rotating collective the Twilight Singers, as it does the Whigs.
Walker argues that participation in boycotts began to politicize women, since the war itself touched their lives as both sides routinely devastated Whig and Loyalist property.
Georgian England had a two-party political system, but neither Tories nor Whigs had an official party platform, and there was a great deal of dissension in both parties' ranks.
With Whigs in the minority, Democrats anticipated that they could push through the completion of their goals.
Many in England envied the Dutch their freedoms; increasing numbers of disaffected Whigs and discredited plotters even sought refuge in the Low Countries as the 1680s wore on.
And of course, anyone who saw them support the Kings Of Leon in December will be a convert too - it's no wonder the Followills asked for The Whigs as their touring companions.
It championed a Whig interpretation of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which brought William and Mary to the throne in place of James II.
BACK in time the Tories and the Whigs were the dominant political parties, contesting national elections from the 1680s to the 1850s.
This group, too, splintered, but one of its number, the Earl of Shaftesbury, went on to become a leading member in the Whigs - a party which is the equivalent of the first great ape in the evolution of contemporary politics.
Many of these rituals have received critical attention individually as examples of Scott's ironic distancing between ritual performance and real conditions in the face of historical change or of the subtle ways in which Scott's ostensibly evenhanded treatment favors Royalists (and Claverhouse) over superstitious Whigs.