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    For God, Ulster and the ‘‘B’-men’ : the Ulsterian revolution, the foundation of Northern Ireland and the creation of the Ulster Special Constabulary, 1910-1927

    Newman, Seán Bernard (2020) For God, Ulster and the ‘‘B’-men’ : the Ulsterian revolution, the foundation of Northern Ireland and the creation of the Ulster Special Constabulary, 1910-1927. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Abstract

    This thesis, centring on the formation and early years of the USC argues for the development during and after the First World War of a distinct ‘Ulsterian’ identity which combined elements of Protestantism, Unionism and Loyalism and underpinned the newly separate political entity of Northern Ireland. Straddling notions of Britishness and Irishness but also having aspects which can be seen as revolutionary, this Ulsterian identity was expressed in particular through the creation of the USC and the consequent partial militarisation of Ulster in the 1920s. In its first chapter, the thesis looks at constructed national identities and Ulsterian social and cultural forces. Discussing religious ideas of covenant and chosenness, it moves to the second chapter exploring other religious justifications for Ulsterian behaviour not least the theology of resistance legitimising rebellion and ultimately revolution. Chapter three applies the Reformist theology and historical memory of Ulsterian resistance to events during the Orange Agitation to argue that the distinctive identity of Ulsterians and their legitimising theology of resistance means historians need to analyse their actions between 1910-1927 as revolutionary. The mobilisation of paramilitary forces was integral to the Ulsterian Revolution with the UVF reformed in 1920 as the USC which, using sectarian violence, consolidated the revolution and the new state of Northern Ireland, the subject of the fourth chapter. Chapter five discusses how the USC moved far from its policing duties after 1920 and planned military operations and performed military duties unthinkable in the rest of the United Kingdom. The militarisation of Northern Ireland seen so clearly in the creation and operation of the USC affected many facets of Ulsterian society, and chapter six focusses on the continued militarisation of Ulsterian masculinities and the performance of ‘manhood’ through the institution of the USC.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2022 17:08
    Last Modified: 12 Feb 2022 19:50
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/47514

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