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From culture to tradition: The political landscape of Monmouthshire, 1918- 1929

Phillips, James 2020. From culture to tradition: The political landscape of Monmouthshire, 1918- 1929. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis explores the transition from political cultures to political traditions in relation to the political landscape of Monmouthshire between 1918 and 1929. It examines the first decade of mass democracy through a county-wide focus, using the six interconnected constituencies of Monmouthshire as a gateway to uncovering the crucial nexus between people, place and political expression in the contemporaneous contexts of South Wales and Britain. It highlights the interplay between and within political cultures, and the evolution of practices into enduring political traditions through a constant process of recognition, assimilation and reinvention. The socio-economic challenges raised by war and wider enfranchisement precipitated initial apprehension from political parties, but eventually generated experimentation and differentiation, with both parties and non-party organisations attempting to respond to the revised political environment after 1918. Shifts in tactical outlook were intricately customised at a local level and broader issues were addressed, granted validity, or rejected, depending on the antecedent conditions of specific localities, the demands of the expanded electorate and the perceived stability of each political machine. The art of adaptation was not uniform or linear, and the agency of individuals and political communities not only led to the crafting of persistent traditions but the suppression and decline of competing cultures. With a focus on all three major political parties, this thesis therefore emphasises the reciprocity and interdependence of interwar Welsh and British political culture. In the process, it enhances our understanding of the relationships between the individual, the local, and the national, in the construction of political identities, networks and traditions. This thesis ultimately makes a nuanced contribution to the rich field of Welsh and British labour history, as well as pointing to new directions with the neglected histories of the Liberal Party in industrial constituencies and the Conservative Party in Wales.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Funders: James Pantyfedwen Foundation
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 7 October 2020
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2021 01:30

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