Drawing from the Past: The Importance of Historical Precedents
This final chapter considers the important role recent memory and precedents for political action can play in shaping the form that nationalist protest takes. The importance of learned traditions in terms of the technical capabilities and prior relationships necessary to maintain a terrorist campaign is highlighted, along with the role that the establishment of violence as a legitimate form of political contention can have in diminishing moral concerns about the use of violence by a broader community. This is demonstrated with reference to the physical force tradition within Irish nationalism, and the absence of a similar tradition in Scotland and Wales. Instead, it is highlighted that martial identities in Scotland and Wales were British. It is also noted that many of the individuals who adopted violent methods to progress Scottish and Welsh nationalist agendas had military backgrounds, and the importance of this is discussed.