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Conference Papers Year : 2019

The American Revolution and Scotland (1765-1783)


This paper argues that their perception of the Scots played a significant part in the thought of America's Founding Fathers. Not only was Scotland viewed as an enemy -due to the commitment of Highlanders in the British army- but also as a countermodel. The colonists invented a fictitious Scottish identity based on Jacobitism and everything they associated it with: tyranny, betrayal to the Hanover dynasty and to Britain, as well as Catholicism. Scotland was the Other against whom the American Whigs defined themselves as Protestant, loyal to the Hanover -at least until 1776- and deeply committed to liberty. What's more the Scots were accused of being responsible for the imperial crisis. The myth of a conspiracy by the king's Scottish ministers against America gained momentum in the 1760s and early 1770s. In the end the invention of an anti-American Scotland was instrumental in the shaping of the American identity as it progressively emerged during the Revolution.
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hal-02309218 , version 1 (09-10-2019)


  • HAL Id : hal-02309218 , version 1


Florence Petroff. The American Revolution and Scotland (1765-1783). The Republics of France and the United States: 240 Years of Friendship, The Fred W. Smith National Library for the study of George Washington at Mount Vernon and Université Paris VIII, Sep 2019, Paris, France. ⟨hal-02309218⟩
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