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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/451

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435
THE NEW TORYISM.

were made independent of the Crown; in defeat of the Non-Resisting Test Bill, which proposed for legislators and officials a compulsory oath, that they would in no case resist the king by arms; and later, they were exemplified in the Bill of Rights, framed to secure subjects against monarchical aggressions. These acts had the same intrinsic nature. The principle of compulsory co-operation throughout social life was weakened by them, and the principle of voluntary co-operation strengthened. That at a subsequent period the policy of the party had the same general tendency is well shown by a remark of Mr. Green concerning the period of Whig power after the death of Anne:

Before the fifty years of their rule had passed, Englishmen had forgotten that it was possible to persecute for differences of religion, or to put down the liberty of the press, or to tamper with the administration of justice, or to rule without a Parliament (Green, 705).

And now, passing over the war-period which closed the last century and began this, during which the extension of individual freedom previously gained was lost, and the retrograde movement toward the social type proper to militancy was shown by all kinds of coercive measures, from those which took by force the persons and property of citizens for war purposes to those which suppressed public meetings and sought to gag the press, let us recall the general characters of those changes effected by Whigs, or Liberals, after the re-establishment of peace permitted revival of the industrialism régime, and return to its appropriate type of structure. Under growing Whig influence there came repeal of the laws which forbade combination among artisans as well as of those which interfered with their freedom of traveling. There was the measure by which, under Whig pressure, Dissenters were allowed to believe as they pleased without suffering certain civil penalties; and there was the Whig measure, carried by Tories from compulsion, which enabled Catholics to profess their religion without losing part of their civil freedom. The area of liberty was extended by acts which forbade the buying of negroes and the holding them in bondage. The political serfdom of the unrepresented was narrowed in area, both by the Reform Bill and the Municipal Reform Bill; so that, both generally and locally, the many were less under the coercion of a few. Later came diminution and removal of restraints on the buying of foreign commodities and the employment of foreign vessels; and later still the removal of those burdens on the press, which were originally imposed to hinder the diffusion of opinion. And of all these changes it is unquestionable that, whether made or not by Liberals themselves, they were made in conformity with the principles professed and urged by Liberals.

But why do I enumerate facts so well known to all? Simply because, as intimated at the outset, it seems needful to remind every-