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By Justin McCarthy
event as that, and most assuredly if men like Bolingbroke had been in
power, it may be taken for granted that the Queen would have preferred
her own brother, a Stuart, to the Electoral Prince of Hanover. “What
the consequence might have been, if the Queen had survived,“ says
Somerville, “is merely a matter of conjecture; but we may pronounce, with some degree of assurance, that the Protestant interest
would have been exposed to more certain and to more imminent dangers
than ever had threatened it before at any period since the revolution.“
This seems a reasonable and just assertion. If Anne had lived much
longer, it is possible that England might have seen a James the Third.
PARTIES AND LEADERS.
[Sidenote: 1714–Whig and Tory]
All the closing months of Queen Anne’s reign were occupied by Whigs and
Tories, and indeed by Anne herself as well, in the invention and
conduct of intrigues about the succession. The Queen herself, with the
grave opening before her, kept her fading eyes turned, not to the world
she was about to enter, but to the world she was about to leave. She
was thinking much more about the future of her throne than about her
own soul and future state. The Whigs were quite ready to maintain the
Hanoverian succession by force. They did not expect to be able to
carry matters easily, and they were ready to encounter a civil war.
Their belief seems to have been that they and not their opponents would
have to strike the blow, and they had already summoned the Duke of
Marlborough from his retirement in Flanders to take the lead in their
movement. Having Marlborough, they knew that they would have the army.
On the other hand, if Bolingbroke and the Tories really had any actual
hope of a restoration of the Stuarts, it is certain that up to the last
moment they had made no substantial preparations to accomplish their
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