Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Youth, Generations, and Collective Action in Nineteenth-Century Ireland and Italy

  • Niall Whelehan (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

This article examines concepts of youth, maturity, and generations in nineteenth-century Ireland and Italy and perceived connections between young people and political and social unrest. I demonstrate that, rather than being consistent, the involvement of younger generations in radicalism was uneven, and varied significantly with historical contexts. I argue that the authorities frequently exaggerated associations between young people and radicalism as a subtle strategy of exclusion, as a means of downgrading the significance of collective action and portraying it as a criminal, emotional, or even recreational matter rather than a political one, a tendency that has often been reinforced in the historiography. Descriptions of youth and maturity should not be understood as merely reflections of age. They were not value-free, and served as indicators of individuals' social standing and political agency or lack thereof. Yet fighting in a rebellion offered an alternative to marriage, owning property, or education for the achievement of “manhood,” or adult status and political agency. The article also investigates how the Great Irish Famine shaped generational consciousness in the second half of the nineteenth century through an analysis of the participants in nationalist and agrarian violence. In all, over four thousand participants in collective action in Ireland and Italy are examined.

Copyright
Corresponding author
nwheleha@staffmail.ed.ac.uk; niall.whelehan@ed.ac.uk
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Arianna Arisi Rota and Roberto Balzani , “Discovering Politics: Action and Recollection in the First Mazzinian Generation,” in Lucy Riall and Silvana Patriarca , eds., The Risorgimento Revisited: Nationalism and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Italy (Basingstoke, 2012), 7796

Craig Jeffrey , “Geographies of Children and Youth II: Global Youth Agency,” Progress in Human Geography 36 (2012): 245–53

Stephen Mintz , “Reflections on Age as a Category of Historical Analysis,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 1 (2008): 9194

S. N. Eisenstadt , “Sociology of Generations,” in N. J. Smelser and P. B. Baltes , eds., International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 26 vols. (Amsterdam, 2001)

Joseph Kett , “Adolescence and Youth in Nineteenth-Century America,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2 (1971): 283–98

J. R. Gillis , Youth and History: Tradition and Change in European Age Relations, 1770–Present (New York, 1974)

Kevin O'Rourke , “Emigration and Living Standards in Ireland since the Famine,” Journal of Population Economics 8 (1995): 407–21

Matthew McCormack , ed., Public Men: Masculinity and Politics in Modern Britain, (Basingstoke, 2007)

K. H. Connell , “Peasant Marriage in Ireland: Its Structure and Development since the Famine,” Economic History Review 14 (1962): 502–23

Fergus Campbell , Land and Revolution: Nationalist Politics in the West of Ireland, 1891–1921 (Oxford, 2005)

John Dickie , Darkest Italy: The Nation and Stereotypes of the Mezzogiorno (New York, 1999), 2552

William Vaughan , Landlords and Tenants in Mid-Victorian Ireland (Oxford, 1994)

John Carter Wood , “A Change of Perspective: Integrating Evolutionary Psychology into the Historiography of Violence,” British Journal of Criminology 51 (2011), 479–98

Martin Wiener , Men of Blood: Violence, Manliness and Criminal Justice in Victorian England (Cambridge, 2004)

Geoffrey Pearson , Hooligan: A History of Respectable Fears (London, 1983)

Andrew Davies , “Youth Gangs, Masculinity and Violence in Late-Victorian Manchester and Salford,” Journal of Social History 32 (1998): 349–69

John A. Stack , “The Provision of Reformatory Schools, the Landed Class, and the Myth of the Superiority of Rural Life in Mid-Victorian England,” History of Education 8 (1979): 3343

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • ISSN: 0010-4175
  • EISSN: 1475-2999
  • URL: /core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 6
Total number of PDF views: 60 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 125 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th March 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.