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The politics of a stateless nation: The dynamics of cultural nationalism in post-union Scotland, 1707-1830

McLaughlin, Conor Paul (2020) The politics of a stateless nation: The dynamics of cultural nationalism in post-union Scotland, 1707-1830. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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The development of Scottish nationalism has generated significant scholarly debate. Much of the scholarship on modern Scottish nationalism has focused on the political elements, namely the project aimed at the establishment of an independent Scottish state. This generalisation of Scottish nationalism is misplaced as it does not sufficiently consider the historical circumstances that Scotland has been situated. Scotland did maintain an independent state until it voluntarily relinquished these claims following the ratification of the Acts of Union on May 01, 1707. The question of whether nationalism or nationalist sentiment in Scotland after the Acts of Union discontinued have not yet adequately been examined. This thesis will confront this gap by understanding nationalism in a frame other than political. Rather, this thesis will argue that more attention needs to be given to cultural nationalism, whose primary aim is the formation of national communities. Analysis of cultural nationalism which takes the form of a national revival will unfold through common factors that promote a national community: national language; literature; the arts; educational activities; religious cohesion; and economic self-help. Ultimately this thesis will demonstrate that the main concern for nationalists in post-union Scotland was not the re-establishment of an independent state but rather the revival of the Scottish community in light of the new political reality. This is largely due to the desire to redefine the identity of political communities in light of a retreat from politics.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Global Studies
Supervisor(s): Subrahmanyan, Arjun
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