Conservatism is a stance that may be defined without identifying it with the policies of any party. Indeed, it may be a stance that appeals to a person for whom the whole idea of party is distasteful. In one of the first political manifestos of the English Conservative Party, appeal was explicitly made to ‘that great and intelligent class of society … which is far less interested in the contentions of party, than in the maintenance of order and the cause of good government’ (Peel, The Tamworth Manifesto, 1834). Paradoxical though it may seem, it was from this aversion to factional politics that the Conservative Party grew. But it was an aversion rapidly overcome by another: that towards the chronic reform which only an organized party can successfully counter.2
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