- 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 existential challenge to the Union began with the election of a disciplined cadre of MPs from the Irish Party in 1880, and culminated with the election of a Scottish National Party majority government in 2011. The years from 1885 to 1921 have been described as the high age of primordial unionism. For a primordial unionist, the Union of Great Britain and Ireland, passed by an Act of Parliament in 1800 and taking effect in January 1801, was to be defended at all costs. Prime Minister William Gladstone's conversion to Home Rule in 1885 splintered the party systems throughout the British Isles, and in Scotland, created the Unionist Party, the dominant party until the 1950s. This article examines the challenges faced by the Union, focusing on efforts to kill the Home Rule during 1885–1924 and the passage of the Scotland Act 1998. It also discusses the Constitutional Convention, the Labour Party government and its policies, and the ‘West Lothian Question’ and ‘Barnett Formula’.
Iain McLean, FBA, Professor of Politics and Official Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford University
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.