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Fascism and Constitutional ConflictThe British Extreme Right and Ulster in the Twentieth Century$
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James Loughlin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941770

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941770.001.0001

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The British Union of Fascists and Northern Ireland (I)

The British Union of Fascists and Northern Ireland (I)

The Ulster Question in Blackshirt Perspective

(p.61) 2 The British Union of Fascists and Northern Ireland (I)
Fascism and Constitutional Conflict

James Loughlin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the place of Ulster and in particular the issue of Irish unity in the politics of Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of fascists. Mosley’s role in ending Black and Tan repression in Ireland during the War of Independence earned him a degree of Irish support throughout his political life, and which he sought to cultivate when he formed his fascist organisation through support for Irish unity. At the same time the chapter demonstrates that some of the organisation’s most prominent members supported Unionism and partition. This duality of approach was determined largely by the need to maximise and retain support from as many quarters as possible and by the play of politics, with the BUF cautiously critical of the Ulster Unionist regime in 1933-34 when the pro-Unionist press baron, Lord Rothermere, was supporting it, more aggressively nationalist when its pro-Unionist element diminished in the latter part of the decade.

Keywords:   Mosley, BUF, partition, nationalism, Unionism, Lord Rothermere

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