Department of Political Science and Justice Studies
Fort Hays State University, #9;Hays, KS 67601
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Preliminary draft of paper for presentation at the ISA Panel on Indigenous Peoples and Non-State Nations: more work will be done on the HTML coding and the contents.
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We fight not for glory, nor riches, nor honour, but for freedom alone, which no good man gives up except with his life
It was with these words that the Declaration of Albroth, claimed to be the most impressive manifesto of nationalism produced in mediaeval Europe, addressed the Pope. As far back as 1320, half a decade after the Battle of Bannockburn, Scotland=s nobles and their followers petitioned the Leader of the Catholic Church to recognize Scotland as independent from the English and to declare Robert the Bruce as King of the Scots. Thirty five years earlier, the mal e royal line of Scotland had expired and the Scots believed that joining their royal family with that of England posed no great threat to Scotland=s independence. They were mistaken. The English, rather than join with Scotland on equal but separate terms, chose to invade their northern neighbor. It was the Scots relationship with the English that gave birth to ardent Scottish nationalism. As a result, for almost four centuries before the formal Act of Union bet ween Scotland and England, relations between the two countries were, at best, distant and , at worst, openly hostile. It might be argued that, fundamentally, today=s Scottish National Movement is more a continuat ion of a struggle which has lasted close to eight hundred years than an expression of rebellion against a less than three hundred year old, undemocratically formed, union based on an agreement between the elites of Scotland and England.
In this paper, I trace the history of Scottish - English relations since 1707, the year in which the Act of Union was ratified, identifying different periods over which the intensity of the movement for Scottish independence varied. In doing so, I ha ve two objectives. First, to pinpoint the motivators which have led to the endurance of the Scottish Nationalist Movement and second, to determine which set of conditions have been necessary for the recent success of Scottish Nationalist groups in attai ning a degree of autonomy from the UK parliament at Westminster.
Given its small and poor tract of territory, Scotland, in historic times, was an unusually diverse region. However, the proximity of England, and Scottish disdain for English customs, produced an almost tribal national identity among those who saw themselves as Scottish. The struggle for keeping Scottishness intact in spite of English influences, has endured at least eight hundred years. The first clarification that must be made concerns what is meant by >< /FONT>Scottishness=.
According to the UN definition of ethnic nation, it is a people who should decide upon their identity, not external observers. The Scots are not composed of a single indigenous nation but rather of many groups, some of which are quite new to Scotland but, nevertheless, identify themselves as Scottish. Using Riggs= definition I shall refer to the Scots as a stateless ethnic nation. By doing this, I am not adhering strictly to the UN Arequirement,@ for many Scots regard themselves as civic nationalists, not ethnic nationalists. I will now attempt to justify my position.
John Rex makes a distinction between two aspects of nationalism. The first, which he refers to as descriptive, empirical, or historical Aseeks to describe various nations in terms of their cultures, ideologie s, internal structures, and organizations. The second, he claims, and this is often used by UK unionists, is one that Aconcentrates on nationalist ideologies and often derides them by suggesting that they are in vented as a mean of manipulation of the masses a political elite. It is the first view which I will attempt to Atailor@ to the Scottish case. While I would agree with Gurr, et al, (1994) who claim that collective identities are not transitory phenomena, I would argue that there is a good deal of plasticity in what human identity consists of . Identity may be expressed in an infinite number of ways.
Scottish leaders, nationalist groups, and scholars frequently claim that Scottish nationalism is civic, rather than ethnic. Many Scottish nationalists were not born in Scotland, nor were their ancestors Scottish, they point out. I offer an explanat ion which might satisfy both the ethnic and civic camps. I propose that Scotland=s historic cultural heritage, and, consequently, the feelings of Scots towards their own nationalism, is steeped in pragmatism rat her than in some of the more elaborate and outwardly magnificent traditions of other groups. There is a pride in productivity which meshes well with the fondness of virtues such as thrift. A culture may devote resources to grand and beautiful objects, s uch as mediaeval cathedrals, pyramids, and bejewelled ornaments or it can choose more ephemeral and pragmatic ways to express itself. Compared with other cultures, Scotland=s physical monuments are not impressive yet, stories such as those of St. Andrew, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce seem to indicate that Scotland sees itself immortalized in simple legends of perseverance and courage unadorned. If this is true, as I claim it is, then those who claim that groups which promote Scottish independence based on civic nationalism, rather than ethno-cultural nationalism, are failing to observe the complete nature of Scottishness. Expressions of Scottishness, like those of other ethnic groups, include those of music, costume and the telling of legends. Also, though,, I claim they include some which are perhaps not conciously recognized as part of a uniquly Scottish ethnic value system, such as pragmatism, thrift, persistence. These are usually unrecognized as expressions of ethnicity even by the very people into whose history and lives they are incorporated. This part of Scottishness has remained constant throughout centuries. It includes the very qualities and values which have allowed the Scottish nati onal movement to endure and, to a certain extent, succeed in achieving its aims. Based on these reasons, I argue that although Scottish ethnicity is not described along strictly conventional lines, Scottish nationalists are, in fact, ethnonationalists. Gurr=s (1994) classification of the Scots as Aethnonationals.@ is correct.
The identity of the Scottish nation has been rather stable, albeit partially unrecognized. However, what distinguishes the Scots from most other ethnic nations is the degree to which they are willing to accept outsiders as new Scots, and, equally im portant, the enthusiasm with which outsiders adopt Scottish identity. As a consequence of this, the demography of the group of people who refer to themselves as Scots is unusually dynamic. Walker Connor (1994) argues that identity is based on a myth of common descent rather than on scientific evidence proving such a relationship. I would argue that, in the case of the Scots, even those Scottish Nationalists who claim no common descent, either real or imagined, are frequently bound tightly to the cause and identify themselves as Scottish. Colley argues that the British defined themselves as a nation by way of contrast with the French Aother.@ Using the same premise, I argue that the Scots defined themselves as a nation in Contrast to England. The newest Scots often identify themselves as Scottish specifically in rejection of the AEnglish@ label.
The second clarification that needs to be made concerns the most accurate way in which to describe Scotland=s political-geography. This is important for, as Gurr (1993) and Riggs (1998) have pointed out, com munal groups may be defined in different ways. Using both Gurr=s and Riggs= taxonomies, I propose that the Scots may be defined as an ethnic national people within an enclave. However, the movement towards autonomy is supported by many Scots outside the enclave.
My thesis, which is useful for understanding not only the Scottish Movement but , also, similar movements in other parts of the world, is that in order to advance in its struggle for independence, or partial autonomy, a group must possess certain intr insic motivating factors . These are insufficient, though, to successfully rid itself of what are often seen as oppressive and unfair governments. In addition to possessing group-intrinsic motivations, it is necessary that extrinsic conditions be favora ble to the independent survival of the group, or at least perceived to be so. I propose that the struggle for Scottish liberation, or partial autonomy, from English influence has been characterized by constant interaction between what I have chosen to l abel intrinsic motivations and extrinsic influences. My definition of Aintrinsic,@ adhering to that of Webster=s D ictionary, is Ainward; on the inside; internal@ and that of extrinsic is Anot contained within; external; outside.@
History of the Scottish Nationalist Movement
From the legendary St. Andrew, to William Wallace , the thirteenth century Scottish equivalent of Robin Hood who emerged as the leader of a guerilla resistance group to English occupation of Scotland, to Robert the Bruce who defeated the English Ki ng Edward II at the Battle of Banockburn, Scottish history is replete with brave and unflinching fighters for the Scottish cause. More recently, Scottish nationalists have, for the most part, employed the word not the sword in attempting to free Scotl and from what many of them perceive as oppression by the Westminster Parliament. It is from the Formal Act of Union between England and Scotland, which was ratified in 1707, that I will begin to trace the history of Scottish nationalism. For it is sin ce that date that Scotland has been formally governed by the England- based Westminster parliament.
As the seventeenth century drew to a close, the Scottish Parliament had two serious problems with which to contend. First, that of the Calvinist movement and second, that of facing an abysmal economic situation resulting from a series of crop failu res and subsequent famine. The Kirk, which promoted the idea of Apositive Freedom,@ that is freedom within certain bounded rules of society, was not supportive of nati onalist goals. Its sights were set on promoting the welfare of society as a whole, not on those groups which would split it asunder in the name of self-interested nationalism. After 1707, the Calvinists were among those who accepted the Union, claimi ng that it was no threat to Scotland.
At the end of the 18th. Century, Scotland initiated its Home Rule and also acquired a Scottish Office at Westminster. Clearly, neither the Scots nor other nations living within the enclave of the UK agreed with John Stewart Mil=s statement that AExperience proves that it is possible for one nationality to merge and be absorbed by another, @ or by his claim that this would be a boon to the >backward= and >inferior.=
ANobody can suppose that it is not more beneficial for a Breton or a Basque of French Navarre to be a member of the French nationality, admitted on equal terms to all the privileges of French citizenship...than to sulk on his own rocks, the half savage relic of a past time....The same applies to the Welshman or the Scottish Highlander as members of the British Nation.@
While in 19th Century Ireland, where home rule was seen as a barely tolerable compromise, Scotland, during the same time period, appeared placid and even accepting of its situation. While in both Ireland and Wales there existed an alliance between the peasantry, coping with agricultural depression, emigration, and urbanization , and a radically nationalist intelligencia, In Scotland no such relationship developed. Perhaps this is explained by the fact that agricultural depression was less felt in Sco tland and there had been a good deal more industrial growth in Scotland than in either of the other two countries. In the early 1880s , encouraged by the formation of the Irish Land League, Scottish Highlanders stood and fought for their land against evi ction by whom they saw as England- sympathizing Landlords.
In 1886, a Scottish Home Rule Association was formed and in 1888, the Scottish Liberal Association adopted home rule as their banner. But, for all their efforts, Scottish liberals remained relatively conservative and, for the most part, politicians remained deferential to Westminster. Why was it that Scottish party politics seemed to fit so well into the Union template? As the Empire progressed, Scots were recruited, in heavy numbers, to the British bureaucracy. They seemed to have a gift for ef ficiency in administration and were willing, if not anxious, to travel abroad. Meanwhile the Scots who remained at home enjoyed a higher level of economic well being than either the Irish or the Welsh. The Scots, although by no means in dire economic s traits, could not realistically hope to survive as a sovereign nation, independent from the rest of the UK. These factors, combined with the lack of either desire or necessity of the English or their government to support Scottish autonomy, provided an environment in which extrinsic influences were quite negative towards Scottish nationalism.
With the outside threat posed by World War I, came greater cooperation between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Between the wars there was some upsurge of Scottish nationalism. However, although the SNP performed quite well in 1935, polling an aver age of 16%, the invasion of Poland in 1939 ruined all plans for a Scottish Convention on home rule. Although most of Scotland allied with the rest of the British, there were those, including Douglas young, Chairman of the Aberdeen Branch of the SNP, who thought that the allies were likely to loose the war and that the Scots should seek a separate peace.
In 1941, Churchill gave the Scots the opportunity for de facto home rule for the duration of the war. After 1945 the growth of the Scottish Office at Westminster to some degree contained Scotland within the UK.
Groups Promoting Scottish Independence
Text will be added
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators in the History of Scottish Nationalism
Text, operationalization of and Table of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators to be included here
The Successes and Failures of Nationalist Struggle
When new situations arise and the grip of the dominating power, in this case the UK government, is, relatively speaking, weakened, or supplanted by another source of authority, its ability to impose its structure on subordinated peoples is undermi ned. Then, nationalist groups are able to assert themselves more successfully.
Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are each separate nations and all governed by the Westminster parliament. While in Northern Ireland majority prefer to keep their ties to the UK, the Welsh and the Scots struggle for some degree of autonomy. Unti l the 1970s there was a considerable degree o economic dependency of Wales and Scotland on the UK . However, while the Welsh accept that they are still economically unable to sustain a separate state, they too are struggling for autonomy ( RECENT DEVEL OPMENTS TO BE ADDED HERE) the Scots , with the discovery of North Sea Oil, became mor e confident in their ability to exist independently within the EU.
TO BE ADDED -- Influence of the Labour Party
In the early 1990s Scots became increasingly insistent than ever on retaining their identity, and their government, quite separate from that of the UK. Moreover they became more confident of their ability to be economically self sustaining. Research conducted by the Scottish Development Agency (SDA) revealed that , Apresenting an independent Scottish identity in Europe will, in itself, boost Scottish trade and jobs.@ The SNP was supported in this claim by several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs,) including Gerhard Schmid of the German Socialist Party which sits in the same section of the European Parliament as the Scottish Labor Party. He declared,
AIf the Scottish people would vote for independence, and if separation is allowed due to the rules of the constitution of the United Kingdom, its up to them I can=t ima gine that Scotland would be excluded from the European community. Why? There=s no reason for it.@
It was statements of support such as this, combined with a widespread belief in the ability of Scotland=s economy to thrive economically, that greatly raised the level of Scottish confidence. Not only were the y supported from within, but they had support from Europe.
......... Confidence also boosted by support from Labour Party and womens= groups
MORE TO BE ADDED ON THESE TWO POINTS
In 1997, it was generally expected that Scots would vote in favor of a Scottish parliament. However, even the most hopeful failed to realize how strong their endorsement would be. Voter turnout was exceptionally high, at 60.4% and the percentage of people voting yes to a Scottish parliament was 74.3% . In contrast, in 1979
GRAPH TO BE ADDED HERE WITH REFERENDUM RESULTS
Scotland at the Turn of the Millennium
On September 11, 1997 decision was made by three quarters of Scotland=s voters to institute their own parliament. The parliament to be inaugurated in the year 2000, will govern Scotland in all matters exce pt security, macro-economics, finance, and relations with the EU, and pensions. For some Scottish nationalists, this provides a satisfactory solution to their problems with being governed from Westminster while, to others this is seen as a stepping sto ne towards full independence. Membership as a sovereign state in the EU. Whichever path is taken, it is evident that the new Scottish Parliament will be formed in ways which are different from the Westminster tradition. In the first place, Scotland=s MP will be selected by a process of proportional representative. Clearly, this system of elections is likely to lead to a multiparty government and also to a coalition between the Labour Party and the Liberal Democ rats. A thing unheard of in recent British politics. Moreover, the Scots have committed themselves to a parliament within which there will be an equal number of male and female representatives.
Scotland=s success in attaining autonomy, perhaps a stepping stone to independence, has come about due to the increasing coincidence of certain intrinsic and extrinsic factors during the past decade or so. The intrinsic motivational elements of Scottish nationalist groups have become somewhat more cohesive than they had been previously. Scot s have been more confident in expressing their ethnicity, especially as it is defined by Walker Connor and understood, in an unconventional sense, as intertwined with the need for practical support for idealistic aspirations. Their insistence on, at least some degree of, autonomy has been kept alive over the centuries, showing persistent intrinsic motivation. Chang es in the Westminster government, regional structural change, world structural change, economic opportunity and increased diversity in terms of social participation, both within Scotland and, overall in the UK, have all combined to form the fertile mediu m in which Scottish Nationalists attained significant success. I insist that without this combination of factors Scottish nationalists could not have improved their position.
TABLE ON INTRINSIC AND EXTRINSIC FACTORS TO BE INCLUDED HERE
Possibilities for the future
---TO BE EXPANDED --
-- Success within Europe
-- Antagonism between UK and Scotland. Especially if English become more conscious of the degree to which they are subsidizing Scotland, they may begin to resent its position of privilege within the UK
-- Many of Westminster=s key Scottish ministers, including Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, and Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, may forsake Westminster for the Scottish Parliament, thus causing prob lems for PM Tony Blair. Indeed it is quite possible that Donald Dewar, the Scottish Secretary, will be Scotland=s first PM. In any case, many up and coming Scottish back benchers may consider their ambitions to be undermined in Westminster due to its lack of responsibility for Scottish domestic affairs. These events could lead to an isolated UK.
-- Isolation of UK
-- Further secession in UK
-- Difficulty in governing efficiently in a multi-party system
-- ARunning out@ of principal natural resource, oil, or its becoming obsolete as an important fuel commodity
-- Powers of the new Scottish parliament will place them at the mercy of an English majority at Westminster. This may lead to a movement towards further devolution..
-- Becoming a small cog in an even bigger system of government EU