The Historical Journal


a1 University of Durham

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stapleton j   [Google Scholar] 


This article explores some of the tensions and interaction between two rival conceptions of the relationship between citizenship and patriotism in twentieth-century England. The first was widespread among the intellectual elite and greatly qualified the role of patriotism in sustaining a higher ideal of citizenship. The second was generally the preserve of popular writers and activists who conceived citizenship in terms of patriotic attachment to the English and English-British nation. However, the article maintains that the Edwardian intellectual elite often assumed an homogeneous national culture as the basis of successful citizenship, both local and international. In this regard, despite subjection to increasing strain, continuity as much as change is apparent in conceptions of citizenship up to and including the interventions of Enoch Powell in the debate over mass immigration. Subsequent attempts to ground citizenship in difference rather than sameness have greatly intensified the tension with a more persistent culture of patriotism.


1 I am extremely grateful to the following for their helpful suggestions on an earlier draft: Stefan Collini, Peter Mandler, Peter P. Nicholson, Stamatoula Panagakou, two anonymous referees, and the Politics Department at the University of Sheffield, at whose research seminar I gave a paper based on this article.