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dc.contributor.authorDownie, James Alan-
dc.descriptionPhD Thesisen_US
dc.description.abstractOn the accession of Queen Anne there was no government propaganda machine, and ministerial attitudes to the press were rudimentary: in 1714 there was an effective machine for disseminating government propaganda, and the ministerial press policy was extensive. My thesis is that this was due largely to the efforts of Robert Harley. Harley's awareness of propaganda techniques can be traced back to William's reign, when the Old Whig's attempted to liberate parliament from what they believed to be overbearing court interference: Harley never relinquished this 'Country' ideology, and he worked for a new arrangement between the Crown and the propertied in which the sovereignty of parliament would be the basis of the political system. He felt that the Revolution had failed to secure this, and the act of settlement of 1701 was his model for the new structure. Throughout the 1690's the country party, without party whips, had concerted policy at the beginning of each parliamentary session by publications pinpointing the country line. These 'manifestos' were subsequently developed by Harley to embrace meetings of government supporters at which policy for the forthcoming session could be elucidated, and his press policy complemented them by providing arguments in print that could be developed in debate in parliament. - The second side to Harley's press policy was negative, involving the production of counter-propaganda to neutralize the arguments of his political opponents. Proscription was a weapon he could also employ when in office, but although he felt that a modicum of control was necessary to curb the worst excesses of polemical literature, he was sublimely indifferent to attacks on his own person in print, and he never favoured harsh proscriptive measures. His attitude to the party 'scriblers' was equivocal, and so was his most celebrated measure, the stamp act of 1712, designed to raise revenue and discourage the whig writers from attacks on the government's peace programme without instituting a rigorous repressive system of censorship.en_US
dc.publisherNewcastle Universityen_US
dc.titleRobert Harley and the pressen_US
Appears in Collections:School of Historical Studies

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