John Lincoln Mahon is a name familiar to historians of British socialism and labour politics in the 1880s and 1890s. Deeply involved in the ideological disputes over socialism and working-class political representation in the period, his activities following his departure from left-wing politics in the mid 1890s have failed to generate scholarly attention. Mahon continued to be politically active in the Edwardian period, however. Having relocated to Dublin at the turn of the century, he entered municipal politics as a Unionist, and became a founding member of the Dublin Liberal Unionist Association, which supported Joseph Chamberlain's vision of tariffs, imperialism and social reforms. As this article demonstrates, Mahon's apparently bizarre ideological shift from socialism to Irish Unionism is explicable in terms of his consistent focus on tangible legislative gains for working-class interests, and his related prejudice against the Liberal party and Irish nationalism.
History Workshop Journal – Oxford University Press
Published: Apr 18, 2014
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