Chapter

The Politics of the Union in an Age of Unionism

Edited by T.M. Devine

in Scotland and the Union 1707-2007

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780748635412
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672202 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635412.003.0008
The Politics of the Union in an Age of Unionism

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This chapter addresses the politics of Anglo-Scottish Union during the time of Unionism. The partition of Ireland, the Church of Scotland Act, and the general election of 1922 were the three events that affected the history of the Union. A brief review of electoral patterns in Scotland shows the existence of an apparent unionist consensus. The history of nationalist politics offers some qualified evidence that there was a general air of dissatisfaction abroad, but the Scottish National Party (SNP) could not capitalise on it. The Unionists were successful in housing policy. The Labour Party was the principal beneficiary of Unionist unpopularity; the SNP and the Liberals remained on the margins of Scottish politics, although there were incremental accretions of strength and confidence. The social, economic and educational changes of the 1960s had developed a new and younger electorate sceptical of Unionism's rather tired appeal.

Keywords: nationalist politics; Anglo-Scottish Union; Unionism; Scotland; housing policy; Labour Party; Scottish National Party; Liberals; Scottish politics; Church of Scotland Act

Chapter.  6677 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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