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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 213–230 | Cite as

No Surrender? The legacy of the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant

  • Jane G. V. McGaugheyEmail author
Article

Abstract

This article examines the legacy of covenanting language and imagery in Northern Ireland. Although the media has spent the last 40 years portraying Ian Paisley as the political heir of Sir Edward Carson, the leader of the Free Presbyterian Church is much more of a seventeenth century Protestant extremist than a modern political figure. As such, Dr Paisley has consistently turned to the 1638 Scottish Covenant as the only true document that informs Ulster Protestantism. Despite the fanfare surrounding its appearance in 1912, the Ulster Covenant is a forgotten relic of the Unionist past compared to the enduring legacy of the Great War.

Keywords

unionism Northern Ireland Protestantism solidarity leadership 

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Notes

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    Throughout the article, the capitalised term ‘Unionist’ refers specifically to members of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). The term ‘unionist’ spelled in the lowercase refers to the larger unionist community in the north of Ireland who wished to maintain the British connection, including members of Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The author would like to thank the Deputy Keeper of the Records for permission to publish from the material held at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, captain R.H. Lowry for permission to publish from the Montgomery Papers and Lord Craigavon for permission to publish from the Craigavon Papers.Google Scholar
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© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Canadian Irish StudiesConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

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