II. Focus: The Dynamics of the Polemical Interaction in the Turning-point Debate

The aim of this chapter is to throw more light on the turning-point debate - the decisive period of public controversy between the autumn of 1711 and the spring of 1712, at the end of which the Government had gained the upper hand in the media - by bringing out representative features more sharply than was the case in the general outline. There now follows a sharpening of the focus on events of the polemical interaction, taking special account of the rhetorical realisation of political creativity. The rhetorical realisation is examined in many revealing details of the verbalisation of political concepts in order to bring the process of public political communication to light precisely as it is reflected linguistically. How is the turning-point debate represented from the perspective of the theme complexes that determine the large structures, how is it revealed in the linguistic realisation of political intentions?


1. End of August until mid-October 1711

The turning-point debate falls chronologically into two distinct periods. The caesura lies around the end of the year 1711 after the volte-face initiated by the publication of The Conduct of the Allies on 27 November 1711 had given first indications of a consolidation of Government propaganda. During the first phase the Whigs had the more powerful journalistic battalions, and were endeavouring to perpetuate the long undisputed national consensus on the question of war; in the second phase it was the Tories who dominated the propaganda scene through a qualitative leap. The inner dynamics of this increasingly intense journalistic trial of strength can be made transparent by localising the respective theme complexes, which party-politically were differently accented, and identifying their potential for development. The obvious point to begin with is the fact that, following the leak of Prior's peace mission at the end of August 1711, the struggle for public opinion was bound to flare up more openly and in a more direct manner and that before long the Government would be obliged to come clean in the press, too, a situation that was further aggravated by the publication of the Preliminaries in mid-October 1711, all of which so clearly defined the political constellation that the Duke of Marlborough, who had hitherto been exposed to anticipatory critical assessment, was bound to move right into the crossfire of public debate.

     Marlborough's military success at Bouchain allowed the Whigs to enter the turning-point debate under full sail when it began in the autumn of 1711. With ostentatious optimism they discharged the task of taking further steps to maintain England's readiness for war, a task which political developments had rendered necessary. Even in September 1711 Hare, in his pamphlet Bouchain: In a Dialogue between the Late Medley and Examiner, which opened the Bouchain controversy, announced with a self-confidence which challenged the Government "That no Man in England dare sign a Peace, which shall give up Spain to France"! After the publication of the Preliminaries in the middle of the following month pamphlets such as Maynwaring's A Vindication of the Present M-y, from the Clamours Rais'd against them upon Occasion of the New Preliminaries and the anonymous Letter from an Exchange Broker to a Country Gentleman, concerning Peace and South-Sea Stock took an identical line and endeavoured to more or less exorcise the Government by uttering the unutterable. In his sermon The Charge of God to Joshua in September 1711 the same Hare attempted to surround the Duke of Marlborough, who had already been subjected to an unpleasantly realistic examination in Swift's Examiner - frequent references to which over quite a long time during the turning-point debate bear witness to its enduring effect -, with a religious aura again by means of a providential interpretation of his victories. With their pointed references to England's by no means exhausted material resources pamphlets published in the first half of October such as A Proposal for Carrying on the War. In a Letter to a Nobleman and The Taxes not Grievous complete the picture of the consolidation of the Whig campaign in early autumn 1711.

     The more remarkable political signals were at this time already being transmitted by the Tories, however, who, particularly provoked by the appearance of Bouchain, resumed their war of attrition against Marlborough. It has hitherto remained unnoticed that Mrs. Manley's prompt replies to Hare's pamphlet and sermon, The D. of M-h's Vindication and A Learned Comment upon Dr. Hare's Excellent Sermon Preach'd before the D. of Marlborough on the Surrender of Bouchain, anticipate in a nutshell the strategy of Tory propaganda in the coming months! These two complementary publications, written under the particular auspices of St. John, revealed, even at a time of comparative reserve on the part of the Tories, that the Government would in the end be unable to avoid stepping up the pace in its use of propaganda. Thus there is a unity of theme stretching over this half-year which, despite all continuity with previous discussions, gives the turning-point debate its own character. Evidently as an antidote to Whig persistence in the matter and the glorification of Marlborough, both of Manley's writings introduced the emotionalization of the war into the public debate as a new direction in Government propaganda. Thus The D. of M-h's Vindication lamented "the Blood of these poor Wretches that are yearly sacrific'd in vast Numbers [...]. In the face of the sacrifice of men and material values, the humanitarian appeal to the public's feelings was set as a counterpoint against the alleged hardheartedness of the Whigs and was in the ensuing months to be an essential asset of Tory propaganda in all political groupings and all genres. This emotionalization of the war debate paved the way towards the goal - aimed at by Tory propaganda strategy and certainly achieved through the publication of The Conduct of the Allies - of making short shrift of complex issues by delivering them up to rejection purely on the grounds of resentment. In addition to the pointed reference to the use of the affective potential for the purpose of peace propaganda, both The D. of M-h's Vindication and A Learned Comment viciously attacked the Duke of Marlborough, whom ministerial journalists had for some time treated with considerable leniency but who had been restored as the figurehead of those opposing the peace, and, even at the time of the early skirmishes, showed unmistakably that the only way to get the better of the Whigs was by thoroughly dismantling their figurehead. The D. of M-h's Vindication, which on its last page preferred a separate peace as the lesser of two evils to the continuation of the war, was then the first text on the Government side - after the terminological precedent in Mrs. Manley's own The New Atalantis (1709) and The Secret History of Arlus and Odolphus (1710), in which Marlborough was named Fortunatus -, which again deliberately introduced the element of luck into the debate, namely the argument that the Duke of Marlborough owed his successes more to favourable circumstances than to his skill. This was the first of a series of incriminating charges which subsequently were eagerly assembled by all genres to produce a powerful arsenal of propaganda with which to destroy Marlborough's reputation. At the beginning of 1711 Defoe, in A Short Narrative of the Life and Actions of His Grace John, D. of Marlborough, had already noted the new tendency to chop away at Marlborough's military prestige by attributing his successes to sheer luck. Alongside the emotionalization of the war and the incrimination of Marlborough, Mrs. Manley's two pamphlets, which follow the argument adumbrated in A Letter to the Examiner (1710), also set the other main aspects of the ensuing months of Tory propaganda, some of which were intertwined with the above: the alleged jeopardising of the balance of power in Europe on account of the growth of Austrian power, the cheating of England by the Dutch and the neglect of the Allies to supply the agreed quotas. The presence of all the important aspects of subsequent Tory propaganda in these writings of Mrs. Manley suggests long-term planning, the acceptance of a possibly lengthy incubation period for the full rhetorical implementation of certain aspects and careful timing. In Mrs. Manley's two pamphlets, which betray insider knowledge, Government journalism stubbornly and ominously announced the potential it had for influencing public opinion without, however, making full use of it, at least for the time being.

     The fact that the emotionalization of the peace debate represented a long-term propagandistic move on the part of the Government is confirmed by the publication of Defoe's widely debated pamphlet Reasons why this Nation Ought to Put a Speedy End to this Expensive War on 6 October 1711, which made known in its own way the Government's intention to take up and fight the journalistic battle against the increasing strength of the Opposition even before the publication of the Preliminaries. As the emotional appeals at the beginning and the end show, Defoe subordinates his whole argument in this pamphlet to influencing the reader emotionally. While the very first sentence appeals to "A Mind possest with any Tenderness for the Miseries, Sufferings and Distresses of its Native Land", the last words condemn "this Bloody and Expensive War". The emotional address to the reader, which became a common point of departure for the entire Tory propaganda campaign, as confirmed, for instance, immediately afterwards by the Post Boy of 13-16 October 1711 and later by Law not a Bottomless Pit: Or, Arguments against Peace (1712), published at the end of the turning-point debate, was immediately and consistently continued by Defoe in such pamphlets as Reasons why a Party among us, and also among the Confederates, are obstinately Bent against a Treaty of Peace with the French at this Time (1711), The Ballance of Europe (1711) and An Essay at a Plain Exposition of that Difficult Phrase a Good Peace (1711). The second cornerstone of Reasons Why was the updating of the balance-of-power theme, which accompanied the entire public discussion of the War of the Spanish Succession, by shifting the perspective from France to Austria. A possible increase of Austrian power in the event of the Emperor ascending the Spanish throne became the central argument in Defoe's foreign-policy platform, which made Defoe the leading exponent of a new balance-of-power casuistry - already set out in The Succession of Spain Consider'd (1711) -, which, with its pseudo-rational demand for equidistance from France and Austria, lent itself to damaging the Opposition, which was insisting on the maintenance of the status quo, but also to exerting at least argumentative pressure on the Whigs to reveal where they stood. Defoe's specific option to give propaganda support to the Government, which essentially was only pursued by himself, found its distinctive linguistic expression in the reclassification of the terms "exorbitant" and "exorbitance", which focused the hegemony problem as in a burning mirror. By transferring these key-words, hitherto employed to signalise Louis XIV's striving for supremacy, to Austria, Defoe summarised his change of perspective on foreign policy, which was dictated by Government strategy, in a manner that effectively caught public attention.

     The words "exorbitant/ exorbitance" had previously been only associated with France, so their transfer to Austria by Defoe in Reasons Why was spectacular. Their application to Austria was maintained consistently in pamphlets such as The Ballance of Europe and An Essay at a Plain Exposition of that Difficult Phrase a Good Peace. The linguistic transfer, signalling the domination of a political theme, was executed by the Review, too, which from mid-October 1711 performed in a kind of functional symbiosis with Defoe's pamphlets in order to bring more forcefully to public notice a topic which was welcome to the Government. The pointed reference to the dangers posed by an increase in Habsburg power gave Defoe repeated opportunities to demand equidistance from both France and Austria in the interest of maintaining the balance of power - so the pair "exorbitant/ exorbitance" was often applied in symmetrical reference to both nations - and to present this attitude as mere common sense. The fact that by adopting this procedure Defoe touched the Whigs' argumentative nerve and put them under pressure to justify themselves is seen in the violent reaction of some of them. In October and November 1711, for instance, the Observator published its reply in a series of issues in which the word "exorbitant" already appeared in the table of contents, a reply which expressed indignation at Defoe's balance-of-power rhetoric, which the Opposition apparently found troublesome. Even the Protestant Post-Boy of 6-8 March 1712 still added its voice to those opposing the volte-face in foreign policy manifested in the reapplication of the word "exorbitant". But pamphlets such as The Ballance of Power and especially the more substantial A Caveat to the Treaters (1711), too, rejected Defoe's attempts at repolarisation. In November 1711, when Whig pressure on public opinion was particularly strong, it became clear that the word "exorbitant" was predominantly used with reference to Austria in the Review, which indicated that Defoe had been assigned the task of regularly leaping to the Government's defence. How purposefully Defoe pursued a given political line is shown, for example, in the 'individual' defence of A Defence of the Allies, published in December 1711, where he returned just for once to the old use of "exorbitance" with reference to France. Interestingly, the use of the 'Austria argument' in Tory propaganda was almost entirely restricted to Defoe, although the latter found a rare supporter from another genre in, for instance, the writer of the poem The Peace-Haters (1711), who uses it towards the end. In addition the prominent use of this argument was largely confined to the first phase of the turning-point debate, although it appeared sporadically in the second phase, too, as for example in A Fair View of our Present Case (1712). This indicates that with his specific line Defoe was only taking advantage of a temporary option in Government propaganda and - as is suggested particularly by the public appeal of the Review - was given the task of addressing possible Whig sympathisers in order at least to give rise to a measure of uncertainty in the Opposition camp. The 'Austria rhetoric' was primarily a manoeuvre to give temporary relief to the Government, which is clearly shown by the fact that, although Defoe did not fundamentally change his balance-of-power argument until the peace settlement, this approach was all but abandoned in the second phase of the turning-point debate, when the Government camp was presented with topics which had a more powerful appeal. Significantly, in this second phase Swift applied the key-word "exorbitant" to the arch-enemy Holland in Some Remarks on the Barrier Treaty (1712)! The balance-of-power argument, as tailored to Austria, was obviously part of an intermediate stage in the Government's long-term media strategy, in which presumably they initially sounded out how Marlborough would act at the decisive moment.

     It is interesting that the Whigs realized early on that the public debate was approaching a turning-point and that the Government was employing fresh options to guarantee the necessary journalistic support for their political plans. In A Vindication of the Present M-y, for instance, Maynwaring stated, firstly, that since the publication of Mrs. Manley's The D. of M-h's Vindication the Government had been staking everything on the tactic of emotionalizing the peace debate: "[...] the Author sets forth with all his Eloquence the Misery of the People, and infers from thence the Necessity of a Peace [...]". Secondly, he perceived the apparently rational touch in Defoe's approach to the breaking up of the Opposition's status quo front: "But there is one Point indeed relating to a Peace, upon which the Writers of this Side advance something that has the colour of an Argument; and that is, that the Face of Affairs is chang'd by the Death of the Emperor [...]". In An Account of the State and Progress of the Present Negotiation of Peace (1711), Boyer, too, pointed to the restructuring of the balance-of-power argument to apply to Austria as an important constituent of the most recent change in public perception. In this pamphlet, in which the author reviews the Government's preparatory steps in the public arena from St. John's A Letter to the Examiner to Swift's number 39 of the Examiner (26 April 1711), thereby demonstrating that he knows the new Ministry's long-term propaganda strategy only too well, he subjected Swift to violent polemic and thereby offered Harley his services in the obvious expectation that the latter would not be able to avoid taking account of Whig ideas when peace was made. Both publications betray sensitivity to changes occurring on the journalistic plane, in which the Government was exploring new directions of its propaganda in order to prevail in the dispute with the Opposition.


2. From the Publication of the Preliminaries to the Appearance of The Conduct of the Allies

After the publication of the Peace Preliminaries in mid-October 1711 the 'No peace without Spain' problem occupied the centre of the public debate. And though "War naturally generates journalism", the problem of how to end it proved even more gratifying in this respect. The Opposition, suspecting the abandonment of the declared aim of the war, reacted by setting off the alarm bells in the press. With the full weight of the previous resolutions touching Spain in nearly all the pamphlets behind them, the Whigs tried to put the Government under pressure by sharply drawing attention to the contradiction between the favourable war situation and giving in to France, which now seemed to be on the cards. Maynwaring, for instance, fully trusting in the corrective influence of public opinion, poked fun at the Government's new attitude to the old enemy when, in A Letter to a High-Churchman (1711), he wrote: "[...] two Victories more obtain'd by the Duke of Marlborough, would be an undeniable Reason for leaving the Spanish Monarchy entire with the Duke of Anjou". With reference to long-standing French intentions regarding Spain the same author sarcastically asked a short time later in Remarks upon the Present Negotiations of Peace Begun Between Britain and France (1711): "[...] and shall they gain it now by being beaten nine Campaigns?". By means of this rhetoric of 'manifest inconsistency' the Whigs tried to proclaim from the roof-tops the Government's departure from the essentials of the war policy thus far pursued and to build up a corresponding sense of public outrage.

     At the same time the Whigs confidently expressed their conviction that Parliament would prevent the worst from happening. Thus, pointed references to Parliament's ability to intervene are to be found in rhetorically prominent places in Whig writings, for example at the end of Maynwaring's two pamphlets A Vindication of the Present M-y and Remarks upon the Present Negotiations of Peace. Towards the end of the former Maynwaring makes the confident assertion: "[...] yet we have a sure Refuge in the P--t, which may put us out of our Pain". Even at the end of December 1711 a similar chord was struck at the end of the prose broadside Prince Eugene's Welcome to England: Or, a Dialogue between Two Great Generals, relating to the Peace. The clear references to the possibilities Parliament had to intervene, mainly to be found in pamphlets, provided as it were the cue that mobilised Whig supporters for an all-embracing rallying cry which pinned its hopes on the Whig majority in the Lords.

     The Whig 'rhetoric of objection' was carried by impressive semantic unity and temporal co-ordination in the different genres. Under Maynwaring's aegis a clear complementarity of function can be seen particularly between pamphlet and broadside. For example, at the beginning of An Excellent New Song, Called Mat's Peace (1711) there are the ironical lines "For why have we spent so much Treasure in vain, /If now at the last we must give up Spain,/If now we must give up Spain" and "Why so many Battles did Marlborough win?/ So many strong Towns why did he take in?". The line "If now we must give up Spain" is a refrain which runs through the entire text. Towards the end of this broadside there is a pointed reference to the possibility that Parliament could call Bolingbroke and Harley, the Government politicians responsible, to account; the prose broadside Queries upon the Prorogation (1711) begins with the provocative question whether it is not mysterious "that the best Ministry the Nation was ever bless'd with, shou'd be afraid to meet the best Parliament that was ever chosen, when they have nothing to offer to them, but what is for the Good of their Country?" The skilful orchestration of the media - the broadsides as it were announced to the world the essence of what was discursively worked out in the pamphlets - showed that the Opposition, which in November and December 1711 clearly put its mark on the public scene, was determined to offer resistance. The co-ordination achieved by Maynwaring was also reflected in the way the Whigs used their rhetoric for mutual support; to confirm his own position in A Letter to a High-Churchman, for example, he referred to his earlier writings A Letter to a Member of the October-Club (1711) and Remarks on the Preliminary Articles Offer'd by the French King (1711). However, despite this self-referentiality, which marked the consistent attitude of the Opposition, the Whig press campaign, even during this period of impressive public presence, did not have at its disposal a basic text which laid down the rhetorical course for all genres, as did The Conduct of the Allies a short time later for the Government camp.

     The Government's press campaign between the publication of the Preliminaries and the appearance of The Conduct of the Allies was mainly in the hands of Defoe, whose indefatigable defence endeavours were responsible for the continued presence of the 'No peace without Spain' problem on the political agenda being drawn to a not inconsiderable extent into the wake of his questioning of the agreed balance-of-power maxim. The obstinacy with which Defoe pursued his own version of the theme, which compelled the Observator to respond, was met with a corresponding concentration of the Opposition's attention; it is no coincidence that, with A Letter to a High-Churchman, Maynwaring devoted a whole pamphlet to the refutation of Reasons Why. Defoe's persistent desire for argument absorbed the Opposition's attention and was reflected in his preoccupation with the position of Austria, an issue whose potential for controversy was temporarily fully exploited but which was nevertheless obviously only chosen as a 'reserve' topic, since after the onset of the phase of fierce confrontation it was surprisingly quickly and completely dropped again. In a difficult period for Government publicity Defoe's function was apparently that of a kind of buffer, and in his endeavours to make topics his own he set temporary directions for a debate which in retrospect can be seen in many respects as artificial and cleverly staged by the Government. The prominence of Defoe's approach also makes it clear that until the appearance of The Conduct of the Allies the line taken by the Tory pamphlet campaign was almost exclusively aimed at 'convincing' rather than polarising. Occasional militant replies such as Cursory but Curious Observations of Mr. Abl Rer upon a Late Famous Pamphlet, Intituled, Remarks on the Preliminary Articles Offer'd by the F.K. in Hopes to Procure a General Peace (1711), which are impaired by streaks of involuntary self-irony, do not blur this general impression. The reserve of the Government's publicity campaign reflected in Defoe's writings as regards vicious attacks on Marlborough and the Dutch at any rate indicates that in late autumn Harley still showed particular consideration for the Whig elements in his Ministry and had perhaps not entirely given up hope, either, of maybe still being able to come to some arrangement with the Duke of Marlborough, or had at least kept up the appearance of such hope.

     Defoe's pamphlet of the end of October or the beginning of November 1711 entitled Armageddon: Or, the Necessity of Carrying on the War, if such a Peace Cannot be Obtained as May Render Europe Safe, and Trade Secure shows both the flexibility which the Government then still felt obliged to maintain in the way it presented itself in public, as well as the fierce pressure created by Whig attacks. The Government's difficult position, incidentally, was also confirmed by the simultaneous persecution of unaccommodating Opposition journalists. In this pamphlet, which was published by John Baker, and in which Defoe even avoids invoking the Austrian threat to the balance of power in Europe, the author everywhere makes clearly recognisable verbal concessions to the Whigs and, going far beyond previous attempts at reaching a consensus, he does not even rule out the possibility of a continuation of the war, although this alternative is very half-heartedly presented. The attempt to deflect Opposition criticism on to extremists in the Government- Abel Roper is branded as an instrument of the High-Fliers - and the emphatic denial of any intention to give up Spain also identify this pamphlet as a document which exemplifies a domestic balance-of-power rhetoric that is still characterized by an apparent attempt to reach an understanding with the Whigs instead of provoking them. Armageddon, especially, is evidence of the Government's dilatoriness in finally coming clean in public; the Government's deliberate hesitation is also seen in the fact that no journalistic relief troops were sent to the aid of Defoe, who - as late as early December 1711 - brought out a further pamphlet, The Felonious Treaty (also published by Baker and advertised as written by the author of the Review), aimed at accommodating the Whigs. While maintaining the rhetoric of equidistance towards France and Austria, it earnestly presses for the partition of Spain and gives the impression of being a last-minute attempt at some sort of agreement with the Opposition.

     Leaving aside the orchestrated balance-of-power rhetoric in Defoe's journal and his pamphlets, it is at this point almost impossible to detect any co-ordination of propaganda efforts in the form of a concerted action in the rhetoric of the various genres used in the Tory campaign. In this respect Tory journalism clearly lagged behind the Whig approach at this time, which betrayed a stronger tendency to pursue a common cause; in the second phase of the turning-point debate the contrast with the Government's public image is considerable.

     On account of the concealed presence of the Government's determination to carry through its peace policy, a determination revealed more between the lines by Defoe, the debate did not until the end of November 1711 concentrate on Marlborough, nor were the Dutch, despite the increased attention paid to the role of the Allies, yet the focus of the debate on foreign and war policy. Clearly, despite the earlier criticism in, for example, Davenant's New Dialogues upon the Present Posture of Affairs (1710) and poems like Hamilton 's The Changes: Or, Faction Vanquish'd (1711) and the later, perceptibly more aggressive The Peace-Haters, the Government had not yet announced the end of the close season for the Dutch. On the contrary, a survey of the countries figuring in the polemical interaction still shows a remarkably slight presence of the Dutch in Tory writings, which shortly afterwards subjected them to vehement attack, while the prominence of Austria in the writings of both parties at this time reflects how far Defoe had succeeded in forcing the opposing camp to bring before the public the balance-of-power debate which he, Defoe, had turned against the House of Habsburg. So, despite early indications of their intended journalistic course at the time of the Bouchain controversy, the Government had still not let the cat out of the bag at the end of November 1711. Despite the continuity of theme there was a different polemical focus in each of the two phases of the turning-point debate with specific points of view in each case.


3. The Public Dispute between December 1711 and April 1712

With the publication of Swift's The Conduct of the Allies on 27 November 1711 the Government unequivocally indicated its determination to prevail in its diplomatically already advanced peace efforts, even if it meant a tough confrontation with the Opposition. On account of the extraordinary cohesive power of The Conduct of the Allies for the immediate development of Tory propaganda the publication date of this pamphlet, which was at once enthusiastically praised by the Post Boy of 29 November-1 December 1711 and, as early as its issue of 29 November-1 December 1711, strongly denounced by the Flying-Post as "a perfect Declaration of War against the Confederates, by the French Faction in Great Britain", can be regarded as the starting-point of the journalistic volte-face in the turning-point debate. So the second phase of the debate began with Swift's thunderbolt, although of course a certain amount of time was to elapse before The Conduct of the Allies became the gravitational centre of the public debate. Thus the Whigs were able to launch a spirited counterattack, for, with Maynwaring's Remarks on a False, Scandalous, and Seditious Libel, Intituled, The Conduct of the Allies, the first part of Hare's The Allies and the Late Ministry Defended against France and - surprisingly - Defoe's A Defence of the Allies and the Late Ministry: Or, Remarks on the Tories New Idol, Swift's pamphlet had three substantial replies to consider in the first ten days of December 1711, even before it was able to succeed in easing journalistic pressure on the Government camp. At the same time it is indicative of the provocative effect of The Conduct of the Allies that with the first reply from the opposing camp, Maynwaring's Remarks on a False, Scandalous, and Seditious Libel, a work entered the fray that, in its overheated polemics - which find expression in the continual use of emotionally charged, polarising vocabulary such as "religion", "liberty", "slavery", "universal monarchy", "the Revolution", "the Protestant Succession" and "High Church" -, clearly sought to outdo Swift's pamphlet. At any rate, until the middle of December, the Whigs maintained their strong position in the leading journalistic genre, whose breadth of approach was underlined by the 'Harleyite' publication The Whigs Appeal to the Tories (1711).

     In the second half of the month, towards the beginning of the new year, however, powerful fanfares issued from the Tory camp in the form of two pamphlets which broadcast militant polemics and proclaimed the Government's determination to go on the offensive. Both pamphlets evidently shared the work of further hotting up the Tory campaign, which came into full swing in January 1712 and was intended to take over leadership in the formation of public opinion. Functional complementarity was maintained by the one pamphlet having a primarily foreign-policy bias, while the other concentrated on domestic affairs. Whilst public resentment against the Dutch was stirred up by the gross exaggeration of Ferguson's An Account of the Obligations the States of Holland Have to Great-Britain, and the Return they Have Made both in Europe and the Indies. With Reflections upon the Peace (1711), which unambiguously shows that the Government had now thrown the Dutch to the wolves, the anonymous - and almost twice as long - popular 'pamphlet' Oliver's Pocket Looking-Glass, New Fram'd and Clean'd, to Give a Clear View of the Great Modern Colossus (1711), which received even wider publicity through a further edition and reproduced Swift's conspiracy thesis from The Conduct of the Allies, presented an extensive treatment of the sins attributed to the Duke of Marlborough by the Tories and, immediately before the beginning of the heated phase of the debate, put at the disposal of the Tory propaganda machine the surely welcome aid of a rich treasure-house for the final dismantling of the Commander-in-Chief. The greater length of Oliver's Pocket Looking-Glass, with its emphasis on domestic policy, was a clear indication of what the Government was going to make its main priority in the weeks to follow. This intention was also unmistakably indicated by the publication, on 22 December 1711, of the Votes of the House of Commons reviewing government expenditure and implicating Marlborough; within a week The Report of the Commissioners for Taking, Examining, and Stating the Publick Accounts of the Kingdom (1711) was also printed. By openly placing the present Whigs on the same level as the republicans and regicides of 1649, which only reflected the dramatic intimidation of the Queen by her leading Ministers, incidentally, both Ferguson's Account and Oliver's Pocket Looking-Glass manifested the Tories' resolve to seek confrontation.

     Resolute party-political confrontation was also signalised early in December 1711 and towards the turn of the year by two broadsides, Swift's An Excellent New Song, Being the Intended Speech of a Famours Orator against Peace (1711) and William Shippen's The Character of a Certain Whigg (1712), which exposed two prominent Opposition politicians, the Earl of Nottingham and the Earl of Wharton, to public denigration. Also right at the end of 1711 The Story of Typhon bore unmistakable signs of the Government's intention to deal severely with Marlborough. In contrast, even the Whig prose broadside Prince Eugene's Welcome to England: Or, a Dialogue between two Great Generals, relating to the Peace, a spirited reply to the "delight in war" reproach, showed first signs of the Whigs defensively giving way, in spite of persistently pointing to the "Chymaera of Universal Conquest". In this genre, too, which visibly and audibly testified to polemical presence, there was quantitative proof of a fresh consolidation of the Government's publicity campaign during the transition month of December. If in November 1711 the Whigs still had a numerical advantage over the Tories in terms of broadsides, the Tories up to then making practically no use of the genre, the Government campaign at least caught up with the Whigs in the next month, and at the turn of the year already showed unmistakable signs of taking the offensive, an initiative strikingly manifested by the broadside during January 1712.

     In January 1712 there was a quantum leap in the public controversy surrounding the termination of the War of the Spanish Succession. This leap can be traced back to the thorough intensification of the Government campaign and was most clearly reflected in the lively participation of the most varied forms of political propaganda in the Tories' attempts to shape public opinion. This new level of participation can be especially well illustrated from the angle of the media which generally did not stand in the centre of the public debate. At the beginning of 1712 both the sermon and the broadside articulated with impressive unanimity the Government's determination to carry through its peace programme; with a hitherto unknown intensity both genres were called upon by the Government to conduct its broad-based publicity campaign. After the first phase of the turning-point debate, in which the Tories made no use at all of the sermon, mid-January 1712 saw no fewer than three fast sermons lending resonance to the Government position by continuing the emotionalization of the peace debate already begun in Tory propaganda and pleading for an end to the war for humanitarian reasons. While Trapp's sermon does this in the style of rigorous ideological confrontation, the sermons of Altham and George Smalridge express the same desire in a more reserved manner.

     The impressive level of participation on the Tory side, which gave Government propaganda unprecedented cohesion, is confirmed by the broadside, which - even if in a different way from the sermon - constitutes a particularly event-oriented genre. After it had for months played a very limited role in the Tory campaign and had, as it were, to be rediscovered in December 1711, the broadside - stimulated no doubt by Marlborough's dismissal and the creation of twelve new Peers - took on the distinctive function of building up the novel opinion-forming pressure of Government propaganda. In the short term the broadside, which also hung on to the emotionalization of propaganda well orchestrated by the Government, even became the focus of Tory dominance in the shaping of opinion, reflecting the way the Tories' public image outstripped that of the Whigs at the beginning of the year. In January 1712 the Tories not only succeeded in gaining a numerical advantage over the Whigs in the medium of the broadside, they also drove them on to the defensive by their political spiritedness. The broadside became the spearhead of Government propaganda in so far as it tailored the discussion to the role of the Duke of Marlborough more rigorously than all the other genres, though quite in line with them. The determination of the Government to settle their account with their party-political opponent was nowhere so clearly expressed as in the massive bombardment with which the Whig hero was to be finally knocked off his pedestal at the beginning of 1712. In order to increase its impact there was an almost modern synchronisation of Tory propaganda, which can be seen in the way several genres, the Examiner among them, united to shower Marlborough with a barrage of regularly repeated accusations designed to completely destroy his public reputation. After Mrs. Manley, at the beginning of the first phase of the turning-point debate, had still argued with accusations of rapacity, ambition and luck in The D. of M-h's Vindication, and after Swift, at the beginning of the second phase, had explicitly formulated the conspiracy thesis in The Conduct of the Allies and added the incriminating point of Marlborough's reaching out for the throne - an accusation most likely suggested by Harley or others around him and immediately reproduced in Oliver's Pocket Looking-Glass -, the broadsides were in a position to aim their polemical arrows at Marlborough with more accuracy on the basis of 'evidence' made available in pamphlets. Marlborough found himself as it were subjected to a political X-ray examination and, in the spectrum of interrelated accusations, he was completely taken apart in public.

     The specific function of the broadside as the vanguard of the campaign of destruction to which the Tories took off in January 1712 is illuminated by the fact that for the moment this medium dropped all other propagandistically exploitable aspects and on only few occasions played the card of stirring up anti-Dutch resentment, which had quickly been introduced by the pamphlets; thus the absolute concentration of the broadside on Marlborough shows that at the decisive point Tory propaganda put all its faith in the effect of the anti-Marlborough campaign. The arsenal of incriminating evidence mustered in the broadsides at this time preempted - sometimes quite plainly - the findings that would hopefully be presented by the investigating committee set up against Marlborough, as is shown by the broadsides The Truth's Come Out at last: Or, the Downfall of a Great Favourite, The Grand Enquiry, Or, What's to be Done with Him and Swift's A Fable of the Widow and her Cat.

     "Avarice and Ambition" formed as it were the first links in the chain of accusations; it was easy to associate with them the charge of conspiring against Queen and country to Marlborough's own advantage and that of his family. The accusations of personal ambition directed at him, as reflected also in his desire for supreme command for life, culminated in the charge that he coveted the crown, an accusation that clothed his hybrid claims to power in memorable symbolism and formed the climax of the Tory incrimination rhetoric. Virulent articulations of the latter charge are to be found in The Story of Typhon and in Elijah Fenton's M. Manlius Capitolinus as well as Richard Newcomb's The Queen's and the Duke of Ormond's New Toast at the beginning of 1712. This sensational accusation, incidentally, merely made public the internal whisperings of Government politicians. The name "King John" applied to Marlborough, which is also used in Newcomb's broadside, can be found as early as in Mrs. Manley's The Secret History of Queen Zarah (1705) and is supposed to have been used in the meantime with particular spitefulness by Abigail Masham. The charge, which was supported, for example, by the Examiner in its issues of 21 and 28 February 1712 and later particularly by the poem Peace, Or, no Peace (1712), was among the few 'argumentative' items not immediately connected with the investigation against Marlborough that remained topical well into March because they did not merely serve as 'documentary evidence' in the campaign to achieve a condemnation but rather contributed further to Marlborough's political and moral disqualification.

     But the intense journalistic bombardment of Marlborough in the broadsides must not be seen in isolation; it is only in conjunction with the other genres that the streamlined concentration of Tory propaganda on Marlborough's 'destruction' really becomes apparent. Although it is correct to point to "the convenient over-simplification of a complex issue" by the use of verse fables, the importance in propagandistic terms of such broadsides lay in their being able to engage in concerted action together with other media. Indeed the Tory propaganda network had reached a degree of coherence at the beginning of 1712 such as had hitherto not been seen in the public controversy over the termination of the War of the Spanish Succession. As early as in its issue of 12-15 January 1712 the Protestant Post-Boy testified to the impact of the campaign. The various genres achieved such perfect co-ordination that they succeeded as it were in spinning a web of political incrimination so dense that Marlborough was left with no means of escape. His rapacity, which did not stop short of embezzlement, made him unfit for royal service, according to the pamphlet The Birth, Parentage, and Rise of J---D. of M---, together with the Reasons of his Present Disgrace (1712). The 'royal' charge, the culminating myth of Tory propaganda which Swift had opportunely revived in The Conduct of the Allies, was echoed in pamphlets, for instance in King's Rufinus in January, and indirectly in Wagstaffe's popular allegory The Story of the St. Alb-ns Ghost, or the Apparition of Mother Haggy in February. It was also presented in No Punishment, no Government: And no Danger even in the Worst Designs (1712). How skilfully Tory public relations work was orchestrated at the crucial moment of the turning-point debate was underlined in the already mentioned issues of the Examiner of 21 and 28 February 1712, in which the graphic 'Man of Gold' vision is used to present Marlborough as a man driven by unscrupulous ambition and rapacity making a grab for the crown, whilst Harley, the Queen's selfless adviser, pursues the welfare of the deceived sovereign. The application to Marlborough of the code-word "arbitrary" in the second issue, a word much used by the Whigs to denounce absolutist conditions, also demonstrated the self-assurance of Tory propaganda, the sheer quantity of which was impressive. The new image of Marlborough about to be forced on the public consciousness by the relentless Tory propaganda machine could soon be written large on the very title-page of the satirical oriental narrative The Perquisite-Monger; or the Rise and Fall of Ingratitude (1712). The Examiner of 24 January 1712 had condemned Marlborough for converting "BREAD, defrauded from poor half-famished Soldiers, into a new Name of PERQUISITE". The joint thrust of all genres participating in the shaping of public opinion was a manifestation of the Tory claim to leadership in the propaganda war at the beginning of 1712. The unscrupulous concentration of the polemics on Marlborough, and the unprecedented personalisation of the public debate, show how forceful Tory propaganda had become and to what extent the rhetorical profile of Government publicity had been switched from the factual argumentation of the first phase to polarisation through personalisation in the second, where no important Tory pamphlet appeared which genuinely engaged in factual discussion.

     The Government's new political line was also supported by Defoe, who, in January 1712, once again became the most prolific pamphleteer on the Tory side, this time, however, largely adopting the more intense polemical course of Government propaganda. This adaptation of Defoe the pamphleteer completes the Government's amazingly homogeneous public image at the beginning of 1712. Defoe's first pamphlet of January 1712, a work bearing the meaningful alternative title No Queen: Or, no General, to which - certainly not accidentally - Leslie approvingly alluded a short time later in Salt for the Leach (1712), largely took up the charges made against Marlborough, for instance in the symbolic accusation of favouring his family at the expense of national interest. Without vilifying Marlborough it insinuated under the cover of historical analogy that the latter's involvement in Whig politics posed a threat to the Queen herself. The Conduct of Parties in England, more especially of those Whigs who now Appear against the New Ministry, and a Treaty of Peace (1712), as the title already shows, demonstrated the pressure of the incriminations generated by Swift's pilot publication; conceived as a purely domestic dig at the Junto, this pamphlet made concentrated use of the word "Spoils" to attack the political opponent at home and once again took up the suggestive charge of Marlborough's power-hungry feathering of his family's nest, to which the meaningful words "Exorbitant Gain" are applied. Precisely this pamphlet, in which the author presents the thesis that all the charges made against Marlborough by the Tories ultimately went back to the Whigs or, to be more precise, the Junto, underlines the fact that Defoe was fully incorporated as a 'Whig' writer in the hardening of propaganda in Government journalism. Finally, the emotional pamphlet Peace, Or Poverty (1712), published by John Morphew, evoked the contrast between the Dutch amassing of wealth and English impoverishment and thus completed the impression that at the beginning of 1712 the pamphleteer Defoe was at last toeing the line of Tory propaganda.

     The reaction of Whig propaganda to the Tory offensive launched in early 1712 can be very well illustrated by the more supporting genres, the sermon and especially the broadside. Both in the fast sermons of 16 January 1712 and in the broadsides of this period the Whigs, who had reacted at once to Marlborough's dismissal through Steele's intrepid but excessively eulogistic public letter The Englishman's Thanks to the Duke of Marlborough (1712), were still developing quite a powerful rhetoric of resistance aimed at shocking the public by references to the dangers of a bad peace. But it soon became clear that the Whig broadsides were a poor match for the intense concentration on Marlborough in the corresponding Tory media, which, as it were, amounted to virtually coercing the Whigs with this theme. While Tory broadsides, which temporarily ignored even the Dutch as a potentially worthwhile topic, unanimously turned on Marlborough and made him the only target of their attacks, while leaving the repeated objections of Whig journalism without a reply, the Whigs lacked a comparable target and felt compelled to pay more attention to Tory topics such as Marlborough and the Dutch, against which genuine Whig concerns like, for instance, the danger of French hegemony were pushed into the background or not mentioned at all. From the fact that, for example, in The Protestant Post-Boy the 'No peace without Spain' topic was touched on only in the issue of 1-3 January 1712, whereas Marlborough was always present, it may be concluded that in January 1712 the Whig periodicals, too, went on the defensive. At the same time it became apparent that the broadside was a genre with inherent rhetorical limitations, which made it basically unsuited for concrete argument and difficult to operate from the defensive position to which the Whigs now fled. So the broadsides - although some like the not very powerful Where's Your Impeachment Now? Or the D- ['s] Safe Delivery (1712) tried to exploit the circumstance that the Commons' proceedings of 24 January 1712 did not result in impeachment - had to leave comments on the wide-ranging accusations against Marlborough to discursive genres like the pamphlet, which, however, seemed to lose its sharpness in the second half of January. Especially effective propaganda, like for example the charges in the Examiner that Marlborough had conspired against Queen and country and coveted the crown, could not be dealt with in broadsides at all and had to be taken up by other media. But in the final analysis there was no appropriate defence against such tactics.

     In the dismantling of Marlborough at the beginning of 1712, in which broadsides played an essential part, the Tories relied on the fact that it was difficult to counter well-timed and emotional polarisation with sound argument. In view of the violent escalation of Tory invective against Marlborough, which approached its climax in January, the statement from The King of France's Letter to the Cardinal de Noailles, Archbishop of Paris (1712), a Whig prose broadside in the form of a fictitious letter from an exultant Louis XIV, can certainly be applied to the public scene: "[...] we have receiv'd the agreeable News of the surrender and demolishing of the strong important Fortress of Marl---gh, hitherto thought impregnable [...]". In the light of the political adversities it is not surprising that as early as the beginning of 1712 texts appeared whose very titles contain an element of melancholy, for instance The Soldiers' Lamentation for the Loss of their General and even the energetic broadside A New Protestant Litany, attributed to Maynwaring. A truly elegiac aura surrounds Charles Dive's On the Duke of Marlborough. A Poem, a broadside which appeared in the first half of February 1712. The Fable of the Shepherd and his Dog, in Answer to the Fable of the Widow and her Cat (1712), a meek reply to Swift's aggressive piece, fitted in with the picture of Whig discouragement. The Whig broadside was now only rhetorically effective when it ignored the Marlborough issue and focused on the disappointment about the aims of the war. The fifth stanza of the broadside The French Preliminaries. A New Ballad to the Old Tune of Packington's Pound, which appeared in mid-February 1712, for instance, ironically conveyed the following message: "The King consents likewise, that instead of Spain/ A Barrier shall for the Empire remain". Characteristic of the relative strengths which became clearly visible in February 1712 was the aggressive self-confidence of the Tory broadsides Resolutions without doors, The Fable of the Cods-Heads and Swift's The Fable of Midas, to which the discomfited Whigs had no answer. This self-confidence also manifested itself in the retrospective description contained in Grandsire Hambden's Ghost (1712), in which, as in Francis Hoffman's broadside The Portraiture of Oliverus Secundus (1712), Prince Eugene's visit presents an opportunity for further reviling of the General. In the public battle surrounding Marlborough the Whigs were visibly throwing in the towel.

     The mood conveyed at least partially by the Whig broadside is confirmed by a glance at the propaganda giant, the pamphlet. The pamphlet, still employed by the Whigs with great energy in the first phase of the turning-point debate, had lost its cutting edge - it seems to be symptomatic of the Whig pamphlet's loss of thrust from 1712 on that there were no more front-rank pamphlets by Maynwaring in this period. Characteristic of the state of Whig pamphleteering at the climax of the agitation surrounding Marlborough was the resignation with which the author of Our Ancestors as Wise as We: Or, Ancient Precedents for Modern Facts (1712) addressed his supposed reader at the beginning and challenged him to look for any precedents in the writings of the past: "See whether in them you can find any Generals that, after such great and eminent Services, after so many Victories and such Successes, were first turned out by their Prince, and then affronted by every paultry Sribler". With its high proportion of purely factual instruction and its forced recourse to historical analogies, the quoted pamphlet by Burnet, Our Ancestors as Wise as We, was at the same time characteristic of current Whig pamphlets, which, in order to change political opinion, seemed to rely solely on factual information, particularly the imparting of historical data. In its pronounced emphasis on historical argumentation Whig journalism showed that it was no longer a match for Tory polemics and was seeking refuge in a second-choice expedient. It is true that Whig pamphleteers, as illustrated by many of Maynwaring's writings, had relied quite conspicuously on factualism, but this massing of facts had always led to a corresponding polemical militancy, as can be seen in the deliberate use of highly-charged, polarising language. Of course, some of this well-tried repertoire of set phrases was still present, but now it often seemed more like an addition born of resignation rather than an expression of a fighting spirit, as is documented by the pamphlet The Duke of M-h's Vindication. In Answer to a Pamphlet Falsely so Called (1712). It seems to square with this prevailing fatalistic mood that Maynwaring's The History of Hannibal and Hanno (1712), which severely criticised Harley, was "dispers'd chiefly among his own Friends".

     The rhetorical 'makeshift profile' just described of Burnet's Our Ancestors as Wise as We can also be seen in such pamphlets as Hare's The Barrier-Treaty Vindicated (1712), the same author's The Treaty Between Her Majesty and the States-General (1712), the Remarks on Some Extracts, Published in a Paper, Called The Supplement of Friday, March 28, 1712, which appeared at the end of March 1712, and even Maynwaring's pamphlet A Short Account and Defence of the Barrier-Treaty, which was not published at the time. Even Hare's factually solid pamphlet The Barrier-Treaty Vindicated, which is impressive for its wealth of instruction, seemed by its almost spectacular refusal to adopt a polemical course to betray that in this respect the Whigs could no longer keep pace with the Tories and were deliberately employing secondary options. With the virtual elimination of polemics these pamphlets, which obviously also pursued the long-term aim of preventing historical events from being distorted by the Tories, sometimes approach the objective style of justification employed in documentary accounts such as The Sense of the Nation, concerning the Duke of Marlborough (1712) or The Information against the Duke of Marlborough. And his Answer (1712). Practically the only exception - alongside the plucky The Dutch Barrier Our's (1712), which was probably written by the same author - was the pamphlet most often attributed to Oldmixon, Remarks upon Remarks: Or the Barrier-Treaty and the Protestant Succession Vindicated (1712), which could still have come out of Maynwaring's workshop - at least it displays much of his polemical brilliance. For instance, the author defuses Swift's antithesis between advantages for the Dutch and disadvantages for the English with reference to the Dutch barrier by asking the following question: "Do we not in effect conquer for our Selves, when we conquer for Them?". In Hare's The Barrier-Treaty Vindicated and Oldmixon's Remarks upon Remarks there seemed once again to be something like the division of functions that was adopted by Maynwaring and Hare in their immediate responses to The Conduct of the Allies in December 1711. Despite the polemical resistance of Remarks upon Remarks, however, it is impossible to overlook the declining vitality of Whig pamphlets, which had lost the capability of decisive remonstrance that had long characterized them and broadly speaking no longer had any rhetorical equivalent to pit against the political aggression of Government propaganda. In the new year genuine polemical commitment on the Whig side could mainly be found in the press, the Flying-Post and the Observator especially having retained much of their former vigour and subjecting the opposing camp to stinging attacks even under adverse circumstances.

     The ever widening gulf between Whigs and Tories with respect to polemical 'bite' can be further illustrated by comparing Tory pamphlets of the same period. In January and February 1712 Wagstaffe's popular publications The Representation of the Loyal Subjects of Albinia and The Story of the St. Alb-ns Ghost as well as Swift's Some Remarks on the Barrier Treaty, between Her Majesty and the States-General exhibited a polemical aggressiveness to which the Whigs had no comparable answer. A Vindication of Oliver Cromwell, and the Whiggs of Forty One, to our Modern Low Churchmen. With some Reflections upon the Bar-r Treaty (1712), which openly accused Marlborough of treachery, though not by name, even went beyond the by now customary imputations by advancing the thesis that the present Whigs were much worse than their evil predecessors who had not betrayed England to Holland. In his detraction of Marlborough and the Whigs the author of the last-named pamphlet expanded on his slightly earlier publication No Punishment, no Government: And no Danger even in the Worst Designs. The relentless pursuit of Marlborough as a war-profiteer and would-be usurper showed that the final humiliation spared him through Parliament stopping short of impeachment was offset by his public execution through Tory propaganda. The concern about the Tories' unrestrained use of language in Reflections upon the Present Posture of Affairs (1712) was a clear expression of the Whigs' embarrassment in the face of the Tories' polemical vigour. The tendency of Government propaganda to indulge in emotionally-charged, polarising polemics was further pursued by Defoe who, in his pamphlet Imperial Gratitude, Drawn from a Modest View of the Conduct of the Emperor Charles VI and the King of Spain Charles III, published at the end of February 1712, simultaneously continued his own particular line by applying to Austria the rhetoric incriminating the Dutch Ally and tried to find a polemical link with the topic imposed by The Conduct of the Allies. At the same time, however, Defoe presumably did not wish to lose sight of Whig addressees and put his work on a firm factual basis in order to present them with a broad persuasive approach. With Defoe's application to Austria of the 'inadequacy rhetoric' used by Swift to pillory Dutch shortcomings the last piece of an energetic Tory publicity campaign fell into place in Imperial Gratitude.


4. The Polemical Impact of The Conduct of the Allies

The repeated mention of The Conduct of the Allies is an indication of the outstanding significance of Swift's pamphlet for the progress of the public debate. Indeed, The Conduct of the Allies, which was reprinted no fewer than seven times by the end of March 1712, may be seen as the key-text of the turning-point debate, and it had both short- and long-term effects on the course of the public discussion. This can also be seen in the regular references to it during the second phase of the turning-point debate. In frequency of reference in other texts The Conduct of the Allies far surpasses all other pamphlets and is quoted almost as many times as all other pamphlets together! The fact that Whig writings explicitly refer to The Conduct of the Allies about four times as often as Tory writings shows how great a challenge this aggressive pamphlet presented to the other side. The high frequency with which it is mentioned in Whig writings underlines the fact that the Whigs simply could not help taking up Swift's arguments and how he weighed them. The catalytic effect of The Conduct of the Allies is not only revealed by the ubiquity of references to it in the writings of the other camp, however. It is also shown - and at least as powerfully and impressively - in the cohesive power that The Conduct of the Allies exercised over the direction taken by the whole Tory propaganda campaign. Tory writings of all genres visibly followed Swift's firm thematic and linguistic guidelines, so that the comparative paucity of explicit intertextual references in Government journalism is not a reliable gauge of the thrust emanating from The Conduct of the Allies for the Tories. The smaller number of references to The Conduct of the Allies in Tory writings can also be explained by the paramount position of o n e text which almost as a matter of course provided the basis for the more subordinate endeavours of Tory propaganda. Thus, with reference to anti-Dutch polemics, the caustic Whig pamphlet The Dutch Barrier Our's: Or, the Interest of England and Holland Inseparable was quite right to emphasise the preeminent influence of The Conduct, "under whose Auspices, the little Curs that have since fall'n upon their High Mightinesses have their Being and Merit".

     In conclusion I want to take a closer look at the thematic and linguistic aspects of The Conduct of the Allies in order to show the polemical impetus that was its essential contribution to the superior profile of Tory propaganda at the end of the turning-point debate. For it was not least owing to The Conduct of the Allies' expansive polemical power that the Tories were able to gain decisive political ground in the debate while at the same time the Whigs had to abandon their topics or have them restricted. With his conspiracy thesis, prepared in The Examiner, which expressly put the Duke of Marlborough in direct opposition to Queen and country, Swift set a topic for which on the one hand Tory propaganda provided a richly-orchestrated sounding-board, while on the other it was almost impossible to reply to on account of its assertive character. An instructive example of the way Swift gave an enduring topic polemical bite is provided by his treatment of the Succession question, which in The Conduct of the Allies he coupled with his expounding of the Dutch Succession guarantee in the Barrier Treaty. While previously this combination of topics was to be found neither in Whig nor in Tory pamphlets, after the publication of The Conduct of the Allies it determined the argumentation to such an extent that the majority of Whig pamphlets followed Swift's lead, and only few retained the traditional approach of the first phase of the turning-point debate, which only brought in Jacobitism. The significance of Swift's shift in emphasis can be seen in the fact that in its wake both the four most important explicit rejoinders to Swift's pamphlet, that is Maynwaring's Remarks on a False, Scandalous, and Seditious Libel, Hare's The Allies and the Late Ministry Defended against France, Defoe's A Defence of the Allies and the Late Ministry and A Full Answer to The Conduct of the Allies (1712), and the central Whig pamphlets of the Barrier controversy, namely The Barrier-Treaty Vindicated, The Treaty Between Her Majesty and the States-General, Remarks upon Remarks and The Dutch Barrier Our's, had to involve themselves in Swift's line of argument, which was reinforced polemically by the latter himself in Some Remarks on the Barrier Treaty. In The Observator, too, the situation criticised by Swift was taken up on several occasions.

     The third example of Swift's ability to determine the public agenda - at times it seemed almost like a monopoly - is provided by the way he shifted the focus of the debate from one nation to another. The Conduct of the Allies is also a text which introduced a paradigmatic change in so far as it was the first pamphlet which in the discussion of the termination of the War of the Spanish Succession named Holland considerably more frequently than France. Although this numerical preference for Holland as opposed to France was only repeated once - in fact in an increased measure - in Ferguson's anti-Dutch Account, the consequences of Swift's refocusing - not yet discernible in the Examiner and probably inspired by Bolingbroke's virulent anti-Dutch posture - for the continuation of the debate were unmistakable. Compared with the first phase of the turning-point debate Holland was referred to with markedly increasing frequency in Tory writings, whilst the considerably fewer references to France show that the consensus as regards the common enemy abroad, which had long been binding, no longer corresponded to the changed priorities of Government propaganda. The simultaneously reduced references to Austria also indicate that the 'new' balance-of-power rhetoric directed against Habsburg, which was to be continued only to a much lesser extent, was essentially a temporary focus of Tory propaganda and became less important after the emphasis of the polemical interaction had changed. In the Whig campaign, too, Austria received far less attention after the anti-Habsburg debate, initiated mainly by Defoe, had subsided. The fact that the Whigs, who usually firmly supported the principle of balance of power, were now giving slightly more attention to Holland than to Austria leads one to conclude that the Whigs had recognised how dangerous the topic was which Swift had brought to the boil and reacted to the Tories' campaign against the States General even more sensitively than they had to previous attacks on Austria. The fact that Dutch contours were now seen more clearly in the Whigs' nation profile than in the first phase of the turning-point debate can be recorded as a repercussion of Swift's about-turn in The Conduct of the Allies and at the same time as an indication of Whig determination to ward off attacks on England's special Ally. The Conduct of the Allies also initiated reorientations within the nation profile which may be seen as a yardstick for the assessment of the international situation by the English public.

     The polemical ingenuity developed by Swift in The Conduct of the Allies was manifested not only in the ability to anticipate topics of public debate, but also - and to as great an extent - in the closely linked ability to take political terrain by means of linguistic virtuosity. Swift's linguistic chutzpah has already been mentioned in the survey of the debate's time structure. Let us draw this chapter to a close by taking a particularly memorable example to illustrate Swift's striking ability to use political language in order to hold his own camp together and produce embarrassment in the enemy camp. In The Conduct of the Allies Swift carefully chooses the most effective point to put the question already quoted above to support his conspiracy thesis: "by what Motives, or what Management, we are thus become the Dupes and Bubbles of Europe?". In this question Swift clothes his contempt for the old Ministry, a contempt which is accompanied by his equally bitter outrage at the Allies' exploitation of England. Although Lord Cowper had previously used the word "bubble" to express his indignation at Tory efforts at oversimplification and Trapp had already employed it to vent his disdain for appeals for moderation, it was only Swift who made it a widely acknowledged opprobrious and explosive term in a clearly defined foreign-policy context. Thus he can be said to have coined an infectious catchword for the purpose of party-political propagation. Swift's use of language perhaps even followed models from top-level politics or at least lent resonance to the firm assessments of leading members of the Government. Bolingbroke, for example, wrote in a letter to Lord Peterborough on 8 January 1712: "[...] if we found that our allies persisted to make us the bubbles of the war [...]". In the ensuing period the word "bubble" - used both as a verb and as a substantive - almost became a propagandistic gem designed to show indignation at the way England was being pushed around and outwitted especially by the Dutch. Again and again, even if not with statistically predictable regularity, Tory authors of nearly all genres used this highly-charged, slightly frivolous word in order to confirm their ideological harmony and later also their propagandistic superiority over the Whigs. As early as in its issue of 17-24 January 1712 the Examiner asked the following rhetorical question with regard to the Duke of Marlborough: "Hath he secured the Honour and Wealth of the Nation, in respect of her Allies, so as she might not be the Bubble of those whom she hath preserved from Ruin?". The evocative word was strikingly used, for example, in the terse alliterative title of the broadside We have Been Banter'd and Bubbl'd, Banter'd and Bubbl'd (1712) and in the prose broadside Resolutions without doors, upon the Resolutions within doors, which coincided chronologically with the parliamentary enquiry and demanded right at the beginning that the English seek revenge when it uttered the cry "That no Nation, no, not a petty Conquer'd Province, was ever treated with more Contempt, or more infamously Bubbl'd and Abus'd, than Great-Britain has been by its Al-s, especially the D-h". It is not too daring to speak of a linguistic transfusion at this point, for Swift's derision of the Dutch in The Conduct of the Allies is echoed here in the context of the quotation. Shortly afterwards a Whig broadside, Poor England Bob'd at Home and Abroad (1712), ironically proclaimed in explicit reference to parliamentary proceedings: "The Parliament having Examin'd the Case,/ Declare in their Representation / By whom we are Bubbl'd in every Place,/ And how we may have Reparation" (tenth stanza); in this oblique manner it testified to the polemical thrust of the omnipresent catchword. In his satirical poem The English Foreigners: Or, the Whigs Turn'd Dutchmen (1712) Ward denounced Marlborough as having "bubbl'd us abroad". The provocative word also appeared in a prominent position in Arbuthnot's series of allegorical tales The History of John Bull (1712), which was begun on 4 March. In John Bull in his Senses, the second part of this series published on 17 March 1712, Nicholas Frog, the personification of the deceitful Dutchman, contemptuously declares to Louis Baboon, the French King: "He has been my Bubble these Twenty Years". It is clear from the firm control with which Arbuthnot uses the word in this work that he has as it were taken over the baton from his colleague Swift in a race which has already been run. With its caustic vividness The History of John Bull marked a temporary end to the ideological denigration of the Dutch, which could be revived again according to need. The prominence of The History of John Bull on the journalistic scene in the spring of 1712 seems to indicate that the Tories were now largely able to do without the conventional discursive pamphlet and leave it to the deft strokes of Arbuthnot's pen finally to establish in the minds of the English public the negative image of the Dutch Ally that was already gaining acceptance. Between the appearance of The Conduct of the Allies and that of the first three parts of The History of John Bull it is possible to trace how the Tories caught up and took the lead in the propaganda race and at the same time witness an impressive manifestation of the part played by specifically literary means in helping the public to come to terms with the peace problem. Two texts of fictional cohesiveness - fictional consistency is also a feature of The Conduct of the Allies - mark the beginning and the end of the second phase of the turning-point debate, which led the Tories on to the road to victory. It proved useful that Swift's propagandistic catchword could be reproduced at any time, as confirmed by the reappearance of the word "bubble" in Tory propaganda writings such as the Letter from the Famous Sir Humphry Polesworth (1712), published in the Examiner of 15 May 1712, and Leslie's ideologically sharp-tongued pamphlet Salt for the Leach. In The Fourth and Last Part of a Caveat against the Whiggs (1712) the author reminded his readers how often "they [the Whigs] again pass'd their stale Delusions on a bubbled Nation [...]", while Ward, in his crassly propagandistic poem The English Foreigners: Or, the Whigs Turn'd Dutchmen already mentioned above, sarcastically called his compatriots "the spendthrift Bubbles of the War". Even when the Tories used an inhabitant of the animal kingdom as a mouthpiece for their ideology, the notorious word appeared; in The Parliament of Birds (1712) a "learned Swan", no doubt Bolingbroke, lashes out at the enemies of peace and of the Queen with the following rhetorical question: "'Have not the Jays and chat'ring Pyes,/ Amus'd us with their Tales and Lyes;/ To cover from the bubbl'd Nation,/ Their Cruelties, and Depradation?'". With his "And Thus the Nation Bubbl'd was and Fool'd" in his poem On the Peace (1713), recalling the bitter chain of events leading to peace, Marshall Smith marked the end of this linguistic ploy.

     The effect on the journalistic opponent was confirmed, for example, by the critical irony of the recourse to Swift's polemical usage in Maynwaring's pamphlet Remarks on a False, Scandalous, and Seditious Libel, in the broadside Poor England Bob'd at Home and Abroad from which we have already quoted, in A Full Answer to The Conduct of the Allies and in the long documentary pamphlet The History and Defence of the Last Parliament, which was published in 1713. The ironic but somewhat hapless reference to the annoying word in A Few Orthodox Remarks (1712) was also a reliable linguistic indicator of the success and staying power of Government propaganda. A final indication that Swift's use of language repeatedly gave cause for polemical interaction is the unconventional use of the word by Defoe, who, in this case, too, proved to be a protean journalist and went through all the variations of linguistic usage in his application of the term to the demands of day-to-day politics. Thus, in the Whig-oriented pamphlet A Justification of the Dutch from Several Late Scandalous Reflections (1712) he ironically followed Tory terminology, whilst in Memoirs of Count Tariff (1713), published by Morphew, he applied the word "bubble" to the Dutch cheating the English in the sense coined by Swift and repeated throughout the whole gamut of Tory genres. Proof of Defoe's quite idiosyncratic use was provided by the two issues of the Review of 14 February 1712, in which the word "bubble" is used to refer to the French King, and 24 June 1712, in which it is used as a warning of the Pretender's intentions with regard to Queen and country.

     Altogether the word "bubble", with its considerable polemical potential, provides a perfect example of how Swift succeeded in using his verbal skill to transmit political signals which could easily be taken up by other authors and were capable, by means of propagandistic abbreviation, of stirring up collective aggression, mobilising the willingness to identify and irritating the journalistic opponent by clever simplification. The echo of the word "bubble" in Tory propaganda is an illustration in miniature of how individual linguistic aptness can initiate the establishment of quasi-official usage which then sets the pace in the struggle for domination of the public arena. At any rate, in the second phase of the turning-point debate the Whigs were no match for the Tories in this respect.