In a multinational state, relations between the constituent nations are always likely to be dynamic rather than static, even when they appear remarkably tranquil. Between the 1920s and 1960s, there were almost no demands for separation from the United Kingdom from within Scotland, and few demands even for Home Rule, as a legislative assembly subordinate to the United Kingdom parliament has been described. Demands for reform were episodic rather than part of any consistent campaign. The Union between England and Scotland was accomplished in 1707, and was dynastically resisted by the Jacobites, followers of the Stuarts, in 1715 and 1745. There had been substantial anti-Scottish agitation by John Wilkes and his supporters in the late eighteenth century, but by the mid-nineteenth century the relationship between the two nations had settled down into one of apparent mutual benefit.1 Tranquillity, however, is relative and, like dynamism, has a history. The tranquillity of the Union relationship rested on the continued recognition of Scottish difference from England within the Union. As Graeme Morton has remarked about the relationship in the nineteenth century: ‘Scots be not Britons, but be Scots and Britons.’2 Scottish national identity had not been absorbed within a new and monolithic British identity but had come into a negotiable relationship with a more extensive identity.


Labour Party Extensive Identity Nationalist Party Continue Recognition Unionist Vote 
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© Paul Ward 2005

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