(The), as a political term, arose in 1832.
“The Times newspaper, hitherto the most effective advocate of the [Reform] bill, has been obliged to designate those whom it formerly glorified as Radicals, by the more appropriate and emphatic title of the Destructives.” —Quarterly Review (Dec.,1832, p. 545.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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