Unionist-nationalism : the historical construction of Scottish national identity, Edinburgh, 1830-1860
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In this thesis the relationship between the British state and Scottish civil society is analysed for the mid-nineteenth century. Focussing on the 1830-1860 period, this thesis will attempt to re-conceptualise the state/civil society axis, around which the formation of national identity hangs. It will argue that the unitary British state gave powers to the local state and the urban bourgeoisie to an extent that Westminster was not the prime focus of'governing' Scottish civil society. This notion of a bourgeoisie 'governing' the day-to-day institutions of Scottish civil society is central to understanding Scottish national identity in the nineteenth century. By demonstrating the range and the extent of bourgeois control over the city of Edinburgh, this thesis will explain the rationality behind this class's failure to move for parliamentary independence. By sustaining the argument that the bourgeoisie had the power to 'govern' without seeking a Scottish parliament, this thesis will challenge the dominant interpretation of nineteenth century Scottish national identity as being weak, romantic and characterised by tartanry and kailyard. By showing the irrelevance ofWestminster to the state/civil society axis, this thesis will present a new reading of the rhetoric and symbols of Scottish national identity. The result, a Scottish nationalism which celebrated the parliamentary Union of 1707, will be shown to stem from the peculiar relationship between an empowered Scottish civil society and its shared British state in the mid-nineteenth century.