The Orange Order: A Contemporary Northern Irish History

The Orange Order: A Contemporary Northern Irish History

The Orange Order: A Contemporary Northern Irish History

The Orange Order: A Contemporary Northern Irish History

Synopsis

Based on unprecedented access to the Order's internal documents, this book provides the first systematic social history of the Orange Order - the Protestant association dedicated to maintaining the British connection in Northern Ireland. Kaufmann charts the Order's path from the peak of its influence, in the early 1960s, to its present-day crisis. Along the way, he sketches a portrait of many of Orangeism's leading figures, from ex-Prime Minister John Andrews to Ulster Unionist Party politicians like Martin Smyth, James Molyneaux, and David McNarry. Kaufmann also includes the highly revealing correspondence with adversaries such as Ian Paisley and David Trimble. Packed with analyses of mass-membership trends and attitudes, the book also takes care to tell the story of the Order from 'below' as well as from above. In the process, it argues that the traditional Unionism of West Ulster is giving way to the more militant Unionism of Antrim and Belfast which is winning the hearts of the younger generation in cities and towns throughout the province.

Excerpt

On 10 September 2005, the worst rioting in Northern Ireland in twenty years was sparked by a parade of mysterious bowler-hatted men wearing Orange sashes accompanied by hard-thumping marching bands and throngs of young spectators. Many outsiders know the Orange Order as the incomprehensible organization at the centre of the conflict-ridden July marching season in Northern Ireland. This book presents the first modern history and social analysis of the Orange Order, and is based upon the Orange Order's treasure trove of internal documents—whose contents have never been exposed to a non-Orange audience.

The Orange Order, or Loyal Orange Institution (as it is officially known; LOI), in Northern Ireland is a fraternity dedicated to furthering the aims of Protestantism and maintaining the British connection. Its loyalty to the Crown is an inheritance which is conditional upon the support of the British Crown for Protestantism and the continued political connection between the British government and Northern Ireland. the Order is an extremely multifaceted organization which must be considered in all its manifestations: cultural, religious, convivial, and political. It also has economic functions as a benevolent association, property holder, and charity. It is an organization located between the private sphere of individuals and the Protestant community as a whole. We can go further and specify that—at least in its main outlines—it is more of a cultural than an economic or political association.

Francis Fukuyama famously predicted that liberalism, democracy, and capitalism would spell the 'End of History' as twenty-first-century man came to appreciate that his cultural inheritance was merely one among many rather than a treasured tradition. Nationalism, in this view, was merely a growing pain which underdeveloped societies would pass through on their way to the cosmopolitan, individualist 'End of History'. Anthony Giddens's sociology of high modernity sounds a similar note: globalization and fragmented identities are leading to de-traditionalization. the twentieth-century decline of sectarianism in North America, Australia, and northern England reinforces . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.