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Scotland and the Union 1707-2007$
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Tom Devine

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635412

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635412.001.0001

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The Politics of the Union in an Age of Unionism

The Politics of the Union in an Age of Unionism

(p.123) 8 The Politics of the Union in an Age of Unionism
Scotland and the Union 1707-2007
T.M. Devine
Edinburgh University Press

This chapter addresses the politics of Anglo-Scottish Union during the time of Unionism. The partition of Ireland, the Church of Scotland Act, and the general election of 1922 were the three events that affected the history of the Union. A brief review of electoral patterns in Scotland shows the existence of an apparent unionist consensus. The history of nationalist politics offers some qualified evidence that there was a general air of dissatisfaction abroad, but the Scottish National Party (SNP) could not capitalise on it. The Unionists were successful in housing policy. The Labour Party was the principal beneficiary of Unionist unpopularity; the SNP and the Liberals remained on the margins of Scottish politics, although there were incremental accretions of strength and confidence. The social, economic and educational changes of the 1960s had developed a new and younger electorate sceptical of Unionism's rather tired appeal.

Keywords:   nationalist politics, Anglo-Scottish Union, Unionism, Scotland, housing policy, Labour Party, Scottish National Party, Liberals, Scottish politics, Church of Scotland Act

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