The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #102013   Message #2063266
Posted By: Jack Campin
29-May-07 - 01:22 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Song on the 1780 Coventry Election
Subject: RE: Origins: Song on the 1780 Coventry Election
The odd thing is that there was a song about it at all. Before the Reform Act of 1832, there were so few people entitled to vote that campaigning in the modern sense had no role - you got votes by exerting personal influence, bribery and threats.

There must have been some fearsome piece of local politics behind it. Oddly, there were also songs about an election for Lord Provost in Edinburgh in 1780 - an outsider candidate managed to outbribe the Establishment, among some extraordinary shenanigans.

America wouldn't have been a big issue. A much bigger one in some parts of Britain was the proposed Catholic emancipation legislation that led to the Gordon Riots. You really need to look at the local media of the time to see what people in Coventry got worked up about - chances are it wasn't something you could guess.

Relatively few Whigs were supporters of the American Revolution. About the furthest most of them would go was to suggest that the Tory policy of starving the colonists wholesale into submission was just a teensy bit over the top.