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  • Ulster Politics: The Formative Years
  • Dewey Decimal Number: 941.6081 WALK
  • No. of Copies: 2
  • Author: Brian Walker
  • Publisher: Ulster Historical Foundation
  • Publication Date: 1989
  • Edition:
  • Publisher City: Belfast
  • No. of Pages: 327
  • ISBN: 901905402
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Location (Bay/Shelf):


THE YEARS 1868-86 have proved to be a watershed in the historical development of Ulster, particularly in what is now Northern Ireland. This period witnessed key changes in society which were reflected in the election results and which have had enormous influence right up to the present. For the first time clear divisions of unionist and nationalist appeared and politics in the province polarized along Protestant/Catholic lines. The conflict that emerged in this period between the powerful forces of unionism and nationalism, with their associated sectarian divisions, led to partition in 19Z1 and provided the basic source for the troubles today in Northern Ireland. The book studies in depth parliamentary elections in Ulster between 1868 and 1886. During this period politics were transformed from a conservative/liberal conflict to a unionist/nationalist confrontation. These years also witnessed important instances of interdenominational voting and the appearance of non-constitutional issues, particularly the land question. By 1886, however, new, deeply polarized party politics had emerged. From a wide range of sources including newspapers, autobiographies and manuscript records a detailed examination is conducted into how electoral politics operated in practice during these years. In this book, the author argues that the outcome of these decades was not inevitable. It was by no means certain that politics would finally emerge along a clear unionist/nationalist cleavage based on religious division. The unique conditions and changes of the period were responsible for politics assuming theirparticular form at this time. The author draws special attention to the consequences of alterations in the electoral system, the influence of developments in contemporary society(especially the land war and the increasedreligious division), and the impact of partyorganisation and leadership)