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date: 23 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Though part of what might be termed historians’ ‘mental furniture’, popular politics is an elastic term that evades close definition. This chapter suggests some defining principles and characteristics of popular political activity. It then takes a broadly chronological form and identifies in the first half of the nineteenth century a diminishing resort to violence and the growing importance of memory and commemoration (notably in Scotland and Wales, less so in England). It goes on to examine the content of popular liberalism and the apparent ‘taming’ of popular politics in the twentieth century. It ends by suggesting that the forms popular politics had increasingly taken by the turn of the millennium seem to indicate a revival of older modes of contesting power.

Keywords: politics, political history, Britain, Chartism, liberalism, protest, popular politics

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