Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/450

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

gradually; but long before the names Tory and Whig came into use, the parties were becoming traceable, and their connections with militancy and industrialism respectively were vaguely shown. The truth is familiar that here, as elsewhere, it was habitually by town-populations, formed of workers and traders accustomed to co-operate under contract, that resistances were made to that coercive rule which characterizes co-operation under status. While conversely, support of co-operation under status, arising from, and adjusted to, chronic warfare, came from rural districts, originally peopled by military chiefs and their dependents, which retained the primitive ideas and traditions. Moreover, this contrast in political leanings, shown before Whig and Tory principles became clearly distinguished, continued to be shown afterward. At the period of the Revolution, "while the villages and smaller towns were monopolized by Tories, the larger cities, the manufacturing districts, and the ports of commerce, formed the strongholds of the Whigs"; and that, spite of exceptions, the like general relation still exists, needs no proving.

Such were the natures of the two parties as indicated by their origins. Observe, now, how their natures were indicated by their early doctrines and deeds. Whiggism began with resistance to Charles II and his cabal, in their efforts to re-establish unchecked monarchical power. The Whigs "regarded the monarchy as a civil institution, established by the nation for the benefit of all its members"; while with the Tories "the monarch was the delegate of Heaven." And these doctrines involved the beliefs, the one that subjection of citizen to ruler was conditional, and the other that it was unconditional. Describing Whig and Tory as conceived at the end of the seventeenth century, some fifty years before he wrote his "Dissertation on Parties," Bolingbroke says:

The power and majesty of the people, an original contract, the authority and independency of Parliaments, liberty, resistance, exclusion, abdication, deposition; these were ideas associated, at that time, to the idea of a Whig, and supposed by every Whig to be incommunicable, and inconsistent with the idea of a Tory.

Divine, hereditary, indefeasible right, lineal succession, passive-obedience, prerogative, non-resistance, slavery, nay, and sometimes popery too, were associated in many minds to the idea of a Tory, and deemed incommunicable and inconsistent, in the same manner, with the idea of a Whig ("Dissertation on Parties," p. 5).

And if we compare these descriptions, we see that in the one party there was a desire to resist and decrease the coercive power of the ruler over the subject, and in the other party to maintain or increase his coercive power. This distinction in their aims—a distinction which transcends in meaning and importance all other political distinctions—was displayed in their early doings. Whig principles were exemplified in the Habeas Corpus Act, and in the measure by which judges