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Nationalism and the Irish PartyProvincial Ireland 1910-1916$
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Michael Wheatley

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273577

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273577.001.0001

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Nationalist Political Language: New Hope or Old Hatreds?

Nationalist Political Language: New Hope or Old Hatreds?

(p.74) 4 Nationalist Political Language: New Hope or Old Hatreds?
Nationalism and the Irish Party


Oxford University Press

Political rhetoric, whether defined as the calculated use of public language by practitioners of ‘high’ politics or the everyday, background noise of local politicians, suffused the Irish provincial press. ‘Nationalist’ political language covered a strikingly wide variety of attitudes — from conciliation to threat; from democratic radicalism, to Whiggish imperialism, to visceral Anglophobia. Examples of the full range of this rhetoric could be found in the language of mainstream politicians and newspapers throughout the pre-war period. Locally, however, although virtually all professed their loyalty to Redmond, only a minority sympathised instinctively with the conciliation that he advocated. The passive ‘background noise’ of nationalist rhetoric was suffused with a vocabulary of heroic struggle, grievance, injustice, and enemies. A clear strain of Anglophobia was expressed by politicians, clerics, and newspapers. The language that was to be used during the more general political crises of 1914 or 1916–18 was already fully developed.

Keywords:   rhetoric, provincial press, imperialism, Anglophobia, struggle, grievance, conciliation, the Democracy

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