Cosmopolitan Nationalism in the Victorian Empire: Ireland, by Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre

By Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre

The 1st biography of Alfred Webb, Irish nationalist and president of the 1894 Indian nationwide Congress. The biography explores how Webb seen nationalism as a car for worldwide social justice. Drawing on data in Britain, eire and India the writer unearths how Irish and Indians used cosmopolitan London to create networks around the Empire.

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7 The social circle was tightly knit and meetings were social as well as religious events for the highly self-contained community. The Society was formative for its members in part, perhaps, because it was so unusual in its devotional practices. 8 Meeting houses are usually simply constructed buildings and worship is often conducted with the congregation sitting in a circle. The term ‘meeting’ is used to describe both an occurrence and a community, such that the Dublin Monthly Meeting refers both to the event and to the congregation.

Webb’s first contribution was an 1856 paper titled ‘Progress of the colony of Victoria’. Based on his experiences of living in Australia from 1853 to 1855 (where he had been sent to improve his health), he explained that the relative failure of the colony was due to the high price of land. When gold was discovered in the colony, workers made huge wages (Webb states that labourers made 15 shillings a day, while we know that he paid his unskilled workers only 7 or 8 shillings a week). ’25 Webb was only 22 when he wrote and delivered this paper, but he spoke with the great confidence of a moralist, castigating the culture of drink and wild spending and blaming it for social ills.

7 The social circle was tightly knit and meetings were social as well as religious events for the highly self-contained community. The Society was formative for its members in part, perhaps, because it was so unusual in its devotional practices. 8 Meeting houses are usually simply constructed buildings and worship is often conducted with the congregation sitting in a circle. The term ‘meeting’ is used to describe both an occurrence and a community, such that the Dublin Monthly Meeting refers both to the event and to the congregation.

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