What are Pope's views on politics? In what works does Pope discuss his views? How do his views compare to those of Jonathan Swift?
When Pope first became active in British politics, he aligned himself with the Whigs, the party less in power. The balance of power actually shifted after the Glorious Revolution in 1688/89, and Pope's political leanings shifted as a result. It was about this time that Pope began to identify himself as a Tory - the party who fell out of favor. Though Pope's political identity clearly reacts to these historical forces, it does not emerge explicitly in his works. His political outlook comes out on more subtle levels. Rather than write a treatise on the Jacobite attempts to restore the Stuarts to power - something Pope's Catholicism made a real possibility - he brings his biting satires to bear on members of literary circles. Pope's Toryism would come out in the nature of his criticism against literary figures who happened to be Whigs. Joseph Addison is one such individual. This tendency to criticize political opponents in this way is not a prevalent aspect of his work. In Essay on Criticism, some of this form of criticism emerges. At the same time, the Dunciad also includes this form of criticism.
Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope's older contemporary, was also a member of the Tory party. Unlike Pope, however, Swift's political leanings are more easily discerned in his works. In "A Modest Proposal," his criticism of the British government comes across very strongly. This is not to say that Swift's Toryism is more fervent than Pope's. Much of it has to do with the writing style each employs. Writing primarily in verse, much of Pope's political views remain undercurrents to the larger criticisms he makes. Swift, however, writing in prose, does not veil the subjects of his criticisms to nearly the same degree as Pope.