Protestants First: Orangeism in Nineteenth Century Scotland

By E. W. McFarland | Go to book overview

2
Theoretical Approaches

Moving on to discuss some of the theoretical issues raised by Orangeism, it quickly becomes necessary to look beyond the sociology of religion. For while this can help in initial conceptualisation, as in Roberts' isolation of the Order's sociologically hybrid nature, essentially the limited range of such analyses fail to confront a central point in the LOI's historical development in Scotland, namely that it was a basically working class movement. 1 This implies that a more profitable strategy to explain Orangeism's impact is to engage with debates on working class sectionalism and 'contradictory' class allegiances, rather than the intricacies of classification and typology.

Yet, this brings its own difficulties, an initial imperative being to cut through what may be termed the 'mythology' of Orangeism and the working class. Here much of the imagery is of the LOI as a skilled workers' movement 'naturally' allied to the Tory party, where explanatory attributions of 'bigotry' and 'sectarianism', or at best the 'marginal privilege', of Protestant workers over Catholics usually suffice. In advance of thorough-going empirical work this is actually rooted in the wealth of anecdotal material which not surprisingly surrounds so emotive a subject. 2 Significantly though, some of the anecdotal commonplaces seem also to have crept into the academic literature.

There is a great lack of secondary sources on Scottish Orangeism, but basically the relevant texts are of two types: first, those dealing with the movement itself, which are largely concerned with its manifestations in Ireland; and secondly, those dealing with class relations, particularly in Scotland, which may cover the LOI, although their major focus of interest lies elsewhere.


ORANGEISM IN IRELAND: TRADITIONAL MARXIST APPROACHES

As regards the first category, this again subdivides into two major schools of thought. In the first of these, the traditional Marxist position, the phenomenon of Orangeism is associated with the issue of Ulster's 'profoundly awkward class' - working class loyalists. It employs as analytic tools a series of variations on the theme of false

-17-

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Protestants First: Orangeism in Nineteenth Century Scotland
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Key to Abbreviations vi
  • Preface vii
  • 1 - What is Orangeism? 1
  • Notes 14
  • 2 - Theoretical Approaches 17
  • Notes 28
  • 3 - Historical Overview: 'the Lodge of Diamond in Armagh' 30
  • Notes 45
  • 4: The early History of Orangeism in Scotland 1799-1865 47
  • 5 - Orangeism in Scotland 1865-1900: Quantification and Class Composition 70
  • Notes 91
  • 6 - Absolute Strength and Relative Weakness 95
  • 7 - The Scottish Churches 115
  • Notes 136
  • 8 - Leadership and Rank and File Relations 139
  • Notes 157
  • 9 - The Mainspring of Conservatism? 1865-85 160
  • Notes 186
  • 10 - Truckling to Popery (1886-1900) 190
  • Notes 209
  • Postscript Orangeism in Modern Scotland 212
  • Notes 219
  • Appendix A District Lodges' Numbers and Locations c. 1878 220
  • Appendix B Greenock Orangemen: Occupational Breakdown 1879-86 221
  • Appendix C Greenock Orangemen: Occupational Breakdown 1892 223
  • Appendix D Paisley Orangemen: Occupational Breakdown 1866-86 225
  • Appendix E Biographical Index 227
  • Appendix F Clergymen with Orange Links 1865-1900 233
  • Bibliography 235
  • Index 250
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