Modern Scottish History, 1707 to the Present: The Modernisation of Scotland, 1850 to the Present - Vol. 2

Modern Scottish History, 1707 to the Present: The Modernisation of Scotland, 1850 to the Present - Vol. 2

Modern Scottish History, 1707 to the Present: The Modernisation of Scotland, 1850 to the Present - Vol. 2

Modern Scottish History, 1707 to the Present: The Modernisation of Scotland, 1850 to the Present - Vol. 2


A series of books published as teaching and learning materials for the Dundee/Open University Distance Learning Course in Modern Scottish History which contain the fruits of up-to-date research by Scotland's most distinguished historians. The volumes can be read and enjoyed singly, but as a whole the entire series provides the most detailed and accessible introduction available to Scottish history from the Union of the Parliaments to the present day. Volumes 1 and 2 contain 13 essays each covering all aspects of political, economic, social, religious and cultural life from 1707 to the present day. Volumes 3 and 4 contain 24 and 22 articles respectively published over a wide period dealing with more specialist topics which enable the reader to gain a knowledge of the era in question. Volume 5 consists of 145 annotated documents spanning the period which provide valuable insights into key events and contemporary attitudes.


This volume and the series of which it is part have as their central purpose the study of the history of Scotland from 1707 until the present. The series seeks to combine the products of more recent research and general findings by some of the most prominent scholars working in the subject with the enthusiasm of those who wish to study it either in a systematic way or simply by reading one or more of these volumes at leisure.

Now is a particularly appropriate moment to bring this scholarship and the wider audience together. There is enormous latent enthusiasm for Scottish history, particularly, but not exclusively, of the modern period. This springs from a variety of sources: the new political agenda in Scotland following the 1997 Referendum; the higher profile of Scottish history in school, college and university curricula; the enhanced interest in local and family history; the success of museums and heritage ventures devoted to the more recent past; and the continuous flow of books on so many aspects of Scottish history. However, explicitly academic publications, with a few honourable exceptions, have been little read by any but specialists, so new findings have frequently had little impact on general perceptions of Scotland’s more recent past.

There are two main aims encapsulated in these volumes, which are overlapping and complementary. The first is to present an overview of recent scholarly work, drawing on the approaches and findings of political, economic, social, environmental and cultural historians. This should be illuminating not only for those seeking an up-to-date review of such work, but also for anyone interested in the functioning of Scotland today - the essential historical background of present-day issues and concerns. The second, equally important, aim is to help readers develop their own historical skills, using the volumes as a tool-kit containing a wide range of primary sources and more detailed readings on specific topics. This and the other volumes in the series differ from most conventional academic publications, in that the focus is on doing history, rather than just absorbing the facts. The volumes are full of ideas on sources and methods that can be followed up by the interested reader.

Given the vast scope of the subject, we have had to put some limits on the coverage. The timescale is the early eighteenth century to the late twentieth century, a period for which sources not only abound but can also be readily understood and critically assessed. There is no attempt to give a detailed historical narrative of the period from the Union of 1707, which can readily be found elsewhere. Rather we present a blend of topics and themes, selected with a view to . . .

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