Chapter

Scottish unionists and the union, 1707–2007:

Alvin Jackson

in The Two Unions

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199593996
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731419 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199593996.003.0007
Scottish unionists and the union, 1707–2007:

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This chapter examines Scottish unionism. The survival of the Scots union owed much to the party structure of Scotland, and of the British state. The Scottish Unionist party was deeply rooted in the political and intellectual history of Scotland, and brought together a Tory legacy of romantic nationalism with a Whig tradition of assimilation. The party thrived in the context of a politics still heavily infiltrated and conditioned by religious faith. Labour in Scotland was originally supportive of Home Rule, but had migrated towards unionism by the interwar years. Where the Unionist Party’s appeal was partly based, at least in the era of Irish Home Rule, upon religion, Labour cultivated the politics of class. This, combined with its economistic social diagnoses, its centralist prescriptions, and its disproportionate contribution to the formation and leadership of the British Labour movement, effectively made for unionism — or at best for a rigorously unsentimental, pragmatic, and materialist patriotism.

Keywords: Scottish unionism; nationality; Scottish Unionist party; liberal unionists; patriotism; Tories; Whigs

Chapter.  26041 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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