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Ulster and the British Problem

Chapter

Abstract

Ulster Unionism is commonly portrayed as irrational, backward and deviant. While Unionists have resisted any accommodation with Irish nationalism, the argument runs, their conditional loyalty to the Crown has obstructed the emergence of a genuine sense of Britishness. The Union is usually interpreted as a tactical alliance designed to maintain colonial privileges rather than a bona fide expression of emotional commitment to British culture and values. At the same time, loyalists have failed to invent their own distinctive Ulster nationality; consequently they are unable to articulate their political demands in the respectable language of self-determination. Instead Ulster Protestants seem trapped within religious and political attitudes derived from the seventeenth century: one historian has written that the sense of community shared by Ulster Protestants is best seen as ‘an arrested development towards modern nationalism’.

Keywords

National Identity Catholic Social Teaching British State British History Home Rule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1996

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