"Political Correctness" in exonumia? Back in the 1800's?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by ZoidMeister, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . . . . Supporter

    "Political Correctness" - that's a relatively recent development, right? Everyone knows that it just recently raised it's head in society, right? I mean, we are all accustom to seeing politically INCORRECT medals and tokens from our own periods of hardship between the 1830's through the 1860's and our civil war. Political correctness certainly didn't exist in the mid to late 1800's, right?

    Au contraire . . . .

    In my "alternate" exonumia addiction, I recently ran across a clear example of "political correctness" in action. These examples date to the latter half of the 1800's. This also gives me a chance to "show off" yet another addition to my religious medal collection.

    Founded in 1847 in Great Britain, there was a social committee established to provide primary education for the poor Catholic families living in England at that time. Seeing as the Catholic Church was not an officially sanctioned religion in England, Catholic families tended to be outcast and looked down upon, their jobs being the most reviled of the working class. These families were poor, dirt poor . . . therefore The Catholic Poor School Committee therefore, was founded to help educate their children.

    However "political correctness" begins to creep into British society, possibly seeded by our own civil reformation struggle some 20 years earlier, and in 1888, the The Catholic Poor School Committee was renamed, the Catholic School Committee.

    How did I discover this tidbit of trivia? Well, the change has been minted into the committee's "good conduct" medals for history to discover.

    This medal, designed and engraved by L. Wiener, was in use and distributed by the committee between its inception in 1847 up until the name change in 1887.

    1847-1887 Good Conduct Medal - obverse.JPG

    1847-1887 Good Conduct Medal - reverse.JPG


    This medal, mimicking the earlier design of Wiener, designed and engraved by T. Leighton, was in use and distributed by the committee between 1888 and 1905, when they changed their name.

    Note the dropping of the word "POOR."

    1888-1905 Good Conduct Medal - obverse.JPG

    1888-1905 Good Conduct Medal - reverse.JPG

    It was this change in the wording of the reverse of this award that got me researching.

    I have yet to find any similar medals that were in use and / or distributed after the second name change in 1905 to the Catholic Education Council.

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  3. fretboard

    fretboard Defender of Old Coinage!

    Great looking medals! :D
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  4. John Conduitt

    John Conduitt Well-Known Member

    I imagine the founding of the committee in 1847 had something to do with the Religious Disabilities Act 1846, which removed any remaining restrictions on Catholics, Non-Conformists and Jews. Most had already been removed in the Toleration Act 1688 and the Doctrine of the Trinity Act 1813. (In fact, the Catholic Poor School Committee was formed by amalgamating 3 existing Catholic charities, so the support already existed).

    'Political correctness' has been around a long time in England, most obviously on tokens (which were privately made and often political). Some were anti-slavery (like 'Am I Not a Man & a Brother' from the 1790s, copied in the US in the 1830s); some were for freedom of speech:

    Halfpenny Conder token, 1795, London (D&H Middlesex 301).

    This token celebrates Daniel Isaac Eaton, who was imprisoned for publishing seditious material, including Thomas Payne's The Age of Reason, which challenged institutionalised religion (i.e. the Church of England) and demanded religious toleration.

    People like the Deists had been arguing for religious toleration since 1695, when the Licensing of the Press Act 1662 expired and you could put such thoughts into print.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
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  5. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    I have 1 medal.
    FRANCE-1927-ELECTRICITY- Bonze art deco Medal by P.M. DAMMANN

    Dammann A.jpg
    Dammann B.jpg
    Dammann C.jpg

    I really like it.
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  6. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . . . . Supporter

    @John Conduitt , I have been searching for a database or attribution authority for political and religious medals. Do you know if such a resource exists? The "D&H Middlesex 301" makes me think there may be one.

    My Google-fu skills have not turned up anything meaningful.

  7. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    "Political Correctness" has been around for centuries, if not millennia. It's just that, until recently, it was known as "good manners" or "basic consideration for the feelings of others".
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
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  8. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    This is a highly political comment where I would be a fool to respond to on this platform other than pointing out how elementary/uninformed at best of a description that was.
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  9. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . . . . Supporter

    Be careful, you won't get a "Good Conduct" medal now . . . .


  10. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Seems like a solid definition of "political correctness" might be a good starting point for settling any disagreement. Or, more likely, exposing any preconceptions.
  11. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    You already said
    Not taking the bait any further than this
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  12. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Yeah, that's not really where I wanted to go. I've edited my post.
  13. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    The edit is still a nonstarter for an actual intelligent conversation about history. I do sincerely hope you dont think history was some super polite political spectrum which you keep implying with quotes as you say below

  14. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Fine, I'll start with a definition. It may not be the definition you have in mind; feel free to post your own.

    Here's Wikipedia's opening line:
    Now, if you want to offend members of a particular group, or put them at a disadvantage, I can see why this would be... offensive. Same thing if you don't care whether you offend them.

    The second line, though, is the telling one:
    "Pejorative". It's used to imply that avoiding offense or disadvantage is wrong. If you're being polite or thoughtful, that's great, right? But if you're being politically correct, you're trying to pretend that They deserve more consideration than they really do, at Our expense.

    "Those Catholics are poor! Why shouldn't we say so on these medals?"

    If it demeans them, why should you?
  15. jb10000lakes

    jb10000lakes Member

  16. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . . . . Supporter

    I thought this thread was about religious medals . . .


    1964 Pope Paul VI - Giampaoli - La Pieta -  reverse.JPG
  17. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

  18. jb10000lakes

    jb10000lakes Member

    I thought it was about political correctness...
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  19. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . . . . Supporter

    As found in exonumia . . .
  20. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    opps my bad...
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