court and country party

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Lord Orford Horace Walpole (1717—1797) author, politician, and patron of the arts

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Names employed for government and opposition in the late 17th and early 18th cents. The term ‘country party’ had obvious advantages. It was much broader than Tory or church party and avoided the divisive names of Whig and Tory at a time when many were combining to overthrow Walpole. It hinted at massive support in the nation at large. It called to mind a golden past when squire and countryman had lived in harmony before the new moneyed interest bore everything down. ‘Court’, on the other hand, suggested a clique subservient to the monarch, wallowing in patronage and corruption.

Subjects: British History.

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