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Aristocratic Faction and Reformist Politics in Eighteenth-Century Hampshire: The Election of December 1779

David Underdown
Huntington Library Quarterly
Vol. 68, No. 4 (December 2005), pp. 601-630
DOI: 10.1525/hlq.2005.68.4.601
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/hlq.2005.68.4.601
Page Count: 30
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Aristocratic Faction and Reformist Politics in Eighteenth-Century Hampshire: The Election of December 1779
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Abstract

ABSTRACT David Underdown examines the 1779 parliamentary election in the English county of Hampshire. He explores the political context—the rivalry between the two dukes, of Bolton and of Chandos, and how their confliict was transformed in the 177os by events in America. Bolton's candidate, Clarke Jervoise, made a populist appeal to middle-class voters who were sympathetic to the Americans, and also de-manded reform of the allegedly corrupt political system in England. Worsley, Chandos'candidate, incontrast, supported Prime Minister North's policies on both counts: tough coercion against the American rebels, and a firm denial that the parliamentary system needed any kind of reform. Through ananalysis of newspaper reports, election pamphlets, and ballads, the significance of the reformers'electoral victory is explained, as well as its place in the wider national debate over political reform in Britain.

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