Impaled upon a Thistle: Scotland since 1880

Impaled upon a Thistle: Scotland since 1880

Impaled upon a Thistle: Scotland since 1880

Impaled upon a Thistle: Scotland since 1880

Synopsis

Ewen Cameron explores the political debate between unionism, liberalism, socialism and nationalism, and the changing political relationship between Scotland and the United Kingdom. He sets Scottish experience alongside the Irish, Welsh and European, and considers British dimensions of historical change - involvement in two world wars, imperial growth and decline, for example - from a Scottish perspective. He relates political events to trends and movements in the economy, culture and society of the nation's regions - borders, lowlands, highlands, and islands. Underlying the history, and sometimes impelling its ambitions, are the evolution and growth of national self-confidence and identity which fundamentally affected Scotland's destiny in the last century. Dr Cameron ends by considering how such forces may transform it in this one. Like the period it describes this book has politics at its heart. The recent upsurge of scholarship and publication, backed by the author's extensive primary research, underpin its vivid and well-paced narrative.

Excerpt

The purpose of the New Edinburgh History of Scotland is to provide up-to-date and accessible narrative accounts of the Scottish past. Its authors will make full use of the explosion of scholarly research that has taken place over the last three decades, and do so in a way that is sensitive to Scotland’s regional diversity as well as to the British, European and transoceanic worlds of which Scotland has always been an integral part.

Chronology is fundamental to understanding change over time and Scotland’s political development will provide the backbone of the narrative and the focus of analysis and explanation. The New Edinburgh History will tell the story of Scotland as a political entity, but will be sensitive to broader social, cultural and religious change and informed by a richly textured understanding of the totality and diversity of the Scots’ historical experience. Yet to talk of the Scots – or the Scottish nation – is often misleading. Local loyalty and regional diversity have more frequently characterised Scotland than any perceived sense of ‘national’ solidarity. Scottish identity has seldom been focused primarily, let alone exclusively, on the ‘nation’. The modern discourse of nationhood offers what is often an inadequate and inappropriate vocabulary in which to couch Scotland’s history. The authors in this series will show that there are other and more revealing ways of capturing the distinctiveness of Scottish experience.

For the period from 1880 to the present such a brief poses uniquely difficult challenges. For a start, while the vocabulary of nationalism may no longer be anachronistic, it must still be used with caution in relation to a Scotland where the vast majority of the population has shown little interest in separatism and the creation of an independent nation state, but has preferred instead to articulate Scottish distinctiveness within the context of a united if not necessarily unitary British state. Secondly . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.