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date: 01 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Accounts of the civil war period in Scotland have been overshadowed by the English invasion of 1650. This chapter aims to ask new questions and present a more positive account of Scottish politics after 1644. The actions of Scotland’s leading politicians throughout the 1640s were consistently informed by the basic principles set out in the National Covenant of 1638. Despite profound disagreements about how its ends could be achieved, Covenanting government remained vigorous and viable up to and beyond the English invasion. In a new assessment of Scottish responses to the regicide, this chapter demonstrates that the declaration of Charles II as king of Britain, while deeply divisive, was the only credible available option. It did not lead inevitably to defeat at the hands of the New Model Army. Covenanting government was destroyed in 1651, but its achievements and failings continued to influence Scottish society for generations to come.

Keywords: Charles II, Covenanters, New Model Army, Scotland

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