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Examining the Union Between Scotland and England and the Rise of Scottish Nationalism

Autor:   •  February 14, 2015  •  Research Paper  •  4,479 Words (18 Pages)  •  503 Views

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Examining the Union between Scotland and England and the Rise of Scottish Nationalism

By

Seth McKee

November 25, 2014

On September 18th, 2014, the United Kingdom could have possibly changed forever. The existing union between Scotland and England, one that has peacefully lasted for 307 years, was at risk of coming to an end. Scotland held an independence referendum, with one simple question on the ballot that could have had an enormous impact. Scottish people were faced with the decision to continue as part of the United Kingdom, or break away from their union with England and form a sovereign state. This paper will focus on the social and political history of the Scottish people leading up to the independence referendum and examine the impetus for this referendum, both sides of the independence argument, and the results of the final vote.

Scottish History Pre-Union

In order to understand the existing social gap between the Scottish and the English, it is necessary to examine the earliest origins of their populations. The differences between the cultures, began to form after the collapse of the Roman Empire created a power vacuum, drawing the Anglo-Saxons into the area [3]. The Anglo-Saxons pushed the lands first inhabitants, who were organized into many groups of tribes, into modern day Scotland [3]. These native tribes mixed with the Picts, a powerful tribe already in the area, forming their own early Scottish culture [3]. Often fighting with the Anglo-Saxons and other tribes, their success on the battlefield and in strategic marriages between tribes, allowed the Picts to form what would historians recognize as the beginning of the Scottish nation [3].

In the 13th century as the nations of Scotland and England were developing, the two nations established close ties. However, the relations were not always peaceful, and power struggles within the nobility of the area created a prolonged conflict between the two nations from 1296-1357 [1]. English Kings Edward I and Edward III frequently fought against Scottish nobility for control over the nation and the right to be known as the most powerful in Britain [1]. The Scottish Wars of Independence, as these conflicts are known, resulted in political animosity between the two nations, but created a lasting uneasy peace as the two nations further developed [1].

Scottish Government Pre-Union

When Robert the Bruce briefly came to power in Scotland during the dependence, he enjoyed a more powerful position than Edward II in England [2]. After English power temporarily waned, the English crown officially recognized an independent Scotland with the Treaty

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