Wales and Scotland are the two regions of Britain which have an undeniable historical claim to be regarded as distinct nationalities. But Wales differed markedly from Scotland in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in that there was virtually no constitutional recognition of its national existence.1 If the Welsh had a theoretical state of equality with the English, it was only in so far as they were able and willing to turn themselves into Englishmen. Yet Welsh awareness of nationality was, partly for that very reason, a stronger force than that of the Scots. The Welsh language had persisted with much greater success than Gaelic in Scotland or Irish in Ireland, and in the nineteenth century it became the main channel of revival for national feeling. Taking Wales and Monmouthshire together, we find that in 1901 almost exactly half the population was capable of speaking Welsh, as compared with only 4.9 per cent of Scotsmen who could speak Gaelic, and 14.4 per cent of Irishmen who could speak Irish.


Royal Commission Labour Party Social Geography Unionist Candidate British Election 
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  1. 2.
    D. Parry Jones, Welsh Country Upbringing (1948), p. 83.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    See A. J. Johnes, Essay on the Causes which have Produced Dissent (2nd ed., Llanidloes, 1870); E. T. Davies, Religion in the Industrial Revolution in South Wales (Cardiff, 1965).Google Scholar
  3. E. T. Davies, Religion in the Industrial Revolution in South Wales (Cardiff, 1965)Google Scholar
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    For a fuller account of Hardie’s adoption and electoral performance see F. Bealey and H. Peiling, Labour and Politics, 1900–1906 (1958), pp. 46–49, and K. O. Fox, ‘Labour and Merthyr’s Khaki Election of 1900’, Welsh History Review, ii (1965).Google Scholar
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    On Thomas, see K. O. Morgan, ‘D. A. Thomas: The Industrialist as Politician’, Glamorgan Historian, iii (1966).Google Scholar
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    See H. M. Williams, ‘Geographic Distribution of Political Opinion in the County of Glamorgan, 1820–1950’ (M.A. thesis, Univ. of Wales, 1951). Cf. K. O. Morgan, ‘Democratic Politics in Glamorgan, 1884–1914’, Transactions of the Glamorgan Local History Society, iv (1960).Google Scholar
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    J. V. Morgan, Welsh Political and Educational Leaders in the Victorian Era (1908), pp. 384–5.Google Scholar
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    W. J. Edwards, From the Valley I Came (1956), p. 36. Cf. K. O. Morgan, Wales in British Politics, p. 212.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Henry Pelling 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Pelling
    • 1
  1. 1.St. John’s CollegeCambridgeUK

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