A Nation of Politicians: Gender, Patriotism, and Political Culture in Late Eighteenth-Century Ireland by Padhraig HigginsA Nation of Politicians: Gender, Patriotism, and Political Culture in Late Eighteenth-Century Ireland by Padhraig Higgins

A Nation of Politicians: Gender, Patriotism, and Political Culture in Late Eighteenth-Century…

byPadhraig Higgins

Paperback | February 1, 2010

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Between the years 1778 and 1784, groups that had previously been excluded from the Irish political sphere—women, Catholics, lower-class Protestants, farmers, shopkeepers, and other members of the laboring and agrarian classes—began to imagine themselves as civil subjects with a stake in matters of the state. This politicization of non-elites was largely driven by the Volunteers, a local militia force that emerged in Ireland as British troops were called away to the American War of Independence. With remarkable speed, the Volunteers challenged central features of British imperial rule over Ireland and helped citizens express a new Irish national identity.
    In A Nation of Politicians, Padhraig Higgins argues that the development of Volunteer-initiated activities—associating, petitioning, subscribing, shopping, and attending celebrations—expanded the scope of political participation. Using a wide range of literary, archival, and visual sources, Higgins examines how ubiquitous forms of communication—sermons, songs and ballads, handbills, toasts, graffiti, theater, rumors, and gossip—encouraged ordinary Irish citizens to engage in the politics of a more inclusive society and consider the broader questions of civil liberties and the British Empire. A Nation of Politicians presents a fascinating tale of the beginnings of Ireland’s richly vocal political tradition at this important intersection of cultural, intellectual, social, and public history.
Winner of the Donald Murphy Prize for Distinguished First Book, American Conference for Irish Studies
Padhraig Higgins is assistant professor of history at Mercer County College in New Jersey.
Title:A Nation of Politicians: Gender, Patriotism, and Political Culture in Late Eighteenth-Century…Format:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:February 1, 2010Publisher:University of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299233340

ISBN - 13:9780299233341

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations   

1 "Alehouse Politicians": The Culture of Print and the Political Nation   
2 "Paddy Shall Rise" Celebration, Commemoration and National Identity   
3 Shopping for Ireland: Consumption, Gender, and the Politics of Free Trade   
4 The New Magna Carta: Voluntary Association, the Crowd, and the Uses of Official Political Culture       
5 A Rage Militaire: The Volunteers   
6 "Playing the Man": Invasion, Masculinity, and the Citizen-Soldier   
7 Petticoat Government: Women and Patriotism   
8 "A Democratical Spirit": Reform, Protectionism, and the Catholic Question   

List of Abbreviations       

Editorial Reviews

“This ground-breaking book thoroughly examines the experience of political culture during this rage militaire, which gripped Ireland from 1779 to 1784, when the American War of Independence plunged Britain into imperial crisis. Not a linear-chronological narrative of the Volunteers, it fills a considerable gap in our understanding of the processes of the politicization that they engendered and various societal implications. Higgins adopts an innovative approach that reflects the cultural turn in history and also addresses gender identity, employing imaginative, if often densely worded, language. A rich teaching resource, this book will eruditely expose undergraduates to concepts such as ‘alehouse politicians’ and ‘petticoat government’, breathing life into the past while challenging them to pursue further research by delving into the predictable but varied sources informing Higgins’s discussion.”—Sylvie Kleinman, History Ireland