The politics of nationhood has historically and ideologically had a central position in modern British Conservative politics, in conservative thought from the late eighteenth century and in the statecraft of the Conservative Party from the late nineteenth century. By this time the Conservative Party was the dominant actor in the politics of nationhood, having constructed a One Nation political strategy in which the Conservatives positioned themselves as the patriotic party defending national institutions, upholding the Union, extending Empire, promoting social cohesion and making effective use of patriotic discourse. This national strategy was an important means of realizing the core goals of Conservative statecraft, namely upholding the relative autonomy of its leaders in office in matters of high politics, fostering an image of governing competence, achieving issue hegemony in these areas and extending the party’s electoral appeal.1 However, even in this relatively successful period, the Conservative politics of nationhood did not always prove easily manageable as disputes over Ireland and tariff reform illustrated.
KeywordsNational Identity National Sovereignty Single Currency Conservative Politics Conservative Party
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