The Father of European Federalism?

By Harvie, Christopher | History Today, July 1997 | Go to article overview

The Father of European Federalism?


Harvie, Christopher, History Today


* In what was otherwise a dull election campaign, two issues became salient which threatened to accelerate the collapse of the United Kingdom as a state. One was `Europe', the other, the future of Scotland. The first divided the Conservative Party as disastrously as Free Trade had done before the debacle in 1906. The second wiped it out North of Berwick. In 1992 John Major's `soap-box' defence of the British constitution had helped his unexpected success; but an attempt in 1994-97 by his young Scottish Secretary, Michael Forsyth, to play cultural nationalism against political nationalism -- notably by shipping the Stone of Scone back North -- only provoked the home rulers. Opinion polls showed the Scots to be more pro-European, and indeed more republican, than any other part of the United Kingdom. Forsyth, going for broke, preached the teaching of Scottish history in the schools. Garlic against the European vampire? But the more the Scots remembered their history -- and not necessarily the Braveheart bit of it -- the less British they felt.

Scotland had always been the absentee of European nationalism. Although countless novelists and poets of `unhistorical' nationalities -- Manzoni, Petofi, Mickiewicz, Topelius -- modelled themselves either on `Ossian' MacPherson or Walter Scott, churning out historical epics justifying their people's claim to statehood, the Scots got as far as what Benedict Anderson has called, in Imagined Communities (1983) `print capitalist' nationalism and, apparently, stuck. They seemed quite content to cash in on access to the British (never English) Empire, defend cultural distinctiveness, and leave it at that. The Czech historian Miroslav Hroch's three-stage evolution, from his Social Conditions of National Revival (1985) -- elite mobilisation, the creation or capture of institutions, the mass movement -- did not seem to work. Or did it? ...

`I to the hills shall lift my eyes. From whence cometh my aid.' Thus sang the Covenanters, the Scottish Calvinist radicals, given in the 1680s to assembling in mutinous conventicles on the moors. High above Edinburgh, on the summit of the Castle Rock, stands one symbol of Scottish separateness, intellectual and political: the Scottish National War Memorial. Built in the 1920s in the rich late Gothic style which was influenced by Scotland's `auld alliance' with France, its architect was Sir Robert Lorimer (1864-1929), next to Charles Rennie Mackintosh the greatest of his generation and reviver of the Scottish vernacular style. The names of 100,000 who died in the First World War, 13 per cent of British casualties (Scotland then had 10 per cent of the British population) commemorate a tragedy of Scottish and European history which would have particularly grieved Lorimer's father, had he lived to see it.

James Lorimer, Professor of Public Law at Edinburgh University and Laird of Kellie in Fife, is better known in Germany than in England, and represents a different sort of nationalism from that which Hroch surveys: civic rather than ethnic, and always alert to international relations. Perhaps uniquely Scottish? Lorimer was one of the founders of modern international law, and in two substantial volumes on The Institutes of the Law of Nations which he published in 1884 he created that bogey of English, though not Scottish, patriotism: the first proposal for a federal Europe.

Lorimer was born in Perthshire in 1819, but like so many Scots during and after the Enlightenment was partly educated abroad, at the universities of Berlin, Bonn and Geneva, as well as Edinburgh. This reflected the cosmopolitanism of a Scottish juridical tradition which prided itself on its affinity to Roman law rather than the common law of the English. Nowhere in his work are there the limited horizons that one associates with the utilitarianism of such Victorians as Sir William Holdsworth or Professor A.V. Dicey. In fact, the opposite: in the decade of the 1880s, which found British imperialism at its zenith (Burma and Egypt annexed, Gordon martyred at Khartoum) Lorimer's Europeanism emanated from a strong sense of the political community of units smaller than the nation-state. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Father of European Federalism?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.