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Voters, patrons, and parties : the unreformed electoral system of Hanoverian England 1734-1832 /
Frank O'Gorman.
imprint
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1989.
description
xiv, 445 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0198200560 :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1989.
isbn
0198200560 :
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
1814025
 
Bibliography: p. [402]-432.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1990-06:
For teachers of English history nurtured by Edward and Annie Porritt's Unreformed House of Commons (2v., 1909) and L.B. Namier's classic The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III (1929), O'Gorman's startingly brilliant revision of the role of the electorate in national English politics before the great reform bill of 1832 will be a shock. For decades scholars had assured students that the professional borough-mongers dominated local elections from their headquarters in Westminster. With patient grace, O'Gorman (University of Manchester) redefines every major facet of political management by placing the common voter at the center of his focus. The voter is no longer the pawn of the bribers and cynical manipulators, as readers had been led to believe, but is seen for the first time as a multidimensioned, thinking, self-motivated citizen who, at the least, had to be intelligently courted for a vote. O'Gorman's beautifully crafted thesis requires even advanced scholars to severely modify, perhaps scrap, many assumptions about 18th-century common people in general and about their relationship to their "betters." O'Gorman's gentle and conciliatory argumentation will certainly help this process. The book is certain to ignite controversy. Expert notes and citations; superb bibliography; index. College, university, and public libraries. -G. M. Straka, University of Delaware
Reviews
Review Quotes
'a brilliant success ... With superb scholarship, O'Gorman has written the most distinguished book on the subject since 1903; its implications for modern democratic government are as profound as they are understated.'Jonathan Clark, The Times
'a most praiseworthy achievement ... It must be compulsory and compulsive reading for all students of the Georgian era.'Peter D.G. Thomas, University College of Wales, British Journal of Eighteenth Century Studies
'an enormously important study of the voters of Hanoverian England. Clearly written and vigorously argued, this major work of scholarship proves conclusively that the unreformed electorate must be taken seriously.'Enlightenment and Dissent
'an important and richly suggestive book which extends our understanding not merely of the unreformed electoral system, but of the political culture of Hanoverian England more generally ... his most impressive insights are into the electoral sociology of Hanoverian England. By demonstratingthe extent to which electoral processes were participatory and popular, he has contributed substantially to our understanding of the nature of political stability ... his work will deservedly hold the field for the foreseeable future. It is a book to savour.'EHR April 1993
'excellent book'Alan Heesom, University of Durham, History, No. 246, Feb 1991
'it is a brilliant success. With superb scholarship, O'Gorman has written the most distinguished book on the subject since 1903: its implications for modern democratic government are as profound as they are understated.Jonathan Clark, The Times
'one of the most impressive, original and broadly argued books to appear on this period in recent years ... He has taken popular politics, so often discussed only in terms of protest by marginal groups, and inserted it back into the formal, political history of unreformed Britain. And this isa major achievement.'Times Literary Supplement
'powerful and important book ... this is a brilliant study of the conventions of electoral behaviour in the unreformed parliament ... This book is certain to arouse widespread interest and it touches on a host of issues of central concern to scholars of the period.'Times Higher Education Supplement
'this is the first comprehensive study of the Hanoverian electorate to appear in print since before the First World War ... Dr O'Gorman offers much here that will be of value not only to the historical psephologist but equally to the more wide-ranging student of Hanoverian politics and society... this book makes a massive and timely contribution to the burgeoning professional interest in England's 'ancien regime'. Moreover, in the field of historical psephology it will long be regarded rightly as a landmark publication.'Stephen W. Baskerville, University of Hull, Durham University Journal, Jan. '91
'This world Frank O'Gorman has reconstructed with loving and patient care and with a wealth of documentation and analysis that is imposing.'London Review of Books
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 1990
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Summaries
Long Description
This is a wide-ranging study of electoral politics in England between 1734 and 1832. It analyses the control of the electoral system by the upper classes, the world of the voters, and the function of an election in the unreformed period.The history of the electoral system has been distorted by later emphasis on the extent of corruption in the constituencies. Dr O'Gorman takes us deep into the political underworld normally left undisturbed by historians; that of the committee men, agents, and canvassers who made the unreformed system work for as long as it did. Above all, this book is about the voters - their motivations, prejudices, beliefs and ideals, as well as their numbers and political behaviour. Frank O'Gorman hascombined computer analysis with traditional historical methods to reconstruct the social and ideological world of the voters, and argues that an understanding of the electoral dimension is vital to a broader understanding of the Hanoverian regime and its popular acceptance. The interaction of theparliamentary parties at Westminster with the older political culture of the constituencies is traced in the final part of this book.The nature of Hanoverian politics and society have been the subject of much recent debate, and this far-reaching analysis of the electorate takes us to the very heart of that social and political structure.
Long Description
This is a wide-ranging study of electoral politics in England between 1734 and 1832. O'Gorman analyzes the voters, the control of the electoral system by the upper classes, and the function of an election in the unreformed period. He combines computer analysis with traditional historical methods to reconstruct the social and ideological world of the voters, and argues that an understanding of the electoral dimension is vital to a broader understanding of the Hanoverian regime and its popular acceptance.
Main Description
This is a wide-ranging study of electoral politics in England between 1734 and 1832. It analyses the control of the electoral system by the upper classes, the world of the voters, and the function of an election in the unreformed period. The history of the electoral system has been distorted by later emphasis on the extent of corruption in the constituencies. Dr O'Gorman takes us deep into the political underworld normally left undisturbed by historians; that of the committee men, agents, and canvassers who made the unreformedsystem work for as long as it did. Above all, this book is about the voters - their motivations, prejudices, beliefs and ideals, as well as their numbers and political behaviour. Frank O'Gorman has combined computer analysis with traditional historical methods to reconstruct the social andideological world of the voters, and argues that an understanding of the electoral dimension is vital to a broader understanding of the Hanoverian regime and its popular acceptance. The interaction of the parliamentary parties at Westminster with the older political culture of the constituencies istraced in the final part of this book. The nature of Hanoverian politics and society have been the subject of much recent debate, and this far-reaching analysis of the electorate takes us to the very heart of that social and political structure.
Table of Contents
Preface
list of tables
The electoral system in Hanoverian England
The structure of electoral politics
The processes of electoral politics
The unreformed electorate
Ideological aspects of electoral behaviour
The party dimension to electoral politics
conclusion
Appendix
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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