Ourselves and Others: Scotland 1832-1914

Ourselves and Others: Scotland 1832-1914

Ourselves and Others: Scotland 1832-1914

Ourselves and Others: Scotland 1832-1914

Synopsis

This revised and updated volume in the New History of Scotland series is a blended history of the Scots in a period of major transformation during the industrial era from 1832 to 1914. Examining Scottish society through the lens of development as part of that new identity, Graeme Morton examines the changing nature of society within Scotland and the relentless eddy of historical developments from home and away. Where previous histories of this period have focused on industry, this book will take a closer look at the people that helped to innovate and forge Scottish national identity through technology and opportunity. Identity was a key element in explaining Industrial Scotland and cultural and technological innovations were melded in this foundry of a confident and self-determined nation.

Key Features

  • Completely updated and revised with new research
  • Charts the birth of the modern Scottish identity in the Victorian and Edwardian eras
  • A social history that discusses sport, leisure, consumption, and material culture of childhood

Excerpt

If there is an overused descriptor bestowed upon contemporary experiences, it was the ‘singularity’ of that society. As a metaphor for the age, it smacks of amazement, incredulity and historical inimitability. Historians are wont to impress the uniqueness of their period upon their readers, and to avoid disappointment such claims are made here. the span 1832 to 1914 is when the technology of modernity came firmly into view: the electric telegraph, the motorised omnibus and the sailing ship that no longer depended on nature to propel its passengers and cargo. Above all, the steam railway shrank the temporal distances criss-crossing the Scottish mainland as it did the connection to England and, through the country’s ports, passage to the wider world. Not that the Scottish people had ever been hermitic, but this was an age marked by the movement of people and the flow of information - both in and out of the nation.

The steam-powered rotary press brought down the cost of printing, increased the speed of publishers’ output and better helped the Scots to read about themselves and learn about others from any number of standpoints. Prior to 1830, 131 newspapers had been registered in Scotland. Over the next two decades, 169 new newspapers were established and more than 100 more were added each decade throughout the century. the unstamped press flourished around the time of franchise reform in 1832, with fifty-four of these publications in Glasgow alone. With a partial reduction in the cost of the stamp tax in 1840 and removal of that tax in 1855 the advent of daily news had . . .

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