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The Union of 1707New Dimensions: Scottish Historical Review Supplementary Issue$
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S J Brown and Christopher Whatley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748638024

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638024.001.0001

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Conceptions of Nationhood in the Anglo-Scottish Union Debates of 1707*

Conceptions of Nationhood in the Anglo-Scottish Union Debates of 1707*

(p.61) Chapter 4 Conceptions of Nationhood in the Anglo-Scottish Union Debates of 1707*
The Union of 1707

Stewart J. Brown

Christopher A. Whatley

Edinburgh University Press

Following the death of William, duke of Gloucester, in 1700, a dynastic predicament developed in both Scotland and England, as it became evident that William of Orange's sister-in-law, Anne, would die without an heir. In Scotland, this ‘succession crisis’ had quickly followed another calamity: the collapse of the colonial venture at Darien that had been conducted by the ‘Company of Scotland trading to Africa and the Indies’, incorporated under a Scots parliamentary patent in 1695. For the London-based Scots pamphleteer, George Ridpath, the hostile actions of William III's English ministers with regard to the Darien project represented the greatest incursion on Scots ‘sovereignty and freedom’ since the fourteenth-century Wars of Independence. In the aftermath of these twin crises, the language of Scots nationhood was variously invoked, reworked and deployed to different ends. This chapter investigates conceptions of nationhood in the Anglo-Scottish Union debates of 1707. It argues that the Scottish Parliament increasingly came to be regarded as the main institutional focus for national loyalties after the Williamite Revolution of 1689.

Keywords:   nationhood, Scotland, England, Union, succession crisis, Scottish Parliament, Darien, Williamite Revolution, William of Orange, sovereignty

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