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Provincial modernity: Manchester and Lille in transnational perspective, 1860 - 1914

Stopes, HAH; (2017) Provincial modernity: Manchester and Lille in transnational perspective, 1860 - 1914. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In this thesis I explore the ways middle classes in two provincial cities imagined the relationship between the city and the rest of the world. How did they make sense of local identity in the light of economic, geopolitical and cultural globalisation? I examine the political cultures and social structures that sustained their ways of thinking, showing how their responses were shaped by the economic connections of the two textile cities, and were articulated in municipal cultural policy around art galleries and the opera. I follow other historians in arguing that although the nineteenth century is typically portrayed as the age of nationalism, the cultures of 'second cities' make a powerful contribution to the development of European modernity. Where I depart from other work on second cities is in my desire to work comparatively and with a transnational frame. I show that ideas about local character informed the ways provincial elites responded to globalisation around the turn of the century. In the first research chapter I discuss the composition of the middle classes in the two cities, and the institutions and practices which bound them together. In the second research chapter I discuss opera in Lille. Nineteenth century opera is traditionally seen as an important way for its patrons to promote particular ideas about national identity. In this chapter I show how it was also used to make statements about local identity, and to connect the city to the latest European trends. The third research chapter concerns the Manchester municipal art gallery. I show how municipal management was used to express ideas about local prestige and sophistication. I also show that municipal councillors looked to cities in Germany for examples of how to manage the gallery, and make it respond to local needs, which they identified with industry. In the final chapter I examine the various ways in which local elites used industry and commerce to imagine in concrete terms the relationship between the city and the globe. I show how they produced, collected and disseminated knowledge about the world through local institutions, principally the Chambers of Commerce.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Provincial modernity: Manchester and Lille in transnational perspective, 1860 - 1914
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: French history, British history, Modern history, Nineteenth century, Transnational history, Global history, Second cities, Urban history, Social history, Cultural history
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1558852
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