September 19, 2006

Conservative History Journal: Tories on defence

Conservative History Journal: Tories on defence

An interesting article from a fascinating and timely blog. The Tory Historian here argues on the basis of Jeremy Black's recent book about Tory foreign and defence policy. He presents a lucid account of early Tory attempts to bring in non interventionalism in Foreign and Defence policy which were the realm of the Tory or Country Party in Eighteenth Century. The Tory Historian slightly elides one point because the Tories or Countrymen viewed the navy as being a servant of liberty, armies in the eighteenth century were seen as instruments of despotism and went together with large spending on patronage which increased the power of the executive.

What the Tory Historian and Proffessor Black though have missed is that the origins of the Tory party themselves lay very much in foreign policy. As Tony Claydon from the University of Bangor recently argued at Cambridge the early Whig and Tory parties were formed out of a central problem of seventeenth century English history- what to do about the continent. To be clear, the squabble was about what Anglicanism meant- the Whigs thought that the key bit of Anglicanism was its Protestant nature and therefore said the people on the continent in communion with us are the Protestants in Germany and Holland- the Tories thought that the key bit of the Church was authority and episcopacy and therefore argued that Anglicans were in communion with Catholics. Hence the earliest formation of the Tory party, and we are talking here about the 1670s and 1680s, dealt with the question of which European alliance to deal with- and they chose monolithic Roman Catholicism over the exponents of religious subsidiarity in Calvinist Holland and Germany.

4 comments:

edmund said...

I would say rather that the tory emaphasis on episcopcy ect meant that they had a strong aversion to other protestants as well as Catholics and therefore were not instinctively againstst the greatest Catholic power in the same way.

in many ways I think 17th and 18th century high anglicans (and hence tories) are more like strict confessional luterhans than they are like the anglo-catholics of latter generations, in thier fierce protestantism and fierce oppostion to more protestant protestants!

This is not to ingoe the importance of foreign policy-indeed it could be closer than this suggests, since the internal issues I think have to be seen in the light of whether one see's a Catholic meance and how one see's it rather than just in their own terms- james II was frightening to Whigs because he had Louis XIV and (in propoganda if not reality) the pope behind him

Gracchi said...

There is actually evidence to demonstrate what I say there were Tories especially clergymen in the sixteen eighties who thought they were in communion with France. I refer you to Claydon's paper to prove it adn don't have the cites on me but it is true.

edmund said...

I think to a large degree that gives too much attention to "communion" high clergyman by the late 18th centruy (though i expect not all high tories) belive that catholic sacraments are valid in a way Presybert and certialy other dissenging sacraments are not(that is communion most of all) - but there is more to relgion-and certlay to any anglicna of hte priod, than the sacraments , if you blielieve the catholic church is the tool of biblical anti-christ as many did, that is a very powerfull facto t he other way, also if you think marian devotin ois a for of idol worship

again the parllels with strict confessional luterhanis are key

i would also be wary with identify the non-jurors with all high anglicans still less all tories

edmund said...

in english this time

I think to a large degree that gives too much attention to "communion" high clergyman by the late 18th century (though I expect not all high Tories) believe that catholic sacraments are valid in a way Presbyterian and certainly other dissenting groups sacraments are not(that is communion most of all) - but there is more to religion-and certainly to any Anglican of the period, than the sacraments , if you believe the catholic church is the tool of biblical anti-Christ as many did, that is a very powerful facto t he other way, also if you think marina devotion is a form of idol worship

again the parallels with strict confessional Lutheranism are key

I would also be wary with identify the non-jurors with all high Anglicans still less all Tories