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Fall Focus on the Arts and Humanities: The Pretender’s Folly: Jacobitism and the Hanoverian Succession
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091523/00610
 Material Information
Title: Fall Focus on the Arts and Humanities: The Pretender’s Folly: Jacobitism and the Hanoverian Succession
Series Title: Journal of Undergraduate Research
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Qui, Zhechao Raphael
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Fall 2011
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Eighteenth century
England
politics
Parliament
Stuart
Great Britain
monarchism
rebellion
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
Abstract: Though the Jacobite rebellions lasted only sixty years, they left an indelible mark on English political and cultural society. The secretive nature of the Jacobite, together with bad luck and inconsistent foreign support, deprived the Jacobites of ultimate victory. Nevertheless, the Jacobite threat forced Parliament to pass important legislation in order to prevent a Jacobite restoration. Since these laws established the foundation of the British state, the Jacobites were responsible for the shaping, modernization, and centralization of Great Britain after the Glorious Revolution. The Jacobites’ main ideological principles, namely divine right and passive obedience, helped to define the Whig and Tory divide while their associations with the Tory party led to the Whig ascendance within the English government following the Hanoverian Succession of 1715. Thus, Jacobite ideals significantly influenced the development of English conservatism, which sought to promote traditional institutions and a hierarchical society built on divine right. Furthermore, their movement involved a broader social component as common dissenters seeking to express discontentment with the royal monarchy adopted their rhetoric and symbols. However, their impact on English culture was more ephemeral as government censorship and repression dampened the effect of their propaganda and literature.
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: sobekcm - UF00091523_00602
System ID: UF00091523:00610

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University of Florida | Journal of Undergraduate Research | Volume 13 Issue 1 | Fall 2011 1 The Pretenders Folly: Jacobitism and the Hanoverian Succession Zhechao Raphael Qiu College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida Though the Jacobite rebellions lasted only sixty years, they left an indelible mark on English political and cultural society. The secretive nature of the Jacobite, together with bad luck and inconsistent foreign support deprived the Jacobites of ultimate victory. Nevertheless, the Jacobite threat forced Parliament to pass important legislation in order to prevent a Jacobite restoration. Since these laws established the foundation of the British state, the Jacobites were responsible for the shaping, modernization, and centralization of Great Britain after the Glorious Revolution. The Jacobites main ideological principles, namely divine right and passive o bedience, helped to define the Whig and Tory divide while their associations with the Tory party led to the Whig ascendance within the English government following the Hanoverian Succession of 1715. Thus, Jacobite ideals significantly influenced the development of English conservatism, which sought to promote traditi onal institutions and a hierarchical society built on divine right. Furthermore, their movement involved a broader social component as common dissenters seeking to express discontentment with the royal monarchy adopted their rhetoric and symbols. However, their impact on English culture was more ephemeral as government censorship and repression dampened the effect of th eir propaganda and literature. Following the death of Prince William, Princess Annes only living heir in 1700, the Engli sh Parliament passed the Act of Settlement in order to prevent the throne from reverting back to the Pretender. The Act of Settlement 1701 established that the Electress Sophia of Hanover, a granddaughter of James I of England, or her Protestant descendant s would succeed to the throne after Anne. The Act also explicitly excluded Catholics from acceding to the throne, including over 50 nobles who had previously been higher up in the line of succession. The Act of Settlement faced little public opposition, wi th only one MP in the House of Commons speaking against it.1 This strongly contradicts the arguments of Jacobite scholars who contend that the Jacobites dominated the Tories. The lack of opposition in this crucial vote suggests that the majority of the Tor ies at this point were pro Hanoverian or at least had resigned themselves to the inevitability of a Protestant succession. However, a subsequent bill the following year that would have made denial or obstruction of the Hanoverian Succession high treason me t heavy opposition and passed by only one vote.2 This may have been a concerted Jacobite effort to prevent the authorities from utilizing the law against them. The sectarian division between Whigs and Tories allowed the Jacobite Members of Parliament to play a decisive role in certain votes. The continued implementation of the Act of Settlement to this very day reflects the influence that the Jacobite threat had on the English monarchy, particularly in shaping monarchial requirements. Unlike the Act of Settlement, the Act of Union faced much greater public opposition as the Scottish populace was very much displeased with continued intervention in its politics by its southern neighbor. In fact, Jacobite sympathizers claimed that public disapproval of the Uni on was so intense that James III would be welcomed back with open arms if he merely landed in Scotland. These overly optimistic reports encouraged James III to participate in the illfated expedition of 1708 to Edinburgh with a French fleet in the hopes of sparking a popular uprising. Regardless, the total failure of this incursion would contribute to future Jacobite hesitancy with regards to armed campaigns and would shift their efforts towards diplomacy rather than militancy. Nevertheless, it reflects the prominent influence that the Jacobite movement had on English legislation and foreign diplomacy during this period, particularly the lengths that Parliament was willing to go to in order to prevent another Stuart restoration. The threat of Jacobitism and a possible Stuart restoration to the throne of Scotland ensured that the English Parliament would utilize all of its power and resources to unite the two countries and protect the Hanoverian Succession. It is certainly ironic that Jacobitism helped to str engthen the regime it sought to overthrow in that the Act of Settlement that established the Hanoverian Succession along with the Act of Union was passed specifically to counter the Pretender and his supporters. Since the Stuarts had originally been rulers of Scotland before acquiring the English throne, the English Parliament was just as keen to close this security gap by preventing the Jacobites from gaining a possible foothold in Scotland as it was to end its economic rivalry with Scotland.

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ZHECHAO RAPHAEL Q IU University of Florida | Journal of Undergraduate Research | Volume 13 Issue 1 | Fall 2011 2 While Daniel Defoes political writings reveal the divided nature of English society at the time of the Hanoverian Succession, the activities of the Jacobites also caused a new shift in political theories concerning the monarchy. The passage of the Act of Settlement pr ovided a legislative precedent through which Parliament could control the monarchial selection process. Whereas the Glorious Revolution had primarily been a coup backed by members of Parliament, the Hanoverian Succession secured Parliamentary control over the line of succession to the throne. Furthermore, as argued by some of its supporters such as John Toland, the Succession also vindicated principles of the Glorious Revolution such as limited monarchy.3 Thus, the Jacobite presence in English politics help ed to shape the political nature of the Hanoverian Succession as a consolidation of constitutional principles that had been first implemented during the Glorious Revolution with the Bill of Rights. Whereas Defoes writings were partly satirical, Whig writ ers took a much more hardline approach to Jacobitism during the early eighteenth century. Much of their criticisms continued the anti papist and anti Catholic sentiments propagated by their late seventeenth century predecessors. Some authors such as the wr iter of Hannibal at the Gates blamed the Jacobites for all of the political turmoil that was afflicting England. For example, the anonymous author of this work claimed that the Jacobites had been manipulating the Nonj urors against the Protestant majority and called on all loyal subjects to resist Jacobite propaganda since the restoration of the Pretender would only bring about great slaughter and destruction.4 While certain Jacobites suggested that they utilize other domestic dissidents for their political gain, particularly in a letter to the Earl of Perth, there was never a serious attempt to establish a unified rebel movement.5 Nevertheless, the royal government generally equated Nonjurors with Jacobites as shown in a 1715 Royal Proclamation issued just prior to the First Rising.6 Much of the popular anti Jacobite literature during this period equated Jacobitism with French absolutism, popery, slavery, and arbitrary government. For example, the author of The Jacobite Hopes Frustrated argued that a Stuart restoration would be equivocal with a French invasion and implied that it would be as catastrophic to English society as the Norman Conquest.7 The passage of time tended to make these straw man arguments even more extreme as later authors such as the writ er of The Jacobite Plot equated Jacobitism with slavery and blamed the Dissenter problem in the Anglican Communion on the Jacobites.8 These outrageous beliefs are taken to their extreme by Benjamin Hoadly in The Jacobite Hopes Revived wherein he theorizes that the Jacobites would push for an absolute monarchy and the dissolution of Parliament.9 The Succession proved that Parliament retained the right to select monarchs and that the new Hanoverian king had to respect the Church as well as civil liberties if he wanted to remain king and not be deposed like the Stuarts. Just as certain MP s had chosen William based on his claim to the throne as the nephew of James II and his daughters wife in addition to his reputation as a Protestant champion, so the Hanoveri ans were chosen due to their staunch anti Catholicism and image as defenders of Protestantism on the continent. Therefore, the Succession marked the death knell for the supremacy of divine right within English politics as it cemented the Whig concept of el ected monarchy. However, George I was quick to deny the Whig interpretation that he had been given the kingdom by proclaiming that he was king by hereditary right by virtue of his maternal great grandfather, James I, whose House had lost their right to rul e in the Glorious Revolution.10 This religious consolidation went hand in hand with the diplomatic ramifications of the Hanoverian Succession. During the latter half of the seventeenth century, English Protestants had been particularly vexed by the country s alliance with France, a Catholic power, against its Protestant neighbors such as the Dutch Republic during the Anglo Dutch and FrancoDutch Wars. One of the reasons for Parliaments acceptance of the Hanoverian Succession was to prevent such religiously inconsistent alliances from ever occurring again as the Kingdom of Hanover had a significant role in the Protestant alliances on the continent. Parliament hoped that George would act as a bulwark against the threat of France, which was considered to be th e primary enemy by the British due to religious and historical reasons. Though Defoe believed that the Hanoverian Succession might weaken the British state, it actually had the opposite effect of centralizing the government and boosting its military power. The Jacobite and Tory calls for a decentralized British state with clea r regional divisions influenced the new Hanoverian kings to push for greater centralization so as to consolidate their rule. The threat posed by the Jacobites allowed George I to quickly push through a number of acts such as the Riot Act and Security of t he Sovereign Act designed to curtail the ability of his opponents to congregate and contest his rule. Furthermore, the Jacobites and Tories had also supported minimalizing the army in favor of strengthening the navy so as to keep taxes low. The fact that the Kingdom of Hanover was a continental power boosted their popularity in the eyes of the Whig party, which emphasized maintaining a strong continental army in order to bring the fight to France and Spain. Great Britains roles in the War of the Quadruple Alliance, Austrian Succession, and the Seven Years War all confirm the renewed interest in continental affairs brought about by the threat of Jacobite invasion and the Hanoverian Succession. Thus, the choice of the Hanoverian Succession was very much a r eaction to the Jacobite and Tory principles concerning diplomacy, state structure, and warfare. During the period of Queen Annes reign, Jacobite hopes for a peaceful restoration had never looked better.

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JACOBITISM AND THE HANOVERIAN S UCCESSION University of Florida | Journal of Undergraduate Research | Volume 13 Issue 1 | Fall 2011 3 However, Jacobite attempts to broker a peaceful recognition of James Francis Stuart, the old Pretender, helped to split the Tory party. While a portion of the membership defended the Hanoverian Succession, another faction led by the Viscount Bolingbroke attempted to secure the throne for the Old Pretender. These divisions weakened the party at a critical point while the refusal of several Tory leaders to serve the new Hanoverian king, George I, led to the Torys fall from favor within the government.11 Jacobite activities within the Tory party also led to an electoral defeat for the Tories in 1715 as Bolingbrokes actions appeared to confirm longstanding Whig accusations of crypto Jacobitism within the Tory party. The Tory majority in the House of Commons was lost and transformed into a Whig majority of 130.12 In spite of the conflict over the Hanoverian Succession, Tim Harris argues that Jacobitism became more popular towards the end of Annes reign due to public dissent concerning Englands participation in the War of the Spanish Succession. Harris claims th at this war weariness combined with the chronological dista nce from the events of the 1680s caused the English to become more sympathetic to a Stuart restoration as a so lution to the nations problem.13 George Is preference for Whigs, along with his contin ental holdings, provoked general unrest and fears of government warmongering, high taxes, and future involvement in continental wars. The Jacobite nature of these protests in which James III was exalted while George I was cursed led the new Hanoverian king to further distrust the Tories in favor of the Whigs.14 Jacobite historiography has been rather stigmatized due to the romanticism frequently attached to the Jacobite movement. Most of these associations are very similar to the portrayals of the Confedera cy in the US as the ultimate lost cause. Unfortunately, this is simply the nature of most conspiratorial movements in that much of the historical documentation has been destroyed or encrypted, thus hindering research while promoting speculation or rumor. As a result, this has led to numerous theories in its study depending on how willing one is to trust the source material. Like any other rebellious movement, the Jacobites tended to exaggerate their success, particularly in correspo ndences with foreign di plomats. Despite the popular imagination that Jacobitism was a reactionary and doomed ideology, it lay at the crux of eighteenth century English politics. The Jacobite presence had forced the English Parliament to pass the Act of Settlement 1701 in order t o deny Catholics the throne in favor of the Protestant House of Hanover. When the Scottish Parliament declared its right to name its own king, the English Parliament passed the Act of Union thus transforming Scotland and Englands relationship from a pers onal monarchial union into an actual political union. Unification was believed to be so unpopular that it actually led James Francis Stuart, the Old Pretender, to attempt an invasion of Scotland that was only aborted when the French naval commander refused to land in Edinburgh due to the presence of an English fleet. Despite these political reassurances, the threat of a Jacobite restoration continued to surface during Queen Annes reign as she had no legitimate heirs despite a large number of pregnancies. I n 1713, rumors abounded of a Jacobite coup as Queen Anne lay heavily sick in bed, but the Queen quickly quashed this misperception when she recovered and immediately reiterated her decision to maintain the Hanoverian Succession.15 The primary appeal of Jaco bitism was dynastic in nature in that it drew most of its support from legitimist monarchists. As Jacobitism was born in the age of imperial rivalry, it was able to benefit from the competition among the European powers as it drew support from Catholic nat ions such as Spain and France. However, both foreign support fluctuated as foreign diplomats tended to be skeptical of Jacobite claims of popular support and feared that the Stuarts might continue British expansionist policies if they were ever restored.16 In addition to domestic repression, the Jacobites activities during the Hanoverian Succession were also hindered by the Pretender s lack of experience as he was only twenty six at the time. Up until the Hanoverian Succession, the ministry had been dominat ed by the Tories, particularly during Annes later reign, as their leaders were able to coerce James Francis Stuart to order his supporters in Parliament to support the Tory cause by promising him the throne.17 The bitter conflict between Tories and Whigs w ithin Parliament allowed Jacobite MP s to be the deciding votes in key legislation such as the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, which helped to end the War of the Spanish Succession. In spite of the Jacobite sympathies of Tory leaders such as the Viscount Bolingbrok e and the Duke of Ormonde as well as other statesmen such as the Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, there was never a serious, determined effort to revoke the Act of Settlement. The inability of the Jacobites to oppose the legislation that led to and confirmed the Hanoverian Succession undermines the argument made by scholars such as Cruikshanks that they dominated the Tory party. Nevertheless, their activities helped to bring about the Hanoverian Succession and the ensuing Whig ascendance as Parliament sought to consolidate the gains of the Glorious Revolution. As an underground movement, Jacobitism engendered a disproportionate amount of political paranoia centered on fears of popery and French invasion. Their politics helped to demarcate the Whig Tory divide, but it was also their associations with the Tory party that caused the downfall of the Tories and pushed British politics in a Whig direction. Thus, the Jacobites had a significant impact on the development of British identity and politics in the e ighteenth century as the perceived foreign and traditionalist nature of the movement caused the domination of Whig ideals of constitutional monarchy and free trade.

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ZHECHAO RAPHAEL Q IU University of Florida | Journal of Undergraduate Research | Volume 13 Issue 1 | Fall 2011 4 In spite of government claims that Jacobite agents were around every corner, there were on ly three official agents that James Francis Stuart could rely on.18 Thus, the Jacobite movement was too disparate and lacked a core cadre that was crucial in the success of other rebellious or revolutionary movement. Bennet argues that the Jacobites were merely pawns of English diplomats who were attempting to utilize the movement for their own personal gains. Ironically, the Jacobite movement sundered its hopes of victory as it divided the Tory party at a crucial point during the monarchial transition betwe en Anne and George I. The defection of key Tory leaders such as the Viscount Bolingbroke generated disunity within party ranks and allowed the Whigs to establish a virtual single party government in the aftermath.19 The threat of a Jacobite rising in 1715 s eemed particularly likely due to the mass riots and general discontent that followed the Hanoverian Succession. This forced the Whigs to consolidate their hold on local governments and the militias, which essentially forced the Jacobites to shift their foc us from England to Scotland. Thus, the Jacobites significance is that they provided George I and the Whigs with a weapon and excuse to purge Tories out of public offices, increase the size of the army, and suspend habeas corpus.20 The nature of the Jacobit e threat is best evidenced by a Royal Proclamation in 1714 that called for the reward of one hundred thousand pounds, a massive fortune for anyone, for the capture or death of the Old Pretender.21 In addition, the Jacobites associations with foreign Catho lic nations forced the new Hanoverian monarchs to pursue a much more proactive and aggressive foreign policy in order to outmaneuver the group. Their ties with Englands historical enemies such as France and Spain allowed the state to pass legislation that promoted centralization while suppressing dissent. Ironically, Jacobite efforts to effect a Stuart restoration actually reinforced the power of the new Hanoverian monarchs and provided them with a scapegoat that they consistently used in order to rally public support. Furthermore, the British governments experience with Jacobitism allowed it to better confront later revolutionary movements, such as Jacobinism and socialism, that swept through Europe. While the Jacobites ended all active efforts to retake the throne after the death of Bonnie Prince Charlie, the survival of the succession to this very day as represented by Franz, Duke of Bavaria, reflects the inherent instability and potentially controversial nature of monarchy. After all, Franz may not have an interest in publicly proclaiming his right to the throne of the United Kingdom, but there is nothing preventing more ambitious successors from doing so. NOTES 1 Julian Hoppit, A Land of Liberty? England 1689 1727 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000), 38. 2 Parliament. House of Commons, A list of the Honourable House of Commons, that Voted for, and against the Clause for the Hanover Succession in the Year 1702 London, Printed in the Y ear M,DCC,X. (1710). Eighteenth Century Collections Online Gale. University of Florida. 14 Mar. 2011 http://find.galegroup.com.lp.hscl.ufl.edu/ecco/infomark.do?&contentSet=ECCO Articles&type=multipage&tabID=T001&prodId=ECCO&docId=CW330606455 8&source=gale&u serGroupName=gain40375&version=1.0&docLevel=FASCIM ILE. 3 J.A.I. Champion, Political Thinking between Restoration and Hanoverian Succession, (2003): 16. Accessed March 13, 2011 http://digirep.rhul.ac.uk/file/ 41abb2f7 d7ec 50af 4e42 56780480af44/1/Politi cal_thinking_between_ Restoration_and_Hanoverian_Succession_J_Champion.pdf. 4 Hannibal at the gates or, the progress of Jacobitism with the present danger of the Pretender London, 1712. 5 Letter to the Earl of Perth 1701. 6 George I, By the King, a proclamation, for suppressing rebellions, and rebellious tumults London, 1715. 7 The Jacobites hopes frustrated or the history of the calamities attending a French conquest London, 1690. 8 The Jacobite plot: or, the Church of England in no danger London 1710. 9 Benjamin Hoadly, The Jacobite's hopes reviv'd by our late tumults and addresses. London, 1712. 10 Ragnhild Hatton, George I (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001), 119. 11 Frank OGorman, The Long Eighteenth Century : British Political and Social History 1688 1832 (New York: Arnold, 1997), 65. 12 Ibid., 66. 13 Tim Harris, Politics under the Later Stuarts: Party Conflict in a Divided Society 1660 1715 (New York: Longman Publishing, 1993), 219. 14 Ibid., 222. 15 G.V. Bennett, English Jacobitism 1710 1715; Myth and Reality, Royal Historical Society 32 (1982): 137. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3679020 16 A.I. Macinnes, Jacobitism, History Today 34, no.10 (October 1984): 22. 17 Bennett, 143. 18 Ibid., 141. 19 Ibid., 146. 20 Ibid., 150. 21 George I, By the Lords Justices, a proclamation, ordering the payment of one hundred thousand pounds to any person who shall seize and secure the Pretender, in case he shall land, or attempt to land in any of His Majesties dominions London, 1714.