Ireland: The Invention Of Tradition Essay

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Option 1 Ireland: The Invention of Tradition

Q. What do you understand by the notion of an ‘invented tradition’? In what ways have Irish nationalists used ‘invented traditions’ to shape a common understanding of the national past? Discuss with reference to no more than three examples.

Plan
Paragraph 1
Explain the idea of an ‘invented tradition’.
    • Look at reading 5.2 p3
    • Refer to extract by E Hobsbawm and T. Ranger, The Invention of Tradition, (1983)

Paragraph 2
Cultured nationalism
    • Thomas Davis (1814-1845) – Young Ireland
    • George Petrie (1790-1866)
    • Douglas Hyde in 1893 – founded the Gaelic League
    • W.B. Yeats – co-founder of Anglo-Irish Literary revival

Paragraph 3
Irish Famine (1845)
    • Energised republicism
    • Affected Catholics more than Protestants
    • The Land War of 1879-82
    • Transcript for DVD video ‘Ireland’

Paragraph 4
The history and origins of Irish nationalism
    • All parties supported the cause of an Ireland independent of English rule
    • The movement – dedicated to reuniting the 6 counties that make up Northern Ireland
    • The Political parties in the republic of Ireland which aimed to secure independence from the United Kingdom

Paragraph 5
Irish Heritage
    • Buildings and symbols
    • DVD video ‘Ireland’
    • Transcript for DVD video
    • Discussion on pg 156

To summarise E. Hobsbawm’s definition of ‘invented traditions’ means, people will believe in certain values and follow certain practices as normal behaviour. This is openly done by ways of repetition, ‘to fix an idea into some ones head’. People will follow and accept rules and rituals usually of a symbolic nature. This automatically implies continuity of a historic past. However, the strange thing of ‘invented tradition’ is that continuity is largely imagined - made up. They are responses to new situations, which make reference to ‘old’ situations, establishing their own past by seemingly enforced...

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