Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Jason Knirck

Second Committee Member

Timothy McMahon

Third Committee Member

Roxanne Easley

Fourth Committee Member

Daniel Herman


The Belfast Boycott was a protest designed to dislodge loyalism in Northern Ireland, punish its adherents for perceived intolerance toward Catholics, and end Irish partition. The boycott was set off by the expulsion of several thousand Catholic workers from employment in Belfast in July 1920. A total boycott of all goods coming from Belfast was implemented by the Dáil in September 1920. Boycotting provided Irish nationalists with an alternative to violent retaliation that allowed for the participation of a wider segment of the Irish population. Boycotting allowed women, who were often marginalized by the political framework, an opportunity to make political statements through their economic actions. In addition, the boycott became a means for Sinn Féin to promote their own notions of tolerance and situate their cause within a wider, international framework. This work explores nationalists’ conceptions of Irish identity, the intersection between consumerism and patriotism, and the role that women played as both political and economic actors throughout the Irish revolutionary period.

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