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Sir Robert Walpole: The King's minister Hardcover – 1960

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 363 pages
  • Publisher: Cresset P; First Edition edition (1960)
  • ASIN: B0000CKUK0
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.4 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 557,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By conjunction TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This second volume of Plumb's biography of Walpole (the third was never published) takes us to 1734, and shows us Walpole at the height of his powers, a period when he asserted his will in the area of foreign policy as well as that of domestic affairs.

Plumb depicts Walpole as being a great manager of parliamentary affairs. He gives, incidentally, a pretty good write-up to George I and George II, both of whom were thoughtful especially in foreign policy and seemingly far more rational than the three monarchs that came after them. Yes, their positions as rulers of Hanover influenced their policy, but not in a way that conflicted with British interests, and their policies and choice of ministers were determined and thoughtful but not unsusceptible to the influence of others.

What we see here is Walpole exerting enormous effort to outmanoevure his political rivals, and expending enormous energy and capital into the exercise of patronage. Plumb makes a convincing case that Walpole's number one priority was to achieve political and financial security after the constant turmoil of the Stuart era, in particular to deprive Jacobitism of a foothold.

What we also see is the development of the modern 'game' of politics. You are nice, on the surface, to your political enemies, you don't say 'Off with his head!'
You only stab them in the back metaphorically.
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