Scots and the Union: Then and Now (2ed)

Scots and the Union
Scots and the Union: Then and Now (2ed)
Whatley, CA
Edinburgh University Press

The cornerstone text on the Union between Scotland and England, brought up-to-date in the face of debates on present-day independence

This book traces the background to the Treaty of Union of 1707, explains why it happened and assesses its impact on Scottish society, including the bitter struggle with the Jacobites for acceptance of the union in the two decades that followed its inauguration. The first edition was radical in reinterpreting the causes of union, rejecting the widely held notion that the Scots were bought and sold for English gold and instead placing emphasis on the international, dynastic and religious contexts of the union negotiations.

This new edition brings the historical debate up to a vigorous present, in which we are once again discussing such issues and opinions, lending historical weight to arguments for and against union.

Public opinion in Scotland in 1707 was sharply divided, between advocates, opponents, and a large body of ‘don’t knows’. In 1706-7 party (and dynastic) advantage was the driving force behind opposition to the proposed union at elite level, while the spectre of French aggression, the desire to secure the 1688-89 Revolution and the need to defend Protestantism all boosted the Unionist cause: Scotland is in a quite different position in the 21st century - what will she choose?

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