Chapter

Conclusion: North Britain, West Britain

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/9780199593996.003.0009
Conclusion: North Britain, West Britain

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This chapter discusses the spiritual, economic, and imperial dimensions to union, which illustrates the broader contours of the distinction between the Scots and Irish experiences. It examines the factors behind the longevity of the Scottish and Irish unions. For the Scots, the union was sufficiently capacious and flexible to allow the flourishing of distinctive Scottish institutions and patriotic sentiments. For the Irish, the union permitted the survival of a range of distinctive Irish institutions, although the problem was that for most of the 19th century these remained under the control of the Ascendancy interest, and thus did not function as a means of reconciling the national sentiments of the majority population to the union state. The Irish union failed because it could neither permanently accommodate nor defuse a distinctive Irish national sentiment. The pathology of Scottish failure appears to be somewhat different. The Scots union has survived thus far because it has, in fact, been able to contain and represent much Scottish national feeling.

Keywords: spiritual union; material union; Scotland; Ireland; union state; nationalism

Chapter.  9191 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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