The Tory Mind

Here is a description of the mindset of the 18th-century British loyalist —or Tory— in America on the eve of the American Revolution. This excerpt comes from Vernon Parrington’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Colonial Mind 1620-1800.

See how what Parrington describes matches political types we see in America today—

We must first take into account….Tory philosophy. Compressed into a sentence, it was an expression of the will-to-power of the wealthy. It’s motive was economic class interest, and it’s object the exploitation of society through the instrumentality of the state. Stated thus….it lays itself open to …criticism….In consequence, much ingenuity in tailoring was necessary to provide it with garments to cover its nakedness.

Embroidered with patriotism, loyalty, law and order, it made a very respectable appearance; and when it put on the stately robe of the British Constitution, it was enormously impressive.

It seems that the conservative mind and the conservative approach to politics does not change much with time. (Hence, I suppose, despite the radical nature of some on the right today, the term “conservative”)

As a low-minded bonus to readers, please note the illustration of the man being tarred-and-feathered in Colonial Boston.

In this case, British tax collector John Malcolm is being tarred-and-feathered and forced to drink hot tea as reprisal for the tea tax that spurred the Boston Tea Party.

The image is a British propaganda piece. Though, that said, the noose is an awful image at any time in history.

Tarring-and-feathering was vigilante justice. I’d like to think that even a friend of Samuel Adams such as myself would not have taken part in the practice.

I think that both myself and Errington would have been , like Thomas Paine back then, or a many bloggers today, propagandists for the Revolutionary side.

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ABOUT AUTHOR
Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.

Books

A Letter to America

The Thirteeneth Juror

Where is The Outrage Topics
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