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In the Shadow of Empire: Rethinking local agency in Tower Hamlets at the fin de siècle

Turner, Joseph Oliver (2018) In the Shadow of Empire: Rethinking local agency in Tower Hamlets at the fin de siècle. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Through an examination of how local politicians developed, cultivated and maintained relationships with their constituents and national parties, this thesis will explore the ways that the contingent and contested nature of popular politics impacted on the daily lives of the working classes in Tower Hamlets, from 1895 to 1906. Through a synthesis of election material, local newspapers and recollections this thesis will explore popular political and economic practices and their articulation at ground level, using the Boer War, 1899 - 1902, and The Tariff Reform Campaign, 1903 – 1906, as case studies to highlight the uncertainty of politics at this time. These studies will highlight how individual agency within political parties negotiated and asked for power from the communities they represented. Simultaneously, it will analyse the agentic political culture which was inherent within working-class constituencies in Tower Hamlets, to highlight how local politicians reconstructed a popular image based on their local networks and relationships. The thesis will conclude by arguing that the interaction between politicians and their constituents were more complicated than some historians have argued, as national and imperial politics were mediated through the prism of working-class aspirations and concerns. The aim of this thesis is to paint a picture of a more vibrant political scene, where national and imperial politics were constructed from ground level, and working-class agentic political culture had a larger impact on the course of British history. Examining the interaction between political rhetoric and working-class aspiration, and concerns, this thesis will shed light on how discourses shaped patterns of allegiance within a constituency, and thus altered national politics from the ground.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Oliver Turner
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2018 16:47
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2018 16:47
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21567

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