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The First Government of Northern Ireland, Education Reform, and the Failure of Anti-populist Unionism, 1921–1925

Fleming, N.C. (2007) The First Government of Northern Ireland, Education Reform, and the Failure of Anti-populist Unionism, 1921–1925. Twentieth Century British History, 18 (2). pp. 146-169. ISSN 0955-2359

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Abstract

This article examines education reform under the first government of Northern Ireland (1921–5). This embryonic period offered the Ulster Unionist leadership a chance to construct a more inclusive society, one that might diminish sectarian animosities, and thereby secure the fledgling state through cooperation rather than coercion. Such aspirations were severely tested by the ruling party’s need to secure the state against insurgency, and, more lastingly, to assuage the concerns of its historic constituency. The former led to a draconian security policy, the latter to a dependency on populist strategies and rhetoric. It is argued here, however, that this dependency was not absolute until July 1925. Before that, the Belfast government withstood growing pressure from populist agitators to reverse controversial aspects of its education reforms, only relenting when Protestant disaffection threatened the unity of the governing party and the existence of the state.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: education reform, Northern Ireland, anti-populist unionism
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Neil Fleming
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2012 10:20
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2012 11:01
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/1537

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