Professor Trevor-Roper and the Scottish Revolution

In the century between the union of the Crowns in 1603 and the Parliaments in 1707, was Scotland a backward nation with no influence south of the border asks David Stevenson.

In April, 1976 Professor Hugh Trevor-Roper, now Lord Dacre of Glanton, lent the authority of the Regius Chair of Modern History at Oxford to the remarkable statement that the Scottish political system before the Act of Union of 1707 was simply 'political banditry'. He then proceeded, in the same article in The Times , to the even more extraordinary assertion that this tradition was not yet dead, as 'we have seen it at work in the Scotch province of Ulster from 1922 till it had to be suspended there, too, in 1972'. Trevor-Roper's article was written as a contribution to the debate on Devolution, and he was trying to show that any attempt to undo the Union of 1707 would lead to disaster for the Scots, as history had proved that they were utterly incapable of governing themselves competently.

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