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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XI. The Period of the French Revolution.

II. Political Writers and Speakers

§ 4. George Canning; The Anti-Jacobin

The French revolution was essentially a proselytising movement. Republicanism, liberty, equality and fraternity, became a kind of creed, which was zealously propagated by pen and sword. Thus, the opposition to it in England was, at the same time, an effort to maintain the ancient social order, with its ideals and institutions, and a struggle to preserve national independence from the universal aggressions of the new France. And the champion of both endeavours was the younger Pitt. The times seemed to grow more and more dangerous. In 1797, cash payments were suspended at the Bank of England; seamen were mutinying at the Nore; Ireland was seething with discontent; the French arms were victorious against their continental foes; while, in England itself, a violent revolutionary propaganda was being carried on, which, if it were more potent in appearance than in real significance, might still decoy the younger generation. It was to combat this propaganda and to hearten the national resistance that George Canning, Pitt’s ablest lieutenant, founded his periodical, The Anti-Jacobin. The new journal, in addition to the customary contents of a newspaper, was to contradict systematically the statements of the other side, to ridicule any prominent person well-disposed towards the revolution, and to hold up to honour the old ideals of English polity. These objects it fulfilled. In contrast to its trivial predecessors, The Anti-Jacobin breathed a proud conviction and a religious fervour which lift it above mere party polemics. It is, indeed, bigoted in tone; for was it not fighting in the cause of righteousness and human happiness? To its authors, the favourers of the revolution are miscreants whom it is necessary to pillory and deride, and thus to render harmless. They themselves are confessors of the true political faith.