‘Half a loaf is better than none’: The framing of political and national identity in Welsh border newspapers in the aftermath of the Mold Riots, 1869-1870
AuthorsRoberts, Simon Gwyn
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractThe Mold Riots of 1869 came at a time of social and cultural upheaval throughout Wales. Several distinct contexts intersect, and this paper will attempt to synthesize and interpret them by analyzing archival coverage of the events in the local press. The period was a dynamic one for local newspapers across the UK, with Benson arguing that the English provincial press at the time was ‘less cautious, more calculating, and more sensationalist than much of the existing literature would lead one to suppose’. Welsh newspapers have, however, been hitherto largely ignored by that literature. This would seem to be something of an oversight, because Welsh identity became politicized for the first time in the 1860s. In the particular context of North-East Wales, where - as in many border regions - identity is contested, the coverage of the Mold Riots in the local press offers an instructive opportunity to examine early attempts to negotiate identity politics in what was already a mixed, semi-anglicised region in which questions of religion, language, class and loyalty were emerging as potentially divisive political issues. The paper will examine local newspapers’ rhetorical frames, in which audiences are encouraged to interpret events in ways sympathetic to the actions of the authorities. This paper sees the event as a pivotal example of changing interpretations of political and national identity in local newspapers with a cross-border remit.
CitationRoberts, S. G. (2014). “"Half a loaf is better than none”: The framing of political and national identity in Welsh border newspapers in the aftermath of the Mold Riots, 1869. Journal of Historical Pragmatics, 15(2), 187-206. https://doi.org/10.1075/jhp.15.2.03rob
DescriptionPreprint submitted to Media History, 2012.
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