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Quiz about The Genesis of the Whig Party
Quiz about The Genesis of the Whig Party

The Genesis of the Whig Party Trivia Quiz


And the assorted butterflies that appeared in British politics as the Whigs metamorphosed into the Liberal Democrats.

A multiple-choice quiz by Englizzie. Estimated time: 10 mins.
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Author
Englizzie
Time
10 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
326,351
Updated
Jul 23 22
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
9 / 15
Plays
190
- -
Question 1 of 15
1. In 1662, two British political parties emerged after the English Civil War. Originally known as the Court Party and the Country Party, they soon took on the names of the Tories and Whigs. Regarded as rather radical in their views by the Court/Tory Party, the Tories came up with the rather derogatory term of Whig for their opponents. What did the word "Whig" originally mean? Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. In 1685 a number of leading Whigs were involved in a conspiracy to prevent the Catholic brother of Charles II (the Duke of York) from succeeding to the throne after Charles' death. The Whig faction unsuccessfully backed the Duke of Monmouth, sending many leading Whigs to their death or exile. Having a Catholic King in the person of James II was intolerable to the protestant Whigs. In 1688 a group of five Whigs and two Tories decided to offer the Crown of Britain elsewhere. To whom did they offer the crown?
Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. Lord Shaftesbury and the founding of the Whig party had a tremendous influence on political thought and philosophy into the 18th century. There were many learned treatises written, but perhaps one writer/political philosopher stood out as having the greatest influence on government. Who was this?

Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. Mary II died childless. None of Anne's children survived either, her last hope as heir to the throne dying in 1700, leaving the next Protestant claimant as Sophia, Electress of Hanover (the youngest daughter of James I's daughter Elizabeth). By Act of Parliament the succession was fixed after Anne's death.

Anne was the last Stuart monarch, spending much of her life contentiously at odds with her sister. Mary despised Anne's friend of many years, Sarah Jennings, a troublesome, meddlesome person who married one of Anne's officers. Anne's followers tended to follow Tory ideas, and for a while the Whigs were out of favor. Anne's troublesome friend Sarah was to marry one of Anne's commanders, whose name and family would become known for military prowess and service to the Monarch. Who was this man?
Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. The succession of the Hanover line having been fixed by law, there was still much Tory and Catholic pressure brought to bear on her to come down in favour of the brother that Ann had never met. Having relied on Tory ministers Marlborough and Godolphin, Anne became more and more reliant on the Junto Whigs. One result was a dramatic deterioration in her relationship with the Duchess of Marlborough. The Whigs found themselves in opposition, having been pushed out of power by Robert Harley and his Tories. What precipitated their return to power? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. The Whigs became the dominant party of government for the long period between 1714 and 1760, leaving the Tories a shadow of their former selves as a political force. This burgeoning power did not happen by chance. One so often asks if the time creates the man or the man creates the time. One man stood out. Who was he? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. After the retirement of Walpole, the Whig banner was carried forward by Henry Pelham and his elder brother the Duke of Newcastle, the party having been in control from 1721 to 1756 with only one brief break. This arrangement changed in the reign of George III. The party had splintered into various factions, and George wanted to return to some greater formality. A quasi-coalition was formed between Lord Bute, great Whig families such as the Pelhams, intellectuals such as Edmund Burke, and Lord Chatham and his followers. Lord North contributed a strong Tory influence. What was the principal cause for this ill-assorted coalition to collapse? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. The British system does seem to function best with only two parties. Fox stated in the House of Commons in December, 1783 that '....if a change must take place, and a new ministry found and supported, not by the confidence of this House or the public, but the sole authority of the Crown, I for one shall not envy that hon. gentleman his situation. From that moment I put in my claim for a monopoly of Whig principals.'

This was a time of continuing unrest. There was a great divide between Fox's supporters and those of Pitt. What continuing outside issues were directly impacting the stability of the British Government at this time, that threatened the fabric of English life?
Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. It was only after the death of George III in 1830 that the Whigs had the opportunity to return to power under the government of Lord Grey. Despite the need for change in many areas of life both the Whigs and the Tories maintained a rather conservative outlook at this time. Lord Grey, however did manage to pass an important piece of legislation. What was this? Hint


Question 10 of 15
10. The demise of the Whig Party took place as the First Reform Act was carried. The British Liberal Party rose in its place. The Whigs had been greatly in favor of doing anything that would control and limit the crown. By the 19th century, the Liberal Party felt that they needed to address themselves far more towards social reform. They addressed the development of a liberalism for the middle classes, especially in light of so much social change due to the Industrial Revolution. Who was the first leader of this new party? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. During the 19th Century the Liberal Party adopted a laissez-faire economic policy and were greatly in favor of free trade and minimal Government interference. In the 19th century it was known as Gladstonian Liberalism. We, perhaps, today would call it classic liberalism.

William Ewart Gladstone was the most important British Liberal reformer of the 19th century. In about 1865, after Palmerston's death, Gladstone became party leader, and after a landslide victory in the 1868 election, he became the first true Liberal Prime Minister. His greatest achievements in reforms were in electoral reform, working conditions for the poor, and the lot of women and children, not to mention land reform in Ireland. Among his many achievements in British politics, he holds which particular distinction?
Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. A the end of the 19th Century the issue of Irish Home Rule reared its ugly head again, and remained there for many years to come. There was much infighting over both Ireland and the Boer War. Dubbed Liberal Imperialists, such people as H.H. Asquith, Edward Grey and Richard Burdon Haldane formed their own imperialist clique. David Lloyd-George quickly becoming known as a master of rhetoric, was vehemently pro-Boer. The infighting continued until 1902, at which point Campbell-Bannerman was able to return the party to cohesive and traditional liberal thinking on free-trade and land reform, that led the party into the greatest victory in their history. Who was a new convert, having recently moved across the aisle from the Conservatives? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. The Liberals pushed through a great deal of social reform, in the process having to endure two further elections, which left them without a clear majority in 1910 and having to rely on the votes of the Irish Nationalists. The Liberals began to get into a tail-spin. Asquith was forced to introduce a third Home Rule Bill in 1912, The Ulster Protestants had the full support of Bonar Law, head of the Conservatives. Emotions ran high - what was the main issue that began to bring down the Liberals? Hint


Question 14 of 15
14. At the 1922 and 1923 elections, the Liberals won barely a third of the vote, and in 1922 Labour became the official opposition. Labour was determined to destroy the Liberals, making Labour the sole party of the left. Ramsey MacDonald was forced into a snap election in 1924. Despite losing the election, he managed to reduce the Liberals to merely 40 seats. Churchill returned to the Conservatives.

The next 15 years saw much contention between various factions of the Liberal, Labour and Conservative Parties. With the rise of fascism in Europe, there was a rise in pacifism, appeasement and downright support for the Nazis. The Liberals were strongly on the side of pacifism. One clear voice was now given a chance to speak, who was this?
Hint


Question 15 of 15
15. Throughout the 1950s and 60s a few Liberals survived, mainly from a handful of rural Scottish and Welsh constituents, who clung to their Liberal traditions. The Liberals were also the first political party to advocate joining the EEC. The middle-class suburban generation began to find the Liberal policies very attractive. Jo Grimond ans then Jeremy Thorpe moved their small party forward, extracting as much influence as possible. Edward Heath (Conservative Prime Minister) tried to get Thorpe into his government to help facilitate the UK move into Europe. Thorpe's party objected, and he eventually stood down as leader in favor of David Steele.

Which Labour Minister had the most influence in moving the Liberals into an entirely new thinking party?
Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In 1662, two British political parties emerged after the English Civil War. Originally known as the Court Party and the Country Party, they soon took on the names of the Tories and Whigs. Regarded as rather radical in their views by the Court/Tory Party, the Tories came up with the rather derogatory term of Whig for their opponents. What did the word "Whig" originally mean?

Answer: Whigs were puritan Scottish outlaws.

In 1662, after the accession of Charles II, there was a group of Parliamentary members and Lords who were wary of the Catholic influence that still hung over the throne. They wanted to create a puritan, non-conformist party that would be stronger than the King.

Originally called the Country Party, they were later dubbed the Whigs by their enemies in the Court party - the name referring to Scottish outlaws. In retaliation the Whigs called the suspected Catholics in the Court Party the Tories, after Irish Catholic outlaws.
2. In 1685 a number of leading Whigs were involved in a conspiracy to prevent the Catholic brother of Charles II (the Duke of York) from succeeding to the throne after Charles' death. The Whig faction unsuccessfully backed the Duke of Monmouth, sending many leading Whigs to their death or exile. Having a Catholic King in the person of James II was intolerable to the protestant Whigs. In 1688 a group of five Whigs and two Tories decided to offer the Crown of Britain elsewhere. To whom did they offer the crown?

Answer: William of Orange and Mary II

The "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 removed the Catholic King James II from power, and offered the throne to his daughter Mary, who had married the very protestant William of Orange. The two governed together, although William was not generally liked by the British people. William originally took both Whig and Tory advisers, but gradually a younger group of Whigs, known as the Junto, took prominence, and remained so throughout William's reign.
3. Lord Shaftesbury and the founding of the Whig party had a tremendous influence on political thought and philosophy into the 18th century. There were many learned treatises written, but perhaps one writer/political philosopher stood out as having the greatest influence on government. Who was this?

Answer: John Locke

John Locke was associated with all the influential Whigs, although his thoughts on natural rights and the function of government were considered quite revolutionary for the age. His writings went on to strongly influence the thinking of the American Founding Fathers.

His most famous works are certainly 'Two Treatises of Civil Government', 'Essay Concerning Human Understanding' and 'A Letter Concerning Toleration'. His association with such luminaries as Isaac Newton and John Dryden additionally contributed to the view that the Whigs were the progressive, free-thinking party.
4. Mary II died childless. None of Anne's children survived either, her last hope as heir to the throne dying in 1700, leaving the next Protestant claimant as Sophia, Electress of Hanover (the youngest daughter of James I's daughter Elizabeth). By Act of Parliament the succession was fixed after Anne's death. Anne was the last Stuart monarch, spending much of her life contentiously at odds with her sister. Mary despised Anne's friend of many years, Sarah Jennings, a troublesome, meddlesome person who married one of Anne's officers. Anne's followers tended to follow Tory ideas, and for a while the Whigs were out of favor. Anne's troublesome friend Sarah was to marry one of Anne's commanders, whose name and family would become known for military prowess and service to the Monarch. Who was this man?

Answer: John Churchill

John Churchill, in spite of the socially unacceptable behavior of his wife, acquitted himself brilliantly on the field of battle. Upon achieving early success in the war against France, he was named the Duke of Marlborough by Queen Anne, and later won an historic victory over the French at Blenheim in Bavaria.

As reward. he was given the Blenheim estate near Woodstock, Oxfordshire, which became the family seat, and where Winston Churchill was later born. Because of Sarah's continued bad behavior, the Duke was dismissed from service at the end of his campaign.
5. The succession of the Hanover line having been fixed by law, there was still much Tory and Catholic pressure brought to bear on her to come down in favour of the brother that Ann had never met. Having relied on Tory ministers Marlborough and Godolphin, Anne became more and more reliant on the Junto Whigs. One result was a dramatic deterioration in her relationship with the Duchess of Marlborough. The Whigs found themselves in opposition, having been pushed out of power by Robert Harley and his Tories. What precipitated their return to power?

Answer: Taking an opportunistic moment to present an organized front.

The death of Queen Anne removed her Tory leanings, and her dilemma over whether or not to support her Jacobin brother. Her death also removed the tiresome Sarah Churchill from court and diminished the power of the Duke. The Tories had played right into the Whigs' hands and were easily discredited because of their Jacobin leanings. Nature abhors a vacuum.
6. The Whigs became the dominant party of government for the long period between 1714 and 1760, leaving the Tories a shadow of their former selves as a political force. This burgeoning power did not happen by chance. One so often asks if the time creates the man or the man creates the time. One man stood out. Who was he?

Answer: Sir Robert Walpole

Educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge, Walpole first entered Parliament in 1701, his first recorded speech in 1704.

Thought by many to be the first British Prime Minister, the title and status was not in fact officially bestowed until 1905, although Walpole was the first leading Minister to live and work at 10 Downing Street. He was described as a large man with a down-to-earth manner, an exuberant personality and an extraordinary intellect. He had the ear of Kings and the common people, and was liked and trusted by all. He was not, however, the saintly public servant that he would have liked people to believe. There was much talk and some evidence that he enlisted the use of bribes to maintain power.

Walpole had been able to quickly and successfully dispose of his enemies, yet reduced the national debt, as well as stabilize prices and wages. When George I was succeeded by George II, Walpole was momentarily out of favor, but managed to win the Kind round. He was made Prime Minister and given a gift of 10 Downing Street. Walpole made a poor showing in the war against Spain, as well as an uninspiring election in 1741. In 1742 he resigned and was kicked upstairs to the Lords'.
7. After the retirement of Walpole, the Whig banner was carried forward by Henry Pelham and his elder brother the Duke of Newcastle, the party having been in control from 1721 to 1756 with only one brief break. This arrangement changed in the reign of George III. The party had splintered into various factions, and George wanted to return to some greater formality. A quasi-coalition was formed between Lord Bute, great Whig families such as the Pelhams, intellectuals such as Edmund Burke, and Lord Chatham and his followers. Lord North contributed a strong Tory influence. What was the principal cause for this ill-assorted coalition to collapse?

Answer: The American War of Independence

This seems to have been a time for confusion. Whoever was in charge of fighting the Revolutionary war appears to have been looking the other way. They squabbled amongst themselves as tea floated in Boston Harbor. Washington crossed the Delaware, as a lack of confidence was declared in the House of Commons. Arrogant, effete military commanders with an inability to adapt the rules of war were easy pickings in their arrogant red.

In March 1782 North resigned, Rockingham died, returning Fox to power. It was George III in league with the House of Lords that brought about the untimely demise of the coalition.
8. The British system does seem to function best with only two parties. Fox stated in the House of Commons in December, 1783 that '....if a change must take place, and a new ministry found and supported, not by the confidence of this House or the public, but the sole authority of the Crown, I for one shall not envy that hon. gentleman his situation. From that moment I put in my claim for a monopoly of Whig principals.' This was a time of continuing unrest. There was a great divide between Fox's supporters and those of Pitt. What continuing outside issues were directly impacting the stability of the British Government at this time, that threatened the fabric of English life?

Answer: The French Revolution

The French Revolution, with its strange mixture of uncontrollable brutality and terror together with new and radical enlightened thinking, pulled back to the center many of the previous radicals in the British government. Many split completely with Fox for fear of a war with France. By the end of the next year most of Fox's followers had joined Pitt's side.

With Pitt and Fox's deaths in 1806, and the Prince of Wales continuing as Regent, it was not until George III's death in 1830, that the Whigs returned to power.
9. It was only after the death of George III in 1830 that the Whigs had the opportunity to return to power under the government of Lord Grey. Despite the need for change in many areas of life both the Whigs and the Tories maintained a rather conservative outlook at this time. Lord Grey, however did manage to pass an important piece of legislation. What was this?

Answer: The Reform Act of 1832

This was known as the First Reform Bill. In many cases, it brought parliamentary abuse to the fore, and first suggested such things as women's suffrage, as well as the abolition of slavery. The Tories remained staunchly conservative, fighting off any and all propositions for change.

At about this time, Thomas Babington Macaulay began to formulate and discuss what would later be known as the 'Whig view of history', in which all of history would be seen as a lead-up to Grey's reform bill. It was, of course a gross distortion of history. presenting the Whigs in an unfavorable and perhaps out of date viewpoint.

The change of name to the Liberal Party distanced them from the outdated views of the Whigs
10. The demise of the Whig Party took place as the First Reform Act was carried. The British Liberal Party rose in its place. The Whigs had been greatly in favor of doing anything that would control and limit the crown. By the 19th century, the Liberal Party felt that they needed to address themselves far more towards social reform. They addressed the development of a liberalism for the middle classes, especially in light of so much social change due to the Industrial Revolution. Who was the first leader of this new party?

Answer: Lord Melbourne

The reasonably conservative Liberal Lord Melbourne was the first leader of the new Liberal Party. He was also Queen Victoria's first Prime Minister, when she came to the throne in 1837 at the age of 18. He was a widower, whose only child had died, so tended to take on a rather protective attitude towards Victoria.

Melbourne attempted to protect Victoria from the harsh realities of British life and even advised her not to read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens because it dealt with "paupers, criminals and other unpleasant subjects". The leadership of the party then passed to Lord John Russell and Lord Palmerston, both more radical than Melbourne.
11. During the 19th Century the Liberal Party adopted a laissez-faire economic policy and were greatly in favor of free trade and minimal Government interference. In the 19th century it was known as Gladstonian Liberalism. We, perhaps, today would call it classic liberalism. William Ewart Gladstone was the most important British Liberal reformer of the 19th century. In about 1865, after Palmerston's death, Gladstone became party leader, and after a landslide victory in the 1868 election, he became the first true Liberal Prime Minister. His greatest achievements in reforms were in electoral reform, working conditions for the poor, and the lot of women and children, not to mention land reform in Ireland. Among his many achievements in British politics, he holds which particular distinction?

Answer: He is the only Prime Minister to have been elected four times, up to the beginning of the 21st century

Gladstone became known as the 'people's William'. He was intensely disliked by Queen Victoria, who found him dull, especially compared to Disraeli. He cared far more about the British people than in Empire building, and was the epitome of a Reforming Liberal.

Unfortunately the question of 'Irish Home Rule' split the party. At the turn of the century, the Liberals languished. With the Second Boer war almost causing a permanent rift in the party, one began to see some bright new MPs, who offered some hope for the future. Gladstone's greatest achievements in his four terms as Prime Minister were seen in ballot reform, and electoral reform. Certainly the 'Married Woman's Property Act of 1882, was a first step in granting women some autonomy in marriage, and financial independence. No longer were husbands entitled to their property.
12. A the end of the 19th Century the issue of Irish Home Rule reared its ugly head again, and remained there for many years to come. There was much infighting over both Ireland and the Boer War. Dubbed Liberal Imperialists, such people as H.H. Asquith, Edward Grey and Richard Burdon Haldane formed their own imperialist clique. David Lloyd-George quickly becoming known as a master of rhetoric, was vehemently pro-Boer. The infighting continued until 1902, at which point Campbell-Bannerman was able to return the party to cohesive and traditional liberal thinking on free-trade and land reform, that led the party into the greatest victory in their history. Who was a new convert, having recently moved across the aisle from the Conservatives?

Answer: Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill headed up the Board of Trade. Despite the big Liberal majority in the house, there was much distrust and in-fighting. Asquith, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, overshadowed Campbell-Bannerman's leadership. Churchill's defection was also viewed with scepticism. They were getting bogged down in the highly divisive issues of the Boer War and Home rule for Ireland.
13. The Liberals pushed through a great deal of social reform, in the process having to endure two further elections, which left them without a clear majority in 1910 and having to rely on the votes of the Irish Nationalists. The Liberals began to get into a tail-spin. Asquith was forced to introduce a third Home Rule Bill in 1912, The Ulster Protestants had the full support of Bonar Law, head of the Conservatives. Emotions ran high - what was the main issue that began to bring down the Liberals?

Answer: World War I

In August 1914, the "War to end all Wars', broke out. Several Ministers resigned, and Asquith enacted some rather illiberal policies, such as conscription and the "Defence of the Realm" Act. Asquith, a good domestic Prime Minister, now faired badly in war-time.

The poor performance by the British military in the first few months forced Asquith's hand to form a coalition with the Conservatives, marking an end to the last all-Liberal government. The Conservatives withdrew their support and gave it to Lloyd-George, making him head of a coalition that took him through the war and a General Election in 1918. Dubbed "The Man who Won the War", Lloyd-George won a sweeping victory.

His coalition was supported by the Conservative Bonar Law, but there was considerable quibbling and sticking of knives in backs. Separate from the newly-emerging Labour Party, Lloyd-George was forced to resign on corruption charges, and the Conservatives came back to power under Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin.
14. At the 1922 and 1923 elections, the Liberals won barely a third of the vote, and in 1922 Labour became the official opposition. Labour was determined to destroy the Liberals, making Labour the sole party of the left. Ramsey MacDonald was forced into a snap election in 1924. Despite losing the election, he managed to reduce the Liberals to merely 40 seats. Churchill returned to the Conservatives. The next 15 years saw much contention between various factions of the Liberal, Labour and Conservative Parties. With the rise of fascism in Europe, there was a rise in pacifism, appeasement and downright support for the Nazis. The Liberals were strongly on the side of pacifism. One clear voice was now given a chance to speak, who was this?

Answer: Winston Churchill

While so many Liberals played the pacifist game, Churchill, from the Conservative back-benches, had been warning of the immense expansion of the German War Machine. Many such as Chamberlain sought appeasement, and never really comprehended the vicious power-grab and atrocious answers the Nazis had with their program of ethnic cleansing.

Churchill's wonderful leadership and immense social and political insight had pulled Britain back from the brink of disaster, only go be defeated by Labor in the 1945 election. By 1951, there were only 5 Liberals in Parliament. They seemed on the verge of extinction.
15. Throughout the 1950s and 60s a few Liberals survived, mainly from a handful of rural Scottish and Welsh constituents, who clung to their Liberal traditions. The Liberals were also the first political party to advocate joining the EEC. The middle-class suburban generation began to find the Liberal policies very attractive. Jo Grimond ans then Jeremy Thorpe moved their small party forward, extracting as much influence as possible. Edward Heath (Conservative Prime Minister) tried to get Thorpe into his government to help facilitate the UK move into Europe. Thorpe's party objected, and he eventually stood down as leader in favor of David Steele. Which Labour Minister had the most influence in moving the Liberals into an entirely new thinking party?

Answer: Roy Jenkins

In 1977 and '78, the Liberals had mistakenly tried to get some agreement with the then Labour party on proportional representation. What they received from the likes of Dennis Healey and John Pardoe was contempt and antagonism.

When Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 as the first woman Prime Minister, several defectors from the moderate wing of the Labour party started the Social Democrats. They were led by Roy Jenkins, and ably supported by David Owen and Shirley Williams. The Liberals under David Steele could see the influence that could be held in the Thatcher government. There was talk that an Alliance between the Liberals and the Social Democrats could become a highly viable party. The two parties merged in 1988 to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, and became the Liberal Democrats a year after that. With a wide gulf in opinion between Labour and Conservatives, it will be interesting to see how Britain fairs with a viable third party.
Source: Author Englizzie

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