- 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
The consequences of World War I and World War II unleashed a torrent of political, social, and economic change across the world. The growth of political extremism and instability, made worse by fundamental changes in the global economy, were the hallmarks of much of contemporary European history in which politics on the Continent became increasingly polarized between far-right nationalism and fascism, and left-wing socialism and communism. This article, which relates the Scottish experience during the interwar period to a wider British and European historiography, shows how politics and economics became enmeshed as Scottish society was polarized by class divisions. Although the political and cultural debates were heated, they took place in a context of social and economic stagnation in which unemployment and poverty showed no signs of disappearing. The article also examines why the traumas of socio-economic dislocation that engulfed other political systems in Europe did not have the same effect in Scotland.
Richard J. Finlay, Professor of Scottish History, University of Strathclyde
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