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“In barbarous times and in uncivilized countries”

, Andrew Struan

Abstract: The ways in which politicians have discussed who, what, and where was considered “uncivilized’” across the past two centuries gives an insight into how speakers in a position of authority classified and constructed the world around them, and how those in power in Britain see the country and themselves. This article uses the Hansard Corpus 1803–2003 of speeches in the UK Parliament alongside data from the Historical Thesaurus of English to analyse diachronic variation in usage of words for persons, places and practices considered uncivil. It proposes new methods and offers quantitative data to describe the period’s shift in political attitudes towards not just the so-called “uncivil” but also the country as a whole.
Keywords: uncivil / shift / English / Parliament / words / Britain / Hansard / see / centuries / usage

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