Parliaments, Nations and Identities in Britain and Ireland, by Julian Hoppit

By Julian Hoppit

In 1660 the 4 countries of the British Isles have been ruled via one imperial crown yet by means of 3 parliaments. The abolition of the Scottish and Irish Parliaments in 1707 and 1800 created a united kingdom of serious Britain and eire founded upon the Westminster legislature. This ebook handle questions on how this monolith affected identities within the 4 countries. From a wide selection of views, it exhibits how the parliaments at Dublin, Edinburgh and, specially, Westminster, have been obvious and utilized in very alternative ways via humans from very diverse groups. Parliament could have been conceived as a repository of “the” nationwide curiosity, yet in perform it was once the location of 4 nationwide and a number of cross-national identities.

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Special weight was commonly attached to opinions in the area affected, though proposals were also vetted to ensure that they conformed to generally accepted standards. 7 This was not a matter of laying down strict rules about which MPs’ views counted. That would not have been thought right, when any of a variety of considerations might be operating to shape MPs’ concerns. Some had formal responsibilities, as representatives of affected regions; others owned land there, or had relatives, constituents or political associates with local interests.

76 This growth of mutual awareness had ambiguous effects. On the one hand, there was widespread interest in doing whatever might be done to allow the different parts of the UK to progress together. Yet increased mutual awareness also meant increased awareness of difference: the discourse of comparison was also a discourse of dissimilarity – as the record of debates on attempts to produce ‘integrative’ and ‘parallel’ legislation reveal. And attempts to make the nations march in step spurred some to try to break rank.

Phillipson’s thesis, The Scottish Whigs and the reform of the Court of Session, 1785 –1830 (Edinburgh, 1990) and L. Paterson, The anatomy of modern Scotland (Edinburgh, 1994). J. S. Shaw, in The management of Scottish society 1707–1764: power, nobles, lawyers, Edinburgh agents and English influences (Edinburgh, 1983), expresses scepticism, but his account is not structured around a contrast between Scots and English, but between ‘home Scots’ and London Scots; in his account Scottish MPs ‘impose’ legislation on home Scots.

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