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Culture, Politics, and National Identity in Wales 1832-1886$
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Matthew Cragoe

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207542

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207542.001.0001

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The Problem of Landed Influence

The Problem of Landed Influence

(p.142) 5 The Problem of Landed Influence
Culture, Politics, and National Identity in Wales 1832-1886

Matthew Cragoe (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter reconsiders the issue of landed influence in Wales to investigate the ways in which the idea of landlord coercion operated within radical politics, and thus shaped modern perceptions of the Welsh past. To this end, the final part of the chapter offers a detailed study of the most significant political evictions said to have taken place in 19th-century Wales — those following the general election of 1868. To set in context the positions taken by both landowners and radical politicians in this debate, the chapter begins with two sections outlining their respective perceptions of the problem. The first tackles coercion from the perspective of the landowners and demonstrates how difficult it is to pin down specific cases of wrongdoing; the second section charts the developing belief among radical politicians in Wales that the problem of electoral coercion was more profound in the principality than elsewhere, and explores the relationship of this belief to the developing ideology of the Welsh nation. This is followed by an examination of the evictions following the 1868 eviction, and the chapter ends by exploring the extent to which the advent of secret voting in 1872 put paid to the practical ability of landlords to coerce their tenants.

Keywords:   Wales, general elections, landowners, evictions, secret voting, coercion

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