The Hurry and Uproar of Their Passions
Images of the Early 18th-Century Whig
The period between the Glorious Revolution and the end of Queen Anne’s reign was a time of fierce antagonism between the political parties. This rivalry defined the political situation in early eighteenth century Britain and laid the foundation for the development of the ministerial machine of propaganda aimed at discrediting opponents and justifying the policies of the government. Methodically developed, the system was well applied during Oxford’s Ministry (1710-14). The establishment of a ministerial newspaper – The Examiner – played a significant role in solidifying public opinion behind the transfer of power to the Tories. Remaining a ‘right-wing’ organ, it became a sharp edge of anti-whig propaganda. The main objective of this article is to analyse the rhetoric of passions, one of the literary tools used in The Examiner to build up a negative image of Whigs. This image, created on the pages of The Examiner, represents an element of a wider vision depicting passionate Whigs and reasonable Tories.