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A Lark for the Sake of Their CountryThe 1926 General Strike Volunteers in Folklore and Memory$
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Rachelle Saltzman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719079771

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719079771.001.0001

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Fides est servanda: keeping the faith

Fides est servanda: keeping the faith

Chapter:
(p.62) 4 Fides est servanda: keeping the faith
Source:
A Lark for the Sake of Their Country
Author(s):

Rachelle Hope Saltzman

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719079771.003.0004

‘Fides est servanda: keeping the faith’ explores how the Government, Church, courts, and media invoked a variety of key symbols of British history, including the Magna Carta and the Interregnum, to persuade people to believe one way or the other. Conflicting criteria for defining what constituted British identity emerged, calling into question implicit definitions for citizenship, duty, and patriotism. The Establishment did not hesitate to pull out all the stops to categorize the event as war, revolution, and even sin to motivate citizens in its condemnation of the strike's leaders as “other,” i.e. not British. At the same time, those who took the coal miners’ part did their best to remind their followers that the strikers were indeed fellow citizens and just as British as anyone else. Despite this very public battle for their sympathies, most Britons followed a more middle path in their views about the strike.

Keywords:   British identity, Establishment, Key symbols, Citizenship, Coal miners, War, Revolution

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