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interests, sympathies, and passions. They could not be reckoned upon, as members of the Liberal party. Upon several measures affecting Ireland, they were hotly opposed to government; on other questions they were in close alliance with the Radicals. In the struggles of the English parties, they sometimes voted with the reformers; were often absent from divisions, or forthcoming only in answer to pressing solicitations : on some occasions, they even voted with the Tories. The attitude and tactics of this party were fraught with embarrassment to Lord Grey and succeeding ministers ; and when parties became more evenly balanced, were serious obstacle to parliamentary government. When they opposed ministers, their hostility was often dangerous ; when they were appeased and satisfied, ministers were accused of truckling to Mr. O'Connell.

While the Liberal party were thus divided, their oppoRevival of the nents were united and full of hope. A few old Tory party. Tories still distrusted their leaders; but the promise of future triumphs to their party, hatred of the Whigs, and fear of the Radicals, went far to efface the memory of their wrongs. However small the numbers of the Tory party in the House of Commons, they were rapidly recovering their local influence, which the reform crisis had over

Their nomination boroughs, indeed, were lost ; the close and corrupt organization by which they had formerly maintained their supremacy was broken up; but the great confederation of rank, property, influence, and numbers was in full vigor. The land, the church, the law, were still the strongholds of the party ; but having lost the means of controlling the representation, they were forced to appeal to the people for support. They readily responded to the spirit of the times. It was now too late to rely upon the distinctive principles of their party, which had been renounced by themselves or repudiated by the people. It was a period of intelligence and progress; and they were prepared to contend with their rivals in the race of improvement.

come.

They becomo

tives.

But to secure popular support, it was necessary to direst themselves of the discredited name of Tories. It was a name of reproach, as it had been 150 years Conservabefore ; and they renounced it. Henceforth they adlroitly adopted the title of * Conservatives;” and proclaimed their mission to be the maintenance of the Constitu. tion against the inroads of democracy. Accepting recent changes, as the irrevocable will of Parliament and the country, they were prepared to rule in the spirit of a more popular Constitution. They were ready to improve institutions, but not to destroy or reconstruct them."

The position which they now assumed was well suited to the temper of the times. Assured of the support of the old Tory party, they gained new recruits through a dread of democracy, which the activity of the Radicals encouraged. At the same time, by yielding to the impulses of a progressive age, they conciliated earnest and ardent minds, which would have recoiled from the narrow principles of the old Tory school.

Meanwhile the difficulties of the Whigs were increasing. In May, 1834, the cabinet was nearly broken up Breaking up by the retirement of Mr. Stanley, Sir J. Graham, Grey's midisthe Duke of Richmond, and the Earl of Ripon, try. on the question of dealing with the revenues of the Church in Ireland. The causes of this disunion favored the approach of the seceding members of the cabinet to the Conservative party. They immediately crossed over to the opposition benches; and though accompanied by a very small body of adherents, their eminent talents and character promised much future advantage to the Conservative party. In July, the government was dissolved by the resignation of Earl Grey; and the Reform ministry was no more.

1 In his Address to the Electors of Tamworth, Sir Robert Peel stated that he considered the Reform Bill a final and irrevocable settlement of a great constitutional question, - a settlement which no friend to the peace and welfare of this country would attempt to disturb, either by direct or by insidious meaus." — Ann. Reg., 1831, p. 341; Guizot's Lite of Peel,

Sir Robert Peel's short ministry, 1831-35.

Lord Melbourne's ministry, still further estranged from

the Radicals, were losing ground and public confidence, when they were suddenly dismissed by

William IV.1 This precipitate and ill-advised measure reunited the various sections of the liberal pariy into an overwhelming opposition. Sir Robert Peel vainly endeavored to disarm them, and to propitiate the good will of the people, by promising ample measures of reform.? He went so far in this direction, that the old school of Tories began to foresee alarming consequences in his policy; 8 but his opponents recognized the old Tory party in disguise, – the same persons, the same instincts, and the same traditions. They would not suffer the fruits of their recent victory to be wrested from them by the king, and by the men who had resisted, to the utmost, the extension of parliamentary representation. His ministry was eren distrusted by Lord Stanley * and Sir James Graham, who, though separated from the reformers, were not yet prepared to unite their fortunes with the untried Conservatives.

Sir Robert Peel strengthened his minority by a dissoluState of par

5 but was speedily crushed by the united forces of the opposition; and Lord Melbourne was restored to power. His second administration

tion;

ties under Lord Mel. bourne.

1 Supra, Vol. I. 125.

In his Address to the Electors of Tamworth, he said that he was prepared to adopt the spirit of the Reform Act by a “ careful review of insti. tutions, civil and ecclesiastical, undertaken in a friendly temper, combining with the firm maintenance of established rights the correction of proved abuses and the redress of real grievances." He also promised a fair consideration to municipal reform, the question of church rates, and other measures affecting the Church and Dissenters. Ann. Reg., 1834, p. 839.

8 Lord Eldon wrote, in March, 1835, the new ministers, “if they do not at present go to the full length to which the others were going, will at least make so many important changes in Church and State that nobody can guess how tar the precedents they establish may lead to changes of a very formidable kind bereafter.” Twiss's Life of Lord Ellon, iii. 244.

4 By the death of his grandfather in Oct. 1834, he had become Lord Stanley.

6 Before the dissolution, his followers in the House of Commons num.

was again exclusively Whig, with the single exception ot Mr. Poulett Thomson, who, holding opinions somewhat more advanced, was supposed to represent the Radical party in the cabinet. The Whigs and Radicals were as far asunder as ever ; but their differences were veiled under the comprehensive title of the “ Liberal party,” which served at once to contrast them with the Conservatives, and to unite under one standard the forces of Lord Melbourne, the English Radicals, and the Irish followers of Mr. O'Connell.

During the next six years, the two latter sections of the party continued to urge organic changes, which were resisted alike by Whigs and Conservatives. Meanwhile, Chartism in England, and the repeal agitation in Ireland, increased that instinctive dread of democracy which, for the last fifty years, had strengthened the hands of the Tory party. Ministers labored earnestly to reform political and social abuses. They strengthened the Church, both in England and Ireland, by the commutation of tithes: they conciliated the Dissenters by a liberal settlement of their claims to religious liberty: they established municipal self-government throughout the United Kingdom. But, placed between the Radicals on one side and the Conservatives on the other, their position was one of continual embarrassment.1 When they inelined towards the Radicals, they were accused of favoring democracy: when they resisted assaults upon the blouse of Lords, the Bishops, the Church, and the Constitution, they

bered less than 150; the New Parliament, they exceeded 250; and the support he received from others, who desired to give him a fair trial, swelled this minority to very formidable dimensions. On the election of Speaker, he was beaten by ten votes only; on the Address, by seven; and on the decisive division, upon the appropriation of the surplus revenues of the Irish Church, by thirty-three. - Hans. Deb., 3d. Ser. xxvi. 221, 425, &c.; Ibid., xxvii. 770; Courts and Cab. of Will. IV. and Vict., ii. 161; Guizot's Life of Peel, 72.

1 The relative numbers of the different parties, in 1837, have been thus computed:- Whigs, 152; Liberals, 100; Radicals, 80 = 332. Tories, 139; Ultra-Tories, 100; Conservatives, 80 = 319.- Courts and Cabinets of Will. IV. and Vict., ii. 253.

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reaction.

were denounced by their own extreme followers, as Tories. Nay, so much was their resistance to further constitutional changes resented, that sometimes Radicals were found joining the opposition forces in a division ;' and Conservative candidates were preferred to Whigs, by Radical and Chartist electors. The liberal measures of the government were accepted without grace, or fair acknowledgment; and when they fell short of the extreme Radical standard, were reviled as worthless. It was their useful but thankless office to act as mediators between extreme opinions and parties, which would otherwise have been brought into perilous conflict.' But however important to the interests of the state, it sacri. ficed the popularity and influence of the party.

Meanwhile the Conservatives, throughout the country, Conservative were busy in reconstructing their party. Their

organization was excellent: their agents were zealous and active ; and the registration courts attested their growing numbers and confidence."

There were diversities of opinion among different sections of this party, - scarcely less marked than those which characterized the ministerial ranks, - but they were lost sight of, for a time, in the activity of a combined opposition to the government. There were ultra-Tories, ultra-Protestants, and Orangemen, who had not forgiven the leaders by whom they had been betrayed in 1829. There were unyielding politicians who remembered, with distrust, the liberal policy of Sir Robert Peel in 1835, and disapproved the tolerant spirit in which he had since met the Whig measures affect

1 Edinb. Rev., April, 1840, 283. 2 lbid., p. 281.

8 Bulwer says: “They clumsily attempted what Machiavel has termed che finest masterpiece in political science, – to content the people and to manage the nobles.'” England and the English, ii. 271. But, in truth, their principles and their position alike dictated a middle course.

4 Sir R. Peel, at a dinner in Merchant Taylor's Hall, in May, 1838, raised the not very exalted, but extremely practical cry of “register, register, register," which was responded to by electioneering agents with the utmost alacrity.

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