The Development Of Cultural Nationalism


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The Development Of Cultural Nationalism

  1. 1. The development of cultural nationalism
  2. 2. Why was there a growth in cultural nationalism in the 1890s? <ul><li>A vacuum in constitutional nationalism with the failure of the second Home Rule Bill </li></ul><ul><li>Discontent with the corrupt nature of nationalist politics </li></ul><ul><li>European influences indicated that if political nationalism was to succed it needed a clear cultural identity </li></ul>
  3. 3. contd <ul><li>Was a reaction against the modernisation of society and part of a search for cultural and historical roots. Constitutional nationalists had been identified with modernisation and “progress” </li></ul>
  4. 4. contd <ul><li>Petty bourgeois class was now bigger and more important but felt excluded from political life by forces of old nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>They had political ambition but were more or less excluded from politics. So they turned to cultural nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Struggle between old and new nationalism was part of a generational conflict </li></ul>
  5. 5. contd <ul><li>Cultural nationalism was one of the few opportunities for women to become involved in political life </li></ul><ul><li>Lower middle classes frustrated that job prospects were blocked by protestants and so cultural nationalism developed a populist Catholic aspect </li></ul>
  6. 6. Origins of cultural nationalism <ul><li>Young Ireland: Davis had promoted a romantic view of nationalism that emphasised unity of all Irishmen irrespective of religion or class </li></ul>
  7. 7. Thomas Davis <ul><li>Reacted against O’Connell’s narrow sectarianism </li></ul><ul><li>His view of nationality elitist, because….. </li></ul><ul><li>… Only way for Protestants to remain in positions of political leadership was through cultural nationalism </li></ul>
  8. 8. Apparent demise of cultural nationalism in mid-century due to: <ul><li>Davis’s death in 1845 </li></ul><ul><li>Young Ireland’s drift into revolutionary nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of the famine </li></ul>
  9. 9. BUT….. <ul><li>Some signs of life in cultural nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Phoenix Societies, formed by O’Donovan Rossa were literary societies attracting the petty bourgeoisie and they provided a forum for discussing nationalist ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Kept alive Davis’s new approach to nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Were eventually swallowed up by the Fenians </li></ul>
  10. 10. The GAA <ul><li>Founded by Michael Cusack 1884 </li></ul><ul><li>Aimed to promote Irish sports instead of English </li></ul><ul><li>A mainly rural movement </li></ul><ul><li>Backed by Archbishop Croke </li></ul>
  11. 11. GAA <ul><li>Although a sporting movement, it secured Fenian support and Fenians dominated its ruling executive within three years. </li></ul><ul><li>Also drew support from constitutional nationalists </li></ul><ul><li>Benefited from the increase in rural self-confidence which was the result of Parnell’s work </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion of Irish sport gave opportunity to articulate anti-English sentiment </li></ul>
  12. 12. Anglo-Irish literary revival <ul><li>1892: Yeats founded National Literary Society </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote in English but drew inspiration from Celtic past </li></ul><ul><li>Protestant gentry background </li></ul>
  13. 13. Yeats <ul><li>Like Davis, tried to promote a sense of Irish identity that would stress an inclusive culture </li></ul><ul><li>Literary revival was elitist and never appealed to the mass of Irishmen </li></ul><ul><li>Yeats and associates (Synge, Lady Gregory) knew they were a tiny minority, but they played a crucial role in raising awareness of a distinct Irish culture. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Gaelic Revival <ul><li>Douglas Hyde, son of Church of Ireland rector, member of National Literary Society </li></ul><ul><li>Played pivotal role in giving cultural nationalism a broader appeal </li></ul>
  15. 15. Hyde <ul><li>Denounced the slavish imitation of English manners </li></ul><ul><li>Called for immediate action to halt decline of Gaelic language </li></ul><ul><li>Vision of cultural revival that would be non-sectarian and non-political </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Gaelic League <ul><li>Founded in 1893 by Eoin MacNeill to revive Gaelic as spoken and literary language </li></ul><ul><li>Was Ulster Catholic and professor of history in UCD </li></ul>
  17. 17. Gaelic League <ul><li>Third key figure in founding League was Father Eugene O’Growney, professor of Irish at Maynooth </li></ul><ul><li>3 founders: Southern Protestant, Northern Catholic, Southern Catholic </li></ul>
  18. 18. Work of the Gaelic League <ul><li>Promoted national identity based exclusively on Gaelic culture </li></ul><ul><li>Promoted revival of the Gaelic language By the 1890s less than 1% of the population spoke monolingual Irish and only 14% spoke Irish at all. </li></ul><ul><li>Successfully campaigned for envelopes addressed in Irish to be accepted by post offices and the acceptance of bilingual street names </li></ul><ul><li>Main task was to ensure that Gaelic became a compulsory school subject </li></ul>
  19. 19. Success of the League <ul><li>By 1904 had 600 branches with 50,000 members </li></ul><ul><li>Attracted small number of Protestant enthusiasts and Catholic intelligentsia. </li></ul><ul><li>Success due to centenary celebrations for 1798 and Boer War. All shades of nationalism identified with the Boers in the struggle for independence from the Empire </li></ul><ul><li>Success also due to the collapse of constitutional nationalism and the split after Parnell’s death. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Success of the League (contd) <ul><li>Huge influx of petty bourgeoisie who became interested in their cultural past. </li></ul><ul><li>League organised social gatherings which allowed them to engage with their own class and exclude undesirables. Prominent leaders were schoolmasters. </li></ul>