Empire and Civil Society Organisations

Esther Breitenbach

in Empire and Scottish Society

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780748636204
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653485 | DOI:
Empire and Civil Society Organisations

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This chapter emphasises that civil society organisations afforded ‘possibilities of concerted action and social self-organisation’, and that, as such, they might be indicative of the active commitment of particular groups of Scots to particular visions of empire. It aims to provide an account of the ways in which, through the medium of civil society organisations, Scots' experience of empire was transmitted to people in Scotland, and how such representations of empire in turn affected conceptions of Scottish identity. It identifies civil society organisations in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Scotland which had an explicit engagement with empire or imperialism. It focuses on the activity of civil society organisations in Edinburgh and concentrates on other forms of civil society engagement with empire which fall into two broad categories: philanthropic activities motivated by religious and moral concerns; and secular organisations which were either inspired by enthusiasm for imperialism or manifested an interest in it.

Keywords: civil society organisations; Scots; empire; Scottish identity; imperialism; Edinburgh; philanthropic activities; secular organisations

Chapter.  10594 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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