Dr Martin Wright
Wales and Socialism, 1880-1914: Political Culture and National Identity
The period from 1880 – 1914 witnessed the emergence of the modern labour and socialist movement in Britain. There has been a great deal of work examining this phenomenon at a British level, and a considerable amount of research into the development of socialist and labour organisations on a regional level. Treatment of the relationship between socialist activists and the different national identities within the British Isles has, however, been largely neglected. This project examines the ways in which socialists dealt with the issue of Welsh national identity in the period before the Great War. Ultimately, the labour and socialist movement in Britain developed as a national force at a U.K. level. In the period before the Great War, however, socialists attempted to negotiate the cultural, ideological, structural and linguistic ramifications of attempting to build a movement on a set of islands which were home to a number of different national identities. This project examines the way in which this process evolved in Wales, and in so doing it aims to illuminate a previously neglected aspect of our cultural and political history.