The emergence of British fascism in the early 1920s was a response to perceived, related external and internal threats to the United Kingdom and its Empire. From 1921, Ireland, in alliance with international communism, was seen to threaten to further constitutional upheaval. The literature on British fascism, however, has traditionally accorded relatively little attention to Ireland, though that is now changing. This paper, focusing on Rotha Lintorn-Orman's British Fascists (BF), the first such British movement, seeks to further this process. Drawing on primary and secondary sources, especially on newly released materials in the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, it points up the influence of the Ulster issue on the BF sense of the crisis the United Kingdom faced and how it should be dealt with; the ideological, class and personal links between the BF and Ulster loyalism; and also how an examination of BF activities in Northern Ireland can provide insights on Ulster Unionism.
- British Fascists