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By Carl Strikwerda

The 1st publication to discover the ancient improvement of Belgian politics, this groundbreaking examine of the competition among Catholicism, Socialism and nationalism is vital studying for a person drawn to Europe sooner than international warfare I.

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Scholars have not dealt in the same depth with less "objective" divisions, such as ethnicity, or examined these divisions historically. 23 These loyalties, in turn, linked workers to classes outside their own. 25 Equally important, the appeals of nationalism and religion across class lines cannot be treated as simply alternatives to class loyalties. 26 From a theoretical perspective, an approach that examines class as well as cultural and political factors promises to be the most useful in studying the rise of mass politics.

P. "15 From this perspective, class is the most critical element in the formation of social identity. The primacy of early Marxist views of class and the emergence of class consciousness has been modified or challenged in a number of ways. Scholars have found that the objective factors that create class consciousness and unity are weaker than predicted, while the supposedly subjective factors cannot be easily made to correspond to the objective ones. 16 Nor did industrial employment necessarily unify workers quickly.

Whichever group could expand from Ghent to Brussels had a chance to become a national labor movement. Liège provides the crucial test case for comparisons. Neither Catholics nor Socialists, until just before 1914, succeeded in creating a mass movement in Liège. This contrast Page 18 also allows us to examine the impact of mass politics before 1914 on the interwar era. The three cities embrace much of Belgium's diversity in language, urban geography, and economic specialization. Ghent, a Dutch-speaking city whose economy rested on textiles, was a densely populated factory and harbor town.

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