Red Flag and Union Jack: Englishness, Patriotism and the British Left, 1881-1924

Overview

It is generally assumed that the language of patriotism and national identity belongs to the political right, but the emergence of socialism in the 1880s shows clearly that the left also drew on such ideas in its formative years to legitimate a particular form of socialism, one presented as a restoration of an English past lost to industrial capitalism. The First World War dealt a severe blow to this radical patriotism: though the anti-war left continued to use radical patriotic language in the early years, the ...

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Overview

It is generally assumed that the language of patriotism and national identity belongs to the political right, but the emergence of socialism in the 1880s shows clearly that the left also drew on such ideas in its formative years to legitimate a particular form of socialism, one presented as a restoration of an English past lost to industrial capitalism. The First World War dealt a severe blow to this radical patriotism: though the anti-war left continued to use radical patriotic language in the early years, the war degraded patriotism generally, while the Russian Revolution gave internationalism a new focus, and also threatened the dominant concept of British socialism. Moderate Labour sought to prove their fitness to govern, and concentrated on the "national interest" rather than oppositional Englishness, while the left of the movement looked to Soviet Russia rather than the English past for models for a future socialist society. Paul Ward teaches at the School of Music, Humanities and Media, University of Huddersfield.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Patriotism and politics before 1881 11
2 Socialists and oppositional Englishness, 1881-1906 20
3 Constructing British socialism, 1881-1906 37
4 The left, England and an imperial war 59
5 The Labour party and parliament, 1906-1914 76
6 Socialism and the German menace in Edwardian Britain 102
7 The left, patriotism and the First World War, 1914-1917 119
8 The battle for British socialism, 1917-1921 142
9 Labour and the nation, 1917-1924 167
Epilogue and conclusion 196
Bibliography 204
Index 227
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