Conceptions of Nationhood in the Anglo-Scottish Union Debates of 1707<sup>*</sup>

Stewart J. Brown and Christopher A. Whatley

in The Union of 1707

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780748638024
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672295 | DOI:
Conceptions of Nationhood in the Anglo-Scottish Union Debates of 1707*

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Following the death of William, duke of Gloucester, in 1700, a dynastic predicament developed in both Scotland and England, as it became evident that William of Orange's sister-in-law, Anne, would die without an heir. In Scotland, this ‘succession crisis’ had quickly followed another calamity: the collapse of the colonial venture at Darien that had been conducted by the ‘Company of Scotland trading to Africa and the Indies’, incorporated under a Scots parliamentary patent in 1695. For the London-based Scots pamphleteer, George Ridpath, the hostile actions of William III's English ministers with regard to the Darien project represented the greatest incursion on Scots ‘sovereignty and freedom’ since the fourteenth-century Wars of Independence. In the aftermath of these twin crises, the language of Scots nationhood was variously invoked, reworked and deployed to different ends. This chapter investigates conceptions of nationhood in the Anglo-Scottish Union debates of 1707. It argues that the Scottish Parliament increasingly came to be regarded as the main institutional focus for national loyalties after the Williamite Revolution of 1689.

Keywords: nationhood; Scotland; England; Union; succession crisis; Scottish Parliament; Darien; Williamite Revolution; William of Orange; sovereignty

Chapter.  8581 words. 

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