Cover image for The Scottish nation : a history, 1700-2000
The Scottish nation : a history, 1700-2000
Devine, T. M. (Thomas Martin)
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxiii, 695 pages : maps ; 24 cm
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DA760 .D48 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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"Devine's scholarship is state of the art....If you are after answers to the big questions of Scottish history, Devine is your man."-Naill Ferguson. "A graceful synthesis of economic, social, and political history that gives readers a wonderfully rich portrait of Scotland."-Publishers Weekly.

Author Notes

T. M. Devine is University Research Professor and Director of the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Nearly 300 years after the Scottish parliament voted itself out of existence in 1707 as the ruling classes in Edinburgh and London forged a marriage of convenience, history has come full circle: in July 2000, the first Scottish parliament in nearly 300 years will convene amid a growing movement for partial autonomy or even independence from England. Devine (The Great Highland Famine), director of research at the Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen, charts Scots' ambivalent relationship to Britain, from 1700 through the Victorian era, when Scottish pride rested on identification with union and empire, to disillusionment with England during the Thatcher years and the new service-based economy of the 1990s. Since the mid-19th century, Scotland has been one of the world's most urbanized societies, with the vast majority of its people living in the industrialized Lowlands, not in the Highlands romanticized by Robert Burns and others. To Devine, a central paradox is why Scotland, one of the most prosperous industrial and agricultural success stories after 1860, lost millions of people through emigration. The answer, he believes, is to be found in gross inequality of income and the overcrowding, squalor and epidemics to which the unlucky many were exposed. His survey explores how Scottish national identity has continually refashioned itself, from the 18th-century Enlightenment, which spawned Adam Smith and David Hume, to the adaptive creativity exemplified by poet Hugh MacDiarmid, architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and even rock bands like the Proclaimers. The pace sometimes bogs down under the weight of statistics, but for its size and ambition, this is a graceful synthesis of economic, social and political history that gives readers a wonderfully rich portrait of Scotland. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In this insightful work, Dunn (history of ideas, Williams Coll.) quickly puts to rest the mistaken notion that all political revolutions are the same. She notes that while the American and French revolutions were "sister" revolutions, there were some distinct differences, most importantly in visions employed and policies pursued. Dunn explores the dramatic differences between these two ideological episodes of the modern political world, illustrating the limits and excesses of revolutionary political thought and behavior. Central to her work is the thesis that the American revolutionaries were more properly guided by skepticism concerning the perils of putting too much faith in reason; they believed, she argues, that experience and a healthy dose of historical understanding and appreciation were critical. Highly recommended for all public libraries.ÄStephen Kent Shaw, Northwest Nazarene Coll., Nampa, ID (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter One Scotland in Great Britain On 5 February 1705 the House of Commons in London passed legislation which would help to shape the entire future history of the United Kingdom. The Alien Act recommended to Queen Anne that commissioners be appointed to negotiate for Union between England and Scotland and, if the Scots did not comply and if discussions were not advanced by Christmas Day 1705, severe penalties would be imposed. All Scots, except those living in England, would be treated as aliens and the major Scottish exports to England of coal, linen and cattle would be suspended. This was a naked piece of economic blackmail, designed to bring the Scottish parliament swiftly to the negotiating table; north of the border the first response was one of outrage. In the event, the obnoxious clauses of the Alien Act were eventually repealed by the new Whig government at Westminster in November 1705 and this took some of the heat out of a growing crisis between the two nations. But the message of the Alien Act was clear. The historic English opposition to closer union with Scotland had been abandoned. Instead, many influential politicians and the monarch herself, Queen Anne, now regarded a parliamentary union with the Scots as essential for the future stability of the revolutionary settlement of 1688 and the security of the two kingdoms. Throughout the seventeenth century various schemes of union had been proposed but had foundered, mainly on the rock of English indifference or antagonism. James VI and I tried to bring the two countries closer after the Union of the Crowns in 1603, and further attempts were made in 1667, 1670 and 1690. As recently as 1702-3 joint discussions on union had come to nothing. A fundamental sticking point was always that London saw no reason to concede to the Scots freedom of trade with her colonies in America. As Sir Edward Seymour, the Tory Leader in the Commons, proclaimed in 1700, Scotland was a beggar and `... whoever married a beggar could only expect a louse for her portion'.     A first step therefore in trying to understand the making of the Union of 1707 is to explain why Westminster's political attitudes to the prospect of a closer political relationship with the Scots radically altered in the early eighteenth century. Equally, however, the Scottish position, and in particular that of the parliament in Edinburgh, deserves careful examination. There was nothing inevitable about a parliamentary union between the two nations. Difficulties were certainly emerging in the Union of the Crowns in the later seventeenth century, but there was scope for addressing these by amendment and adjustment rather than by more radical constitutional change. It is also striking how many Scottish politicians who favoured union in 1705-6 feared that it could not be delivered through the Edinburgh parliament. They were conscious of the deep animosity towards union passionately articulated by the national Presbyterian church, which was alarmed at the intolerable prospect of Anglican domination. John Clerk of Penicuik, one of the treaty negotiators who strongly favoured union, was later to write that he observed `a great backwardness in the Parliament of Scotland for a union with England of any kind whatsoever' and felt that the efforts of himself and his fellow commissioners might come to nought. 1 The Revolution of 1688 transformed the structure of Scottish parliamentary politics. William and Mary came to the throne of Scotland after the expulsion of the Stuart king, James VII and II, not through divine or hereditary right but by the decision and invitation of the Scottish Convention of Estates. At a stroke the balance of power between executive and legislature was altered. The Scottish parliament soon flexed its muscles in other directions. In 1690, in a crucial decision, the Lords of the Articles, the key parliamentary committee for drafting and initiating legislation, normally firmly under executive control, was abolished. In the same year the estate of bishops was removed. These two developments substantially increased parliamentary authority while at the same time reducing royal influence. The scenario for conflict now existed between the king's ministers, whom William still had the right to appoint, and a much stronger Scottish legislature. The Articles had been replaced by a number of ad hoc committees which were not as easily influenced by the executive and, as a result, for the next several years the government of Scotland became increasingly volatile. After 1695 the king's main strategy was to try to build a stable ministry around such powerful noblemen as Queensberry, Argyll, Atholl and Hamilton. The theory was that only these mighty aristocrats could deliver a pro-government majority in parliament through their personal followings and networks of clientage. This, together with an effective system of `management', the promise of offices, pensions, fees and jobs in return for toeing the line, would ensure secure government. The hope proved illusory. The magnates were divided by bitter personal rivalries and by the craving for the spoils of office which were necessary not only for their own personal advantage but, equally crucially, to ensure the loyalty of their own supporters and dependants. Collaboration among these grandees for any length of time was impossible, and yet at the same time no single great man could dominate parliament single-handedly. To deliver power to one dynastic grouping was to risk alienating others, who would then promote a destructive opposition in parliament itself. Not surprisingly, business was often in a state of paralysis for long periods and it was increasingly difficult to extract agreement on financial supply to carry on the administration of the country.     This volatile situation was aggravated by increasing friction between England and Scotland. Between 1689 and 1697 William's wars with France were having serious effects on Scottish commerce while the Royal Navy was implementing the Navigation Laws with full rigour against illicit Scottish trade with England's American colonies. Conflict in the economic sphere was intensified by the collapse of the Company of Scotland's ill-fated expedition to Darien in central America. This enterprise was launched in a mood of great national optimism in 1695, but by March 1700 the attempt to found a Scottish colony on the Isthmus of Panama to trade with the Pacific and Atlantic simultaneously had ended in total disaster. The reasons for the catastrophe were many, ranging from poor planning to the lethal effects of tropical disease on the first settlers. But the blame was also laid squarely at England's door. English investment had been withdrawn from the original undertaking as a result of mercantile and political pressure from London, while the possibility of bringing relief to the Scottish settlement in 1699 had come to naught, in large part because the London government, conscious of the vital diplomatic need to maintain Spanish support against France, refused to send provisions or succour. The Darien failure had a serious economic impact because of the enormous national investment that had gone into it, but the political fall-out was just as significant. The disaster directly hit the pockets of the noblemen, lairds and merchants represented in the Scottish parliament precisely at the time when many landowners were already suffering from a collapse of rental income as a result of calamitous harvest failures in the 1690s. Simmering discontent gave way to strident criticism that Scotland's miseries were all rooted in the Regal Union of 1603. This alienation crystallized in the truculent opposition, shown during the parliamentary sessions of 1698 and 1700, which was so alarming that only the lavish use of patronage allowed the Scottish ministry to survive.     Long before the end of his reign, therefore, William had concluded that Scotland could not be governed within the existing context of the Union of the Crowns and that a union of the Edinburgh and Westminster parliaments was vital to national stability and security. The king was obsessed with winning the great war against the France of Louis XIV, and political volatility in Scotland threatened this strategy. This was not only because Scotland was an important source of recruits for his armies but also because support for the exiled House of Stuart was being encouraged by French money and promises of military aid. Nevertheless, while the union project had great appeal for the king personally, it still did not attract much support in Westminster. This attitude was to change radically after the session of the Scots parliament which met in 1703 in the reign of William's successor, Queen Anne.     This parliament now seemed virtually outside the control of the Duke of Queensberry, the Queen's Commissioner, and his ministers and supporters. The resentment which had been building up in earlier sessions boiled over with a vengeance. First, the parliament refused to vote the financial supply which was badly needed to maintain the civil government of the land. Second, an Act of Security, passed in open defiance of Queensberry and the Court or governing party, stated that the Scots parliament had the right to decide on Queen Anne's successor and that England and Scotland could not have the same sovereign in the future unless the London parliament granted the Scots `free communication of trade ... and the liberty of the plantations'. In addition, the Union of the Crowns would be preserved only if in the current parliamentary session `there be such conditions of government settled and enacted as may secure ... the freedom, frequency, and the power of Parliament, and the religion, liberty and trade of the nation from English or any foreign influence'. This read like a manifesto for independence and was intended to be deliberately provocative. Not surprisingly, the queen initially refused to give her assent, although she conceded it, reluctantly, in the following year. The ministry was then forced to accept the equally contentious Act anent (concerning) Peace and War, which gave the Scots parliament the right to declare war and make peace if the two nations continued to share a sovereign after Anne's death. In the vain attempt to extract financial supply in return for these concessions, the ministry allowed this to pass, despite the fact that its whole emphasis suggested a separate and autonomous Scottish foreign policy. A third measure, the Wine Act, formally permitted trade with France during the war. The primary motive for this came from the governing party, which was keen to raise more revenue by boosting trade, but on the surface it also seemed driven by economic nationalism. Certainly the Wool Act, passed during the session the following year, was regarded as openly hostile by England by allowing the export and prohibiting the import of wool. As such it was viewed as an openly aggressive act against English trade.     The Scottish legislation of 1703 was the catalyst for Parliamentary Union because it convinced Westminster opinion that Scotland could no longer be governed effectively within the Regal Union at a time when the entire revolutionary settlement of 1688-9 had become uncertain because of Anne's failure to produce a living heir. The London parliament had attempted to deal with this vexed issue of succession swiftly by settling the crown on the German House of Hanover. But the Scots had failed to follow suit and so were in danger of placing the Protestant succession in grave jeopardy. Moreover, the belligerence of the Edinburgh parliament had come at the worst possible time. England and her allies were locked in armed combat with the might of the French state for dominance of western Europe. The War of the Spanish Succession was resumed in 1702. It was a critical stage and the outcome was far from certain. It was not until August 1704 that the Duke of Marlborough laid to rest the legend of French invincibility with his crushing victory at Blenheim. In the mean time, Louis XIV openly encouraged Scottish Jacobites, followers of the exiled House of Stuart, by recognizing the young son of the dying James VII and II as the true heir to the thrones of England and Scotland. By doing so he linked the issue of the English and Scottish successions directly to that of the European war. The Jacobites in Scotland had done well in the elections to the parliament of 1703 and had seen their strength in the country grow because of the unpopularity of the government. They were also being sustained by the interest shown by Louis and some of his ministers in an invasion of Scotland which would put even more pressure on the London regime. The continuing instability of the Scottish parliament therefore seemed only to be giving comfort to the mortal enemies of the state both at home and abroad. The source of the problem had to be tackled and quickly. It was certainly the threat of the French war which finally moved Godolphin, Queen Anne's Lord High Treasurer and Chief Minister, and Marlborough, her Captain-General, to opt for the union solution to the Scottish problem. Marlborough was concerned because so many of the crack troops for his armies were recruited from Scotland. Since the need to safeguard English national security was therefore paramount, only an `incorporating union', which would both dissolve the Edinburgh parliament and create a new United Kingdom legislature, was ever acceptable to English negotiators. A federal solution, which might have perpetuated weak government, was never on offer.     Events now moved quickly. A joint Anglo-Scottish parliamentary commission met in the spring of 1706 and worked out a comprehensive draft Treaty of Union with 25 articles to be presented to the two parliaments. At the heart of the proposal was the cardinal principle of incorporation, which was absolutely indispensable from the English perspective. Most of the Scots commissioners were hand-picked followers of the Dukes of Queensberry and Argyll, both pre-eminent in the Scottish government and likely supporters of incorporated union. When this central component of the treaty leaked out, however, there was widespread anger and opposition. It would appear that some sort of improved accommodation with England and an improvement to the Regal Union may have appealed but not `an entire union'. Initially, the proposed treaty alienated whole sections of Scottish opinion. The Kirk was very alarmed because it feared that, by closer association with England, bishops would once again be imposed on the church. The General Assembly and the presbyteries denounced the proposed union and the Kirk became the most formidable opponent of the project. The treaty was also anathema to the Jacobites, who rightly saw it as a grave threat to the restoration of the Stuarts. One enthusiastic advocate for union, the Earl of Roxburgh, argued that it was the most practical way to kill off Jacobitism once and for all, since after the union English armies would be able to move freely into Scotland and suppress any future Stuart insurrection. Anti-English feelings had reached a brutal climax in the spring of 1705, when Captain Green and two of his crew of the English ship Worcester were executed in Edinburgh after being found guilty on a trumped-up charge of piracy against a ship of the Darien Company. It was an act of judicial murder, aided and abetted by the Edinburgh mob. Rampant anglophobia continued into 1706 and, as the French spy, Nathaniel Hooke, reported to his masters, was likely to become even stronger as more details of the secret treaty negotiations leaked out in the months ahead.     Indeed, when the Scottish parliament met in October 1706 at the start of the historic session to debate the draft articles of union, it is plain that opposition had not subsided. Not all burghs and counties sent in petitions, but those that did were virtually all vehemently anti-union in content. Argyll dismissed these as mere paper kites, but it was significant that they were not balanced by any pro-union addresses. Presbyterian ministers remained loud in their denunciations, vigorously condemning the proposed union as a profane threat to the Scottish Protestant tradition. From the unionist perspective, Clerk of Penicuik lamented the yawning gap which he perceived between the parliament and the people on the issue. He estimated that `not even one per cent approved of what the former was doing'. The Kirk was by far the main influence on the opinion of ordinary people, and the continual preaching against union was believed in government circles to be a threat to public order. In Edinburgh, the Duke of Hamilton, the recognized leader of the parliamentary opposition against union, was cheered to the echo by the crowds who then attacked the house of Sir Patrick Johnstone, a strong union supporter. The Duke of Queensberry, the Queen's Commissioner, needed a military escort to Parliament House. From that point on, anti-union demonstrations were common in the capital. In November, rioting spread to the south-west, that stronghold of strict Calvinism and covenanting tradition. The Glasgow mob rose against unionist sympathizers in disturbances which lasted intermittently for over a month, while in the burgh of Dumfries the proposed Articles of Union were ritually burnt before an angry gathering of several thousand townspeople.     It was also rumoured that plans were being laid for an armed uprising. This was to be led by the Cameronians, the militant Presbyterians from the western shires, in an unlikely alliance with the Jacobite highlanders of the Duke of Atholl in Perthshire. Some believed that a force of some 8,000 men could be mustered, which would be enough to break up the parliamentary session and defeat any government army that took the field against it. In the event, this great host never materialized. Nevertheless, the potential for armed opposition was clearly there, as is shown by recent research on the Jacobite conspiracy and threatened invasion in 1708 which was fuelled by strong anti-union feelings and was much better-supported than was once thought. The elaborate military precautions taken by government also shows its anxiety about the threat of insurrection. While the Edinburgh mob was taking to the streets, Queensberry ensured that the Scots standing army, 1,500 men in all, was camped near the capital, and troops were also quartered in the city itself. But the Privy Council feared that the Scottish forces at its disposal would not be enough if matters got out of hand. In late October, therefore, Godolphin assured the Scottish commander-in-chief, the Earl of Leven, that a powerful force would be ordered to the border to be in readiness in case the `ferment' should continue to give `any further disturbance' to the `publick peace'. By December these infantry soldiers had been reinforced with 800 cavalry and were available for action on orders from the government in Edinburgh. More ominously, troops were also sent to the north of Ireland from where that major bastion of anti-union sentiment, the south-west counties of Scotland, could more easily be intimidated and, if necessary, attacked. In the event, an English invasion in support of the Edinburgh government proved unnecessary. But these very public preparations may also have fuelled popular fears that a vote against the union by parliament might well have caused Westminster to impose a military solution instead. 2 In 1706 the articles of the union treaty could not be easily guaranteed successful passage through the Scottish parliament. It was a single-chamber assembly, with a total of 147 members representing the nobility, the barons (or county members) and the burgesses of the towns, divided into a number of groupings, that were not organized and structured parties in the modern sense but looser alliances of political and personal interests. The largest was the Court Party, which, as its name suggested, was the party of government, helped to carry out the policies of London and controlled patronage which had been essential to the management of parliament since the abolition of the Lords of the Articles. It was the Court Party, under the Queen's Commissioner, the Duke of Queensberry, which had the responsibility for ensuring that the Treaty of Union was accepted by parliament. The mere fact of holding office and patronage gave the Court Party a cohesion and stability which the Country Party, the main opposition, manifestly lacked. Essentially this was an uneasy confederation of different and sometimes conflicting interests, many of which had little in common except opposition to the ministry of the day. So volatile was the party that the Jacobites would sometimes see themselves allied to it and at other times functioning quite separately as the `Cavaliers'. The potential of the Country Party to be an effective opposition in the crucial session of 1706 was also significantly weakened by the ambiguous leadership of the Duke of Hamilton, whose contradictory behaviour in 1706-7 will be explored in more detail later. Finally, the `New Party', soon to be known by the exotic name of `Squadrone Volante', had emerged out of the Country Party in 1704. As events were to prove, this group of around two dozen members was to have a key role in the outcome of the union vote.     The union solution was a political response to a crisis of government, and there was no certainty that the queen's Scottish ministers could deliver in 1706-7 what they had signally failed to achieve in previous turbulent parliamentary sessions. The legislation of 1703 seemed to suggest that the Scots were bent on loosening the bonds of the Union of the Crowns rather than on closer association with England, and this appeared to be borne out by the anger which had built up around the country in the autumn and winter of 1706 as the parliament started its deliberations. There was indeed a lot at stake. The idea of incorporating union went much further than earlier ideas, and there were those who broadly approved of a closer relationship with England but firmly rejected incorporation because it meant the end of a Scottish parliament and the final transfer of legislative authority to Westminster. To some, the offer in the draft treaty of 45 Scots MPs and 16 elected peers in the proposed new parliament for the United Kingdom seemed meagre in the extreme, since it was based on the presumed taxable capacity of Scotland within the new constitutional context and not on her share of population. Yet, despite these potential obstacles and vociferous opposition both within and outside parliament, the Act of Union was finally carried. In a historic decision on 16 January 1707, parliament voted itself out of existence by ratifying the Act of Union by 110 votes to 67, a clear majority of 43. Apparently against all the odds, Queensberry and the Court Party had triumphed.     Basic to their successful strategy was the elimination of the threat posed by the Kirk, whose ministers had played such an important role in articulating anti-union feeling. By an Act of Security of the Church of Scotland of November 1706 the historic rights of the church and the Presbyterian system of government were guaranteed as a basic condition of union, and later accepted as an integral part of the treaty itself. Religious anxieties did not disappear, but the Court Party had effectively drawn the teeth of the opposition of the Kirk and in particular had placated the Commission of the General Assembly, the highest church court in the land. It was a master stroke which severely weakened one of the key elements in the anti-union campaign. One pro-union sympathizer noted: in the churches, by and large, the trumpets of sedition began to fall silent. Ministers who had formerly meddled over-zealously in politics now learned to leave the direction of government to parliament. This greatly upset the Hamiltonians who saw themselves abandoned by those they most relied on to stir up anti-union sentiment.     Several of the articles of the treaty itself also played to the Court party's advantage. The English commissioners who helped to draft the treaty with Scottish representatives were mainly concerned with the vital issues of security and incorporating union. To help ensure that these essentials were agreed in the Edinburgh parliament, they were willing to concede ground elsewhere. In fact several of the clauses of the treaty were devoted to safeguarding the vested interests of those social groups who mattered in Scotland. Integration was confined to parliament, fiscal matters and public law. As well as the rights of the Kirk, the privileges of the royal burghs and their merchant élites were guaranteed. Scottish private law was protected and the heritable jurisdictions (or private courts) of the landed class maintained. The Scottish nobility were a particular target, since only 16 Scottish peers were to sit in the House of Lords. However, the majority who could not aspire to this eminence could draw comfort from being offered in the treaty the privileges enjoyed by their English counterparts. These included exemption from civil actions for debt -- a not inconsiderable advantage, given the endemic financial embarrassment among the Scottish aristocracy at this time. Even more significantly, the Scots were granted free trade with England and her colonies, a concession for which they had craved for some years but which the English had always been stubbornly unwilling to concede.     How telling this inducement was in the final voting patterns is difficult to say and has been the subject of vigorous controversy among scholars. However, Article IV of the treaty, which allowed for `Freedom and Intercourse of Trade and Navigation', attracted the largest single majority with only 19 votes against. This was not surprising, given the history of resentment against the English Navigation Laws and the fact that so many of the Scottish nobility were deeply involved in the cattle, linen and coal trade to England. On the other hand, most of the burghs, including Glasgow (later to become one of the great European transatlantic entrepôts), voted against, possibly because they feared the threat of English competition in the proposed common market. Perhaps even more crucial in carrying the treaty as a whole was Article XV, which dealt with the `Equivalent'. This was an attractive inducement to the Squadrone Volante, the small party whose support the Court Party had to retain in order to achieve ultimate success, so finely balanced was the overall position in parliament. A sum of £398,000 (almost £26 million in today's values) was allowed to compensate the Scots for their estimated share after the union in repaying England's large national debt, which had been swollen by wartime expenditure. But some of this was also to be used to compensate the investors in the ill-fated Darien Company. Among the most significant of these were members of the Squadrone. When the first important vote in consideration of the Articles of Union was taken, it cast all its 25 votes in favour of the government. It was a spectacular volte-face because in 1704 and 1705 the Squadrone had not shown any commitment to union. Whether the lure of the Equivalent monies was a decisive factor in this swift and comprehensive change of mind cannot of course be determined absolutely!     If the Squadrone was important to the achievement of a pro-union majority, the Court Party itself was the fundamental basis of final victory. Computer-based analysis of the voting patterns in the last Scottish parliament has demonstrated its overall influence. The Court members, with the Squadrone, were the consistent supporters of the treaty through all of its 25 Articles, although this final outcome could not necessarily be foreseen at the start of the session. Moreover, the times were uncertain and the cohesion of the Court unpredictable. For this reason, political management, which had been employed with varying degrees of success since the later seventeenth century, was now deployed on an unprecedented scale. The promise of favours, sinecures, pension, offices and straightforward cash bribes became indispensable to ensure successive government majorities. Supporters had to be rewarded if disaffection was to be avoided, especially in such a miscellaneous group as the Court, which was made up of the disparate followings of several great noblemen each with his own personal agenda. Management which had abysmally failed in previous parliaments was now to achieve resounding success. The influential Duke of Argyll agreed to return from the armies in Flanders in order to support the Court in the decisive session. His personal rewards included promotion to the rank of major-general and an English peerage. £20,000 sterling (the equivalent of £240,000 Scots, and £1.3 million in today's values) was secretly dispatched north from the English treasury. Whether it was disbursed to pay office-holders whose salaries were overdue or as straight money bribes, as some have suspected, is in a sense immaterial. Payment of arrears to selected individuals was just as much part and parcel of effective management as handing over direct cash inducements. Once again, the Squadrone benefited handsomely from the distribution. Modern research has also identified as beneficiaries former members of the opposition, such as William Seton of Pitmedden, Sir Kenneth Mackenzie and the Earl of Glencairn, whose rewards seem to have encouraged a more favourable opinion of union. But not all parliamentarians were as susceptible. The voting record of at least 13 members shows that they supported the union without either cash inducement or promise of office. But the loyalty of the Court Party as a whole could not be taken for granted because there were allegations that some were unenthusiastic for incorporating union. Support had therefore to be shored up by lavish patronage. In this parliament there was to be no repeat of the débâcle of 1703.     The formidable political management machine presided over by Queensberry and his acolytes contrasted with the disarray of the parliamentary opposition which signally failed to capitalize on the national resentment to union which, if effectively led, could well have been a potent threat to the government. The anti-union forces suffered from three main weaknesses. First, the Country Party and the Cavaliers could always be relied upon to act together to make political mischief and embarrass the Court; but at a more fundamental level they were irreconcilable. The Cavaliers or Jacobites wanted the return of the Catholic Stuart Pretender, but this was anathema to the Presbyterian nobility who led the Country Party. Second, the leadership of the Duke of Hamilton was weak and indecisive at key moments which might have been exploited to advantage. So ambiguous was his position that some speculated as to which side he was actually on. The opposition tactic -- of formally withdrawing from parliament in January 1707 and in effect boycotting proceedings so as to give a clear signal about the sheer extent of opposition to the treaty -- came to nothing because of Hamilton. He failed to turn up in the first instance, complaining of being seized of the toothache, and, when he eventually appeared, he declined to lead the proposed mass withdrawal. The man who had been lionized by the Edinburgh crowds as the only hope for Scottish independence had again let his followers down. He had done it before, in September 1705, when parliament was deciding whether the Commissioners to treat for union should be appointed by the queen or parliament. Hamilton amazingly suggested that they ought to be the queen's nominees, thus ensuring a pro-unionist majority on the Commission. He was also later blamed for calling off the rising of Cameronians from the south-west and the Highlands in November 1706. Hamilton's behaviour demoralized the forces of opposition both in and outside parliament. Some have explained his hesitations as being the result of his personal position. Not only was he heavily in debt, he had in addition acquired through marriage large estates in Lancashire which he stood to lose if union did not succeed. His personal circumstances meant that he was also vulnerable to favours from government. James Johnstone, Lord Clerk Register and one of the Scottish officers of state, alleged that Hamilton was actively seeking assistance from London ministers with his debts in the winter of 1705.     The third reason for the weakness of the anti-union forces stemmed from the fact that their only real hope lay in an alliance between the parliamentary opposition and the disaffected population in the country, given the numerical strength of the Court and its ally, the Squadrone. But whether the leadership of the Country Party had any real stomach for a popular uprising must be doubted, especially since the Kirk was no longer actively or publicly opposed to the treaty. A civil war could have given comfort only to the Jacobites and would have threatened the restoration of the Stuarts through an invasion from France. The 1688-9 Revolution (which the Country leaders strongly supported to a man) and the Protestant succession could have been imperilled. Furthermore, there were grounds for believing that England might impose a military solution in order to safeguard her northern borders if the union project failed. Godolphin made veiled threats to this effect and, as has been seen, troops had been stationed in the north of England and reinforcements also sent to northern Ireland. There was no way of knowing whether these large-scale military preparations were simply sabre-rattling or had a more serious intent. They did, however, help to concentrate the minds of the opposition as they debated the Articles of Union in the last months of 1706. It was abundantly clear that they were playing for high stakes.     The Anglo-Scottish Union became law on May Day 1707. England wanted it for reasons of national security, at a time when she was fighting a major war in Europe. In Scotland there seems to have been overwhelming popular opposition to the loss of the parliament and angry hostility to the whole idea of an `incorporating' union. Despite this, the treaty was passed by a clear majority. The powerful opposition of the Church of Scotland was weakened when the rights and privileges of the Kirk were solemnly guaranteed in the event of full union. A much improved system of management ensured the stability of the Court Party, and the treaty itself contained several clauses that were designed to appease key vested interests in Scotland. Freedom of trade was granted and the Equivalent helped to maintain the crucial support of the Squadrone. These were the carrots, but there were also some sticks. The danger of civil war if union failed was feared by some, and there were rumours that Westminster might use military means if the articles were rejected. In this situation the parliamentary opposition was fatally weakened by internal divisions and inept leadership and was in no position to exploit national disaffection. 3 The first article of the Treaty of Union proclaimed in sonorous language `THAT the Two Kingdoms of England and Scotland shall ... forever after be United into One Kingdom by the name of GREAT BRITAIN'. The reality was, however, that a long and rocky road had to be traversed after 1707 before the new relationship between the two countries was finally formalized, and at some points along this difficult route the very survival of the new union was sometimes in grave doubt. The treaty had been born out of a marriage of convenience between the governing classes in Edinburgh and London, and its successful passage through the Scottish parliament was a close-run thing, delivered in the teeth of a good deal of popular hostility outside the House. This was hardly the context for the stable and harmonious development of `Great Britain'.     Then again there was the continuing Jacobite threat, which was always more menacing in Scotland than in England, not least because the exiled House of Stuart could usually count on the military support of several of the strongest Highland clans. Jacobites were implacably opposed to the union since they viewed it -- correctly -- as a means of buttressing and perpetuating the Revolution of 1688-9 and so ensuring that the Stuarts would never again return to their rightful inheritance. Until Jacobitism was finally crushed (and this did not happen until after the '45), the union was always likely to be threatened to a greater or lesser extent. This was especially the case if France, with its enormous military and naval resources, chose to intervene on the Stuart side. Louis XIV and his ministers decided to play the Scottish card in 1708, in order to exploit the simmering discontent surrounding the union, and force some regiments from the Duke of Marlborough's victorious armies to be diverted from the campaign in Europe. In the event, the Jacobite expedition failed miserably through faulty navigation and bad weather; and the débâcle was completed when the French fleet missed its rendezvous with their Scottish allies on the Firth of Forth. The episode, however, tellingly illustrates the fragility of the post-union regime. John S. Gibson has convincingly shown the considerable numerical support for the rising in Scotland which, if the French had landed successfully, might have created a truly formidable force, much greater than the 1,500 troops available to the government at the time. Furthermore, James Stuart, the exiled `Old Pretender' (or claimant to the throne), in his `Declaration to the Scots Nation' had promised, inter alia , the restoration of the Scottish parliament in a deliberate attempt to attract the support of those disenchanted with the union settlement.     No one was more aware than Godolphin of the need to tread very carefully in this difficult situation. After 1707 he left untouched virtually everything in the Scottish administration, apart from establishing new Boards of Commissioners and Excise to try to secure improved revenues. The two existing Scottish secretaries, Loudon and Mar, were also retained. Godolphin's strategy seems to have been to do as little as possible and so keep the Scots quiet. On the whole he succeeded, apart from having to concede the abolition of the Scottish Privy Council, the chief executive organ of government in Scotland, in 1708. This had not been planned by Westminster but was the result of the machinations of the Squadrone, who were convinced that the Council was an instrument of the Court Party who used it to maximize their own electoral advantage. The end of the Privy Council was a key development because it gravely weakened the ability of government in Scotland to respond vigorously and decisively in crisis situations. The vacuum which it left at the centre of power could only give further comfort to the Jacobites. In response to the abortive Jacobite rising of 1708, the new United Kingdom parliament in 1709 extended the draconian English law of treason to Scotland against the concerted opposition of the Scottish members in the Commons. It was, however, imposed because the Scots had signally failed to punish the Jacobite plotters of 1708 in a suitably exemplary manner. Ironically, they had escaped retribution because the Privy Council was in the last days of its existence and was not interested in taking decisive action. But the issue of the treason legislation showed that Westminster would adopt an interventionist approach in Scotland when issues of national security were at stake, even if at other times it showed little interest in direct governance north of the border.     More provocative and serious were the inflammatory acts of the Tory government which replaced Godolphin and his Whig coalition at the elections of 1710. The High Church Tories seemed bent on a policy of cutting down the privileges of the Church of Scotland enshrined in the Treaty of Union. This was not so much hostility towards the Scots as such as a general campaign against Presbyterians in both England and Scotland by high Anglicans in the Tory Party. The initiative was enthusiastically supported by Scottish Tories, who were also noted for their Episcopalian loyalties. In 1711 James Greenshields, an Episcopalian minister, appealed to the House of Lords against his imprisonment by the magistrates of Edinburgh for defying the presbytery of the city and using the English liturgy. Recourse to the Lords was possible within the terms of the treaty of 1707, but the subsequent decision to allow the Anglican prayer book to be used for worship in an Episcopalian meeting house enraged the capital's Presbyterians. This was then followed in 1712 by two more provocative measures, the Toleration Act and the Patronage Act. The former granted freedom of worship to Scottish Episcopalians as long as they agreed to pray for the reigning monarch, while the latter re-established the primary right of patrons, who were usually local landowners, to appoint to vacant parishes and church offices. Patronage had been abolished as part of the Presbyterian revolution of 1690 because it conflicted with the rights of the community itself to decide on a candidate to fill a parish vacancy.     All this outraged the Kirk and seemed to undermine the Act of Security guaranteeing Presbyterian rights in the event of union, an enactment central to the acceptance of the treaty itself. But, in addition, the legislation of 1712 raised the issue of the nature of 1707 and the extent to which the treaty was an inviolate, fundamental law or subject to change at the whim of the sovereign legislature in Westminster. Perhaps of more direct impact, however, on the Scottish people was the new taxation regime within the union. A. L. Murray suggests that in the first few decades after 1707 there was a huge increase in customs and excise duties together with a significant extension in the range of commodities on which tax was paid. Partly, this was because the existing levels of taxation were simply not sufficient to cover the cost of Scottish civil government and administration, and London ministers were also soon appalled at the scale of smuggling and customs evasion. In addition, after the War of the Spanish Succession ended in 1713, the tax burden in Britain started to shift from the land tax to customs dues and excise payments on a whole range of commodities, including beer, salt, linen, soap and malt. These were all vital necessities of life for most people in Scotland. Salt, for instance, was the universal food preservative of the day and linen the most widely produced cloth. Equally, tax increases were likely to bite deeply because the Scottish economy was still in the doldrums in the first decade after union, and those pamphleteers who had optimistically predicted an economic miracle were now proven hopelessly wrong. Home salt, which had not been taxed before 1707, doubled in price when duties were imposed in 1713. That same year, the House of Commons voted to apply the malt tax to Scotland in direct defiance of the provisions of the treaty itself, a decision which would have significantly pushed up the price of ale, the most popular drink in Scotland at the time. The fury was such that the tax was never properly enforced.     To the Scots this was the climax of a whole stream of provocative actions which threatened to break the union. Scottish peers and members of the Commons came together in a series of meetings and agreed that the only solution was repeal of the treaty. What was remarkable was the unanimity of all parties on such a fundamental issue, a very rare occurrence indeed in the faction-ridden world of Scottish politics. The motion was put by the Earl of Findlater in the House of Lords in June 1713 and was only narrowly defeated by four proxy votes. The outcome demonstrated not only the disillusion of the Scottish nobility but also the fact that there was little enthusiasm in England for the union either. This alienation helped to feed the next great Jacobite rising, led by the Earl of Mar in 1715. Mar himself had been a crucial figure in helping the Court manage the votes for the treaty in 1706-7 and had then sat in the United Kingdom parliament. But he was out of favour with the new Hanoverian monarch, George I, and changed sides to the Stuarts, thus living up to his nickname, `Bobbing John'. In 1715 Mar was able to assemble an army of 10,000 men, which was more than double the force that the government levies under the Duke of Argyll were able to muster. After the collapse of the '15, the Earl of Stair, an ultra-loyal Whig and British ambassador to France, noted that there was a real danger of another rebellion unless the ruinous consequences of the union were addressed. This was an admission by a high-ranking friend of the Court that the survival of the union was not yet assured.     However, Stair's hopes for an improvement in Anglo-Scottish relationships were premature since there was a fundamental cause of friction which would not easily or quickly disappear. The view from Westminster was that the Scots were not paying their way through taxation because of the enormous scale of smuggling and systematic revenue fraud said to be endemic in Scottish society. London merchants, for instance, were infuriated by the level of evasion in the Glasgow tobacco trade, and modern research has confirmed that between 1707 and 1722 the Scots paid duty on only half their imports from Virginia and Maryland. Fraudulent practices existed on a similar scale in other trades. On the other hand, Scotland had been accustomed to low taxes and relaxed methods of gathering revenue before the union, so that the new impositions after 1707 were bitterly resented both on economic grounds and because they were seen as an attempt by London to force Scotland to contribute to the English National Debt, which had swollen hugely to finance the Spanish Succession War. Popular retribution both against revenue increases and against more rigorous methods of collection was exacted through violence against the hated customs officers. The records of the Board of Customs are full of references to recurrent local disturbances which often resulted in mob assaults on servants of the Board and attempts to break into customs warehouses. At the customs precincts of Ayr, Dumfries and Greenock the position was so hazardous in some years that customs men dared not attempt to carry out their duties without armed protection, and a stream of reports came from all over the country of officers stoned, threatened or taken prisoner and goods seized from ships and warehouses. (Continues...) Copyright © 1999 T. M. Devine. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgementsp. xi
Mapsp. xiii
Forewordp. xix
Part 1 1700-1760
1 Scotland in Great Britainp. 3
2 The Jacobite Challengep. 31
3 The Union and the Economyp. 49
4 Roots of Enlightenmentp. 64
5 The Parish Statep. 84
Part 2 1760-1830
6 Scotland Transformedp. 105
7 The Rural Lowlands: the Old World and the Newp. 124
8 Urbanizationp. 152
9 The Disintegration of Clanshipp. 170
10 The Old Regime and Radical Protestp. 196
11 Highlandism and Scottish Identityp. 231
Part 3 1830-1939
12 The World's Workshopp. 249
13 Politics, Power and Identity in Victorian Scotlandp. 273
14 The Decline and Fall of Liberal Hegemonyp. 299
15 The Scottish Cityp. 328
16 Religion and Societyp. 363
17 Educating the Peoplep. 389
18 The Highlands and Crofting Societyp. 413
19 Land, Elites and Peoplep. 448
20 Emigrantsp. 468
21 New Scotsp. 486
22 Scottish Women: Family, Work and Politicsp. 523
Part 4 1939-2000
23 War and Peacep. 545
24 The Scottish Questionp. 574
25 A Nation Reborn?p. 591
Notesp. 619
Further Readingp. 634
Indexp. 647