By William Anthony Hay (auth.)
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Extra info for The Whig Revival, 1808–1830
3 Given the limits of their own base, however, Whigs also needed a strategy to draw wider support beyond Parliament. Whig leaders thus faced the challenge of mounting an effective opposition to Liverpool’s government while avoiding trouble from radicals whose agenda remained inconsistent with the party’s fundamental interests. The alliance between Whigs, local commercial interests, and the press that Brougham had forged in his campaign against the Orders in Council offered an alternative strategy that kept the party apart from 35 36 The Whig Revival, 1808–1830 plebeian radicals.
Rumours circulated that Liverpool Tories led by John Gladstone, a local merchant and stalwart of the West India interest, would back George Canning’s candidacy. Canning, who was ﬁrst approached in March 1812, originally resisted the idea, and only accepted on condition supporters paid all expenses and accepted his non-alignment with the government. Gladstone and his friends subscribed £10,000 and pledged to raise double or more if necessary, but Canning delayed until after Parliament’s dissolution on September 29.
103 Manufacturers testiﬁed on the policy’s local impact, and emphasized the need to export since the home market could not absorb all their goods. Joseph Stanley, a Wolverhampton screwmaker, stated that half his production was for America and until that market opened no relief from distress could be found. Josiah Wedgwood of the potteries spoke two days later, claiming over-reliance on domestic sales had forced prices down by 20 to 25 per cent and wages by almost half. While his business mainly exported to Europe, he also attributed problems in Staffordshire to the closed American market.