Chapter

: ‘An affair of the greatest concern and import’: the union Parliament and the Scottish nation

Christopher A. Whatley

in The Scots and the Union

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780748616855
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672271 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748616855.003.0010
: ‘An affair of the greatest concern and import’: the union Parliament and the Scottish nation

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This chapter examines the fateful final session of the pre-Union Scottish Parliament during which the Articles of Union were debated and voted upon. Older views that the outcome – the passing of the Act of Union – was largely due to bribery and the use of other means to persuade Scottish MPs to vote against their inclinations, are challenged. Management was a factor, but there was more to it, not least the flawed leadership of the opposition under James, 4th duke of Hamilton. What is argued instead is that there were in the Scottish Parliament men in both the Court party and the squadrone volante who had long sought closer union with England, certainly from the time of the Revolution. Their reasons were various and included economic benefits, religion (the defence of Protestantism), and political principle, i.e. constitutional monarchy rather than royal absolutism.

Keywords: Revolution inheritance; Political management; Economic debates; Duke of Hamilton; Protestantism; Whigs; Jacobites; Absolutism; Monarchy

Chapter.  25707 words. 

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