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The Orange Order in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Perspective.

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1 The Orange Order in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Perspective

2 The Orange Order Formed 1795 in Northern Ireland Stands for loyalty to British Crown & Protestantism Associative cornerstone of British dominant ethnicity in Canada, N.I. Britannic ethno-nationalist Rapidly spread internationally

3 ESRC Research Focuses on Orange Order and social change in the 20th century Issue of how ethnic cores of nations deal with liberal modernity and globalisation Orange Order as the associational glue behind dominant ethnicity in N.I., Canada, W.C. Scotland Little study of the Order in the contemporary period

4 Main Research Questions What factors cause per capita Orange membership strength to rise and fall over time and across place? (social question) How effective is the Orange Order in determining policy change, and why does its power rise and fall over time and place? (political question)

5 Research Methodology Quantitative: Compare Orange membership among Protestants with variables from census, police reports, history, polls. Over time and across county and ‘province’ (N.I., Scotland, Nfld., Ontario) Qualitative: Compare Orange resolutions and organised political activity over time and place. Look at class profile of elite and membership over time. Interviews. Sources: Previously unseen internal documents; census, polls, violence stats, valuation rolls, some newspapers

6 Canadian Orangeism First parades in the 1810s Grand Lodge formed - 1830 Originally immigrant, later ‘native’ Not Irish - a mixture of several British ethnic groups and some others

7 Social & Political Influence- Canada Politically influential by 1867 Many Tory MPs were members Involved in most national issues 1/3 of Ontario legislature was Orange in 1915 1/3 of Ontario males were members during 1870-1920 Hundreds of thousands in the wider Orange fraternity as late as the 1950's

8 Political Influence in N. Ireland Helped found Ulster Unionist Party Guaranteed 15% of seats on Ulster Unionist Council Virtually all Unionist MPs are, and have been, Orange members (Paisley an exception) Orange Order an influential lobby

9 Twentieth Century Decline Stable for 100+ years, sudden decline Also declined in England and Australia/NZ Did not decline in N. Ireland until later Delayed or small declines in Newfoundland and Scotland Why the pattern of decline? What does it portend for N. Ireland politics?

10 Theories of Fraternal Change Beito: Decline in 1920’s as welfare state emerges Emery: Decline in 1920’s or 30’s due to private insurance and expanded recreational options Putnam: Depression caused decline, WWII boosted membership. Differences in ‘Social Capital’ between Generations explains most of post-1960 decline. Culturalist: Decline of Protestant Religiosity (Bruce), Decline of Loyalty to Crown (Cheal), Decline of British-Protestant Ethnic Identity, Ecumenism Events mobilise or de-mobilise members

11 Preliminary Research: Qualitative Based on Interviews & Reports Leaders and Rank-and-file members point to structural forcesstructural But nearly all admit cultural pressurescultural Also speak of role of events Institutional changes not seen as significant by members - though leaders think otherwise Qualitative evidence inconclusive

12 Quantitative Research Based on Previously Restricted Membership Data Previous research has only tracked the number of lodges Membership data highlights different patterns, contrasts with census and other data

13 Concentrated in Ontario, NB & Nfld, but strength Nationwide









22 Current Trends in N.I. Orange Membership, 1966-2001


24 International Orange Similarities All jurisdictions experience growth until the 1920’s All decline in the Depression years All experience growth after World War II All experience steady decline in recent decades N.I; Scotland; Ontario; NewfoundlandN.IScotlandOntarioNewfoundland

25 International Differences Membership decline sets in as early as the 1920’s in Ontario (1960 in NF) and decline in the 1920-39 period is sharper in Ontario Membership decline in the post-1960 period has been quicker in Canada, while Northern Ireland and Scotland have declined at similar steady rates

26 Inter-County Patterns, N.I. Orangeism General decline since membership peak in early 1960’s (mid-Ulster), or 50’s (East) Height of the ‘Troubles’ (1969-72) boosted membership temporarily, as did Anglo-Irish Agreement and Drumcree However, general trend is a steady decline Urban areas suffer heavier declines, even taking into account population flows.

27 Male Orange Lodges, Southern Ontario, c. 1975

28 Newfoundland Male Orange Lodges, 1961

29 Newfoundland Ladies Lodges, 1955

30 Orange Lodges, Co. Armagh, 1991

31 Male Orange Lodges, Scotland, 2001

32 Roman Catholic Percentage, Scottish Counties, 1961

33 Male Orange Density Scotland, 1961



36 Male Orange Density, N.I., 1971



39 N.I. Counties, by Protestant Percentage, 1971

40 Church of Ireland Protestants, N.I. Counties, 1971

41 Inter-Fraternal Patterns Masons appear to have outdrawn Orange Order from late forties until late sixties in N.I. And since the 1920’s in Ontario ONT; NI 1ONTNI 1 Orange Order has withstood post-1970 declines better than Masonic NI2NI2 Inter-County Patterns in Masonic match those of Orange IOOF declined in step with Orange in Ontario ONT ONT





46 Summary  Great deal of similarity in shape of historical patterns of membership across nations and fraternities  Great deal of difference between places and fraternities in terms of slope of rise/decline in membership

47 Statistical Summary – Pooled TSCS Economic factors less important than cultural, events in between Scotland and Ontario: Irish-Protestant % key; Catholic competition also important, but less so N. Ireland and Ontario: Protestant denomination important 'social capital' theory seems to have some weight in Northern Ireland, but none in Scotland

48 Statistical Summary – Pooled TSCS NI: Economic factors not important (1901-71). Denomination key: % RC increases membership; % COI increases it, dissenters decrease it; 1971 generation appears to lower Orange density SCT: Irish-Protestant % key; Catholic population also important. Events more important than economic factors. (for 1860-1991) ONT: Irish Protestant population most powerful. French-Catholic, Conservative denominations and Rural also significant. Scottish appears to negatively predict (1891-1961)

49 Preliminary Statistical Tests – Across Time Denominational balance (esp. rise of Methodism and Other Protestant sects) important during 1901- 71. Orangeism in N.I. And Scotland responded to RC population growth until 1970, but not since then Political events (Troubles, Peace Agreements, Drumcree) have been a factor in N.I. post-1970 Rate of Protestant fatalities have had little impact in N.I. since 1970 High-school education appears correlated with membership decline in Ontario during 1955-75 Still more work needed in this and other areas

50 Conclusion Orangeism is a worldwide movement historically strongest in Ulster and eastern Canada Orangeism’s rise owed a lot to both Irish- Protestant emigration and inter-ethnic conflict with a Catholic ethnie. Relatively Catholic counties in N.I., Ontario and Scotland have more ‘Orange’ Protestants

51 Conclusion II The role of economic change is minimal during the period 1891-1971 in all areas The role of events is important, but less so than cultural change. Strong evidence against ‘contact’ hypothesis Some evidence appears to support Putnam thesis (N.I. but not Scotland), though more work needed with respect to generation, as well as time-series analysis No definitive answer yet as to why Orangeism is in decline over past 20-30 years

52 ESRC Project Web Sites OO_in_20th_c.html (Fellowship) (Devolution Programme Grant, with Henry Patterson)



55 ‘Some News columnists have written us off and even gloat over what they term “our demise.” Even one church paper joined in the glee. - Grand Master Gordon Keyes, 1970 “As the population changed its opinions, we got less good press in the newspapers.” - Toronto Orangeman, 1999.


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