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Bentham, Byron, and GreeceConstitutionalism, Nationalism, and Early Liberal Political Thought$
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F. Rosen

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198200789

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198200789.001.0001

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Tories, Whigs, and Philhellenism

Tories, Whigs, and Philhellenism

Chapter:
(p.219) 11 Tories, Whigs, and Philhellenism
Source:
Bentham, Byron, and Greece
Author(s):

F. Rosen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198200789.003.0011

Philhellenism was influenced by the ideological division between Whigs and Tories which strongly influenced the pattern of support generally in Britain for the struggle for Greek independence. This chapter shows that Tory opposition to active support for Greece has had a decisive effect in curbing the growth of philhellenism in the period from the uprising in March 1821 until the founding of the London Greek Committee two years later. In a curious way, the nature of this opposition largely ensured that the issue would become a partisan one that was reflected in the composition of the Committee itself as consisting largely of Whigs and radical reformers. Nevertheless, contrary to numerous commentators who have seen the Committee as somehow ignoring if not betraying philhellenism in representing a narrow ideological position, this chapter argues that it was largely successful because it drew on broad philhellenic sympathy that existed throughout Britain.

Keywords:   philhellenism, Whigs, Tories, Britain, Greece, independence, London Greek Committee

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