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Journal Articles Eighteenth-Century Scotland. The Newsletter of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society Year : 2021

The Scots’ Response to the American Revolution.

Abstract

This article is a summary of my PhD dissertation with a focus on the issue of representation in the American controversy. It contends that the American colonists and the Scots imagined two competing versions of Britishness that both claimed to be based on the “English liberties”. Until 1776, the Americans considered themselves to be British as well as Americans, thus forging a hybrid identity. Britishness, as they understood it, meant Englishness and the antithesis of Scottishness, which they identified with Jacobitism, tyranny, and Catholicism. The Scots for their part imagined their own hybrid identity mixing Scottishness with Britishness. They articulated opposed notions of empire and representation to that the American Patriots supported , thus asserting a commitment to the principle of parliamentary sovereignty over the empire, the belief in the perfection of the constitution, and loyalty to the Hanoverian dynasty, which were the fundamentals of the emerging British identity. The imperial crisis arguably weakened the empire but was also a catalyst for Britishness, which was built not merely in opposition to a French “Other” but also in opposition to an American one.

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hal-03275599 , version 1 (01-07-2021)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03275599 , version 1

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Florence Petroff. The Scots’ Response to the American Revolution.: A North British Vision of Empire, Constitution, and Representation. Eighteenth-Century Scotland. The Newsletter of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, 2021, Spring 2021, N° 35. ⟨hal-03275599⟩
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