Whig

Whig

[hwig, wig]
Whig, English political party. The name, originally a term of abuse first used for Scottish Presbyterians in the 17th cent., seems to have been a shortened form of whiggamor [cattle driver]. It was applied (c.1679) to the English opponents of the succession of the Roman Catholic duke of York (later James II), a group led by the 1st earl of Shaftesbury. The Glorious Revolution of 1688, in which the Whigs were joined by many Tories (see Tory), assured a Protestant succession and the constitutional supremacy of Parliament over the king. Political parties during the 18th cent. were essentially groups of factions allied on specific issues. After the accession of William III advocacy of a constitutional monarchy no longer distinguished the Whigs, and during the reign of Queen Anne they became identified increasingly with aristocratic large landholders and the wealthy merchant interests. Under George I and George II most governments were composed of those with aristocratic connections, loosely Whig. The disgrace of Anne's Tory ministers who negotiated for the return of James II on her death, and the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745 stigmatized the Tories as supporters of absolute monarchy, and the Whig ministries of Robert Walpole and Henry Pelham dominated the period. After the accession (1760) of George III there were at first no real issues around which parties could polarize, but a Whig party gradually emerged, united largely in opposition to William Pitt, under the leadership of Charles James Fox. This party became identified with dissent, industrial interests, and social and parliamentary reform, and also with the Prince Regent, later George IV. Whig ministries under the 2d Earl Grey and Lord Melbourne were in power from 1830 to 1841, passing the first parliamentary reform bill. After this the Whigs became a part of the rising Liberal party, in which they constituted the conservative element.

See B. Williams, The Whig Supremacy (2d ed. 1962).

John Moore (1788-1867) was an American statesman and planter from Louisiana. He served in the U.S. Congress from 1840 to 1843 and again from 1851 to 1853. He was a life long member of the Whig Party.

Moore was born in 1788 in Berkeley County, Virginia (now in West Virginia). He moved to Franklin, Louisiana, and was elected to the state House of Representatives for St. Mary Parish in 1825. He held that seat until 1834. He was first elected to the U.S. Congress to replace Rice Garland and took his seat on December 17, 1840. He was re-elected in the general election and served until March 3, 1843.

Moore moved to Iberia Parish and married Mary Weeks, widow of the builder of the plantation Shadows-on-the-Teche. He was elected to the U.S. Congress again in 1850, serving a single term in 1851-1853; he was the last Whig elected to Congress from Louisiana. In 1861 Moore was a delegate to the Louisiana secession convention. He died in Franklin, Louisiana on June 17, 1867 and was buried on his estate.

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