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Transatlantic Scotophobia: nation, empire and anti-Scottish sentiment in England and America, 1760-1783

Transatlantic Scotophobia: nation, empire and anti-Scottish sentiment in England and America, 1760-1783
Transatlantic Scotophobia: nation, empire and anti-Scottish sentiment in England and America, 1760-1783
This thesis examines anti-Scottish sentiment or ‘Scotophobia’ in England and America from the accession of George III in 1760 to the end of the War of American Independence in 1783. It charts the development of popular Scotophobia from the radical political protest movement associated with John Wilkes in London to Sons of Liberty in America. I argue that anti-Scottish sentiment during these years was intrinsically connected to the imperial crisis which was to culminate in the American Revolution. American Patriots and their radical supporters in England blamed the increasingly coercive American policies of the British government on the secret influence of Scottish ministers such as the Earl of Bute and Lord Mansfield. They simultaneously attacked the Scottish people in general as the internal enemies of the British Empire, denouncing them as Jacobite rebels and the enemies of ‘Freeborn Englishmen’ in England and America. This imperial Scotophobia reached its peak at the outbreak of war in 1775, with both Americans and English radicals attacking the conflict as a ‘Scotch war’.

I argue that Scotophobia during the war was truly transatlantic, providing both a scapegoat for British policy and a common enemy against whom American Patriots and English radicals could unite. Through this transatlantic Scotophobia, therefore, we can gain important insights into both English and American visions of empire and national identity on the eve of the Revolution. The appeals to ‘English liberty’ and attacks on a Scottish enemy show that some contemporaries believed the British Empire to be defined by Englishness rather than Britishness, an idea strongly associated with notions of liberty. We also see strong evidence of an Anglo-American identity which many in both England and America sought to hold onto even in the midst of war.
Worth, Timothy
a4f07760-f85a-4106-acdb-1be61853c9d5
Worth, Timothy
a4f07760-f85a-4106-acdb-1be61853c9d5
Petley, Christer
8575b3f5-b694-44a2-a70e-aa715a74381a

(2016) Transatlantic Scotophobia: nation, empire and anti-Scottish sentiment in England and America, 1760-1783. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 340pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis examines anti-Scottish sentiment or ‘Scotophobia’ in England and America from the accession of George III in 1760 to the end of the War of American Independence in 1783. It charts the development of popular Scotophobia from the radical political protest movement associated with John Wilkes in London to Sons of Liberty in America. I argue that anti-Scottish sentiment during these years was intrinsically connected to the imperial crisis which was to culminate in the American Revolution. American Patriots and their radical supporters in England blamed the increasingly coercive American policies of the British government on the secret influence of Scottish ministers such as the Earl of Bute and Lord Mansfield. They simultaneously attacked the Scottish people in general as the internal enemies of the British Empire, denouncing them as Jacobite rebels and the enemies of ‘Freeborn Englishmen’ in England and America. This imperial Scotophobia reached its peak at the outbreak of war in 1775, with both Americans and English radicals attacking the conflict as a ‘Scotch war’.

I argue that Scotophobia during the war was truly transatlantic, providing both a scapegoat for British policy and a common enemy against whom American Patriots and English radicals could unite. Through this transatlantic Scotophobia, therefore, we can gain important insights into both English and American visions of empire and national identity on the eve of the Revolution. The appeals to ‘English liberty’ and attacks on a Scottish enemy show that some contemporaries believed the British Empire to be defined by Englishness rather than Britishness, an idea strongly associated with notions of liberty. We also see strong evidence of an Anglo-American identity which many in both England and America sought to hold onto even in the midst of war.

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PhD Thesis final Sept 2016.pdf - Other
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More information

Published date: June 2016
Organisations: University of Southampton, History

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 402365
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/402365
PURE UUID: 73512ec9-9ee5-4e7a-a41e-9f9a62dbd0c6
ORCID for Christer Petley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0616-1871

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Dec 2016 15:47
Last modified: 25 Jul 2019 00:34

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Contributors

Author: Timothy Worth
Thesis advisor: Christer Petley ORCID iD

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