- Introduction: The Study of Modern Scottish History
- Land and Sea: The Environment
- The Demographic Factor
- Mythical Scotland
- Religion and Society to <i>c</i>.1900
- The Literary Tradition
- The Clearances and the Transformation of the Scottish Countryside
- A Global Diaspora
- The Renaissance
- Reformed and Godly Scotland?
- The ‘Rise’ of the State?
- Reappraising the Early Modern Economy, 1500–1650
- Scotland restored and reshaped: Politics and Religion, <i>c</i>.1660–1712
- The Early Modern Family
- The Seventeenth-Century Irish Connection
- New Perspectives on Pre-union Scotland
- Migrant Destinations, 1500–1750
- Union Historiographies
- Scottish Jacobitism in its International Context
- The Rise (and fall?) of the Scottish Enlightenment
- The Barbarous North? Criminality in Early Modern Scotland
- Industrialization and the Scottish People
- Scotland and the Eighteenth-Century Empire
- The Challenge of Radicalism to 1832
- The Scottish Cities
- Identity within the Union State, 1800–1900
- The Scottish Diaspora since 1815
- The Impact of the Victorian Empire
- The Great War
- The Interwar Crisis: The Failure of Extremism
- The Religious Factor
- Gender and Nationhood in Modern Scottish Historiography
- The Stateless Nation and the British State since 1918
- Challenging the Union
- A New Scotland? The Economy
- A New Scotland? Society and Culture
Abstract and Keywords
Scotland before the Union of 1707 can be difficult to assess, for three reasons. First, views of the century before 1707 have been shaped by attitudes towards the Union itself. Most historians writing between 1707 and the mid-twentieth century saw the Union in a positive light. In the 1970s, the Oxford historian Hugh Trevor-Roper (later Lord Dacre) sought to defend the Union against rising interest in Scottish devolution. Trevor-Roper insisted that the seventeenth century represented ‘the darkest age of Scottish history’, marked by the ‘feudal power of the nobility’, the ‘fanaticism of the clergy’, and an ‘arrested economy’. By 1707, he argued, the Scots' desperate situation gave them no choice but to sacrifice their ‘feeble’ Parliament and embrace incorporating union with England. This article analyses recent work to provide a fresh appraisal of pre-Union Scotland, focusing on three areas of supposed backwardness highlighted by Trevor-Roper: Scotland's society and politics; its intellectual culture; and its economy and trade.
Dr Karin Bowie, Lecturer, School of Humanities, University of Glasgow
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