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Title: The transformation of a national culture : towards a two party system
Other Titles: Party politics in a fortress colony : the Maltese experience
Authors: Frendo, Henry
Keywords: Malta -- History -- British occupation, 1800-1964
Political culture -- Malta
Political parties -- Malta
Issue Date: 1991
Publisher: Midsea Publication
Citation: Frendo, H. (1991). The transformation of a national culture : towards a two party system. In H. Frendo (Ed.), Party politics in a fortress colony : the Maltese experience (pp. 201-218). VaIletta: Midsea Publication.
Abstract: In the early 1920's Malta was more urbanized, less agricultural, rather more secular-minded than half-a-century earlier. There was a greater national and social consciousness, especially among industrial workers and lower grade employees. Economic policy began seriously to command the attention of politicians. Malta had better communications, more schools, was cleaner, and above all, felt reasonably free. Although certain topics of conversation and dispute were as familiar as the names of the party leaders, the grant of self-government marked a sense of achievement and naturally was accompanied by a determination to tackle the country's problems from a position of authority and responsibility. The theme of 'taxation without representation' could no longer apply: to that extent the often blind opposition to taxes receded into the background. Similarly, the constant claims for constitutional reform had now been very largely met: to that extent the constitutional problem was solved. 'Religious' problems were almost non-existent: anticlericalism in nationalist politics had originated from criticism of the church hierarchy rather than from different religious views or beliefs - securalisation had affected attitudes to government rather than to religion - and the danger of proselytism was no longer present, now the government had control over activities by Protestant groups and churches. In 1921 (as in 1887) all parties were agreed that Roman Catholicism should be Malta's established religion. But the earlier patriotic consensus with regard to the Italian language did not exist: the language question, with its multifold connotations and repercussions, was still at the fore of public debate, just as a religious disposition continued to be central to the way of life.
Description: Includes Index of Names, Bibliography and Appendixes
Appears in Collections:Party politics in a fortress colony : the Maltese experience
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