Civic image and civic patriotism in Liverpool 1880-1914
The late Victorian and Edwardian period saw ritual become increasingly important in political life. Towns and cities were involved in conscious efforts to construct and project attractive images of themselves. These images were intended to encourage a sense of civic patriotism. Ceremonies, honorific titles, public events and civic architecture were essays in the invention of tradition. However, historians have applied the concept of the invention of tradition unevenly. Previous research has dwelt on the construction of images. Perceptions of official images and responses to them have been overlooked. This thesis employs a model which recognises images as processes with foundaitons in human relationships. It evaluates images in terms of intentionality, power, context and participation. The participative dimension is of particular importance, because images aimed to instil a sense of civic patriotism which would encourage citizens to make emotional and financial investments in their communities. Liverpool attained the status of a city in 1880. The civic ideology of the city was dominated by images of commerce and by notions of Imperial duty and public service which celebrated commercial virtues. Many aspects of urban life were shaped by civic image. This study does not confine itself to public events and pageantry, instead it explores such spheres as municipal art policy, Liverpool's public health record, the attempts to extend the city boundaries, civic hagiography, the foundation of the University, women and the ideal of citizenship and the influence of football on civic identity to demonstrate the importance of images in the city's social, political and institutional history. The purpose of the thesis is three-fold: to suggest that civic image opens new perspectives on Liverpudlian history, to discover why there were more conscious attempts to construct civic image and to restore participation to the study of civic image by unravelling the connections between image and patriotism.