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date: 05 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Scotland’s Covenanting experiment played a crucial role in the outbreak of the English revolution and left an indelible mark on the memory of the Scottish people. This chapter addresses the political, cultural, and social impact of the Covenanter movement and argues that while it initially galvanized significant swathes of Scotland, it ultimately proved more divisive than the traditional historiography has generally accepted. Although large numbers of Scots—led by members of the nobility and gentry—supported the National Covenant as a means to resist aggressive royal incursions upon traditional rights, the saddling of sometimes competing commitments to religion, the monarchy, and Scottish sovereignty increasingly proved divisive. Moreover, it is argued that the interregnum needs to be understood as a congruous part of Scottish history interpreted by contemporaries in relation to the Covenanting movement, rather than a dislocated interlude, and crucial for understanding the Restoration settlement.

Keywords: Scotland, Covenant, Covenanters, National Covenant, interregnum

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