Scottish Whig Party, c. 1801-20
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Orme, Trent Eugene
This thesis analyses the Scottish Whig party between 1801 and 1820 with particular focus on party structure, organisation, and ideology. It seeks to provide a picture of the Scottish Whig party between these dates and to demonstrate that the party developed and maintained a sophisticated structure, cultivated an active and diverse body of members, and contributed to the intellectual development of the national Whig party. Chapter One explores the multiple opinions that existed within the Scottish Whigs on the issue of reform and how these ideas were disseminated in the press. Chapter Two discusses the fissures that existed within the Edinburgh Whigs and notes the generational gap which saw the younger Whigs compete with the older ones for pre-eminence within the party. Chapter Three extends this study beyond the confines of Edinburgh and examines the importance of a culture of conviviality to the party through a study of the dinners held throughout Scotland in honour of Charles James Fox. Extending beyond the urban centres, Chapter Four delves into the complexities of county politics in Scotland and the methods that the Whigs developed in order to overcome local challenges. Chapter Five explores the practical means by which the opposition party maintained itself, specifically through the patronage of university chairs and livings in the Church of Scotland. Through a brief exploration of the career of John Allen, Chapter Six discusses the importance of London and Holland House to the Scottish Whigs and provides suggestions for further research. Finally, it is asserted that, by the 1820s, a diverse and dynamic Scottish Whig party had emerged and was actively contributing to the national Whig party intellectually, by developing a 'new' Scottish Whiggism, and in terms of personnel. Throughout, this thesis demonstrates the flexibility of terms such as 'Whig' and 'Foxite principles' and argues for a broader interpretation of political activity and involvement as being vital to the study of early nineteenth-century politics.