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

Fleming, Neil Christopher 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. 10.1093/tcbh/hwm006

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Abstract

This article examines education reform under the first government of Northern Ireland (1921–1925). 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
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 14774674
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:51
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/3897

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