Socialism, which presented itself as a new and exciting ideology in the Britain of the 1880s, was essentially universalist in nature. It proposed a set of solutions to the problem of capitalism that were in theory applicable to all societies, and it derided what it saw as divisive particularisms such as nationalism. In reality, though, socialists had to apply their universalist ideas to particular situations wherever they presented their ideas. The growth of socialism in Wales from the 1880s to the Great War provides a fascinating case study in the application of socialist universalism within a unique social, political, cultural and linguistic context that will be explored in this talk.

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