By Julian Hoppit
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Extra resources for Parliaments, Nations and Identities in Britain and Ireland, 1660-1850
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.