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Wales and Socialism

Political Culture and National Identity Before The Great War

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  • Language: English
  • EAN: 9781783169160
  • Published: 15 Nov 2016
  • Pages: 304
  • Size: 138mm x 216mm

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About The Book

This study examines the spread of socialism in late-Victorian and Edwardian Wales, paying particular attention to the relationship between socialism and Welsh national identity. Welsh opponents of socialism often claimed it to be a foreign import, whereas socialists often asserted that the Welsh were socialist by nature. This study – the first full-scale study of the influence of early socialism across all of Wales – demonstrates that the reality was more complex than either assertion would admit.

Rather than focusing on the structural growth of socialism, the topic is discussed in terms of the spread of ideas and the development of a political culture. The study culminates in a discussion of attempts, in the period before the Great War, to create a specifically Welsh socialist tradition. In approaching the topic from this angle, this study restores a part of the lost diversity of British socialism that is of striking contemporary relevance.

‘This pioneering study examines the evolution of socialism and its political manifestations in Wales between the 1790s and 1912 located within the economic, social and linguistic contexts of the regions of Wales. It is also a timely and welcome contribution to the current debate about the future of Labour and socialism.’ - Professor Sir Deian Hopkin, University of Essex

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