A Union for Empire: Political Thought and the British Union of 1707

Front Cover
John Robertson, Robertson John
Cambridge University Press, 1995 M04 20 - 368 pages
This volume of essays explores for the first time the intellectual context of the Anglo-Scottish Union of 1707. Challenging the received view of the Union as a simple political job, it argues instead that the Union was a landmark in the history of political thought. The opening contributions investigate the ideas of union, universal monarchy and empire current in Europe and Britain before 1707. There follow chapters devoted to intellectual and religious developments in Scotland between the Restoration and the Union, before attention is focused on the issues of sovereignty at the centre of the Union debate itself. The volume concludes by studying the aftermath of the debate in eighteenth-century discussions of Britain's relations to Ireland and the North American colonies. Underlining the vitality of Scottish intellectual life before the Enlightenment, the volume also gives unprecedented attention to the English view of the Union, to its European setting and to its consequences for the subsequent understanding of the British Empire. The result is a major contribution to the history of British (including Anglo-Irish and American) political thought, and more generally to the history of ideas of union and empire, which will be of wide interest.
 

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Contents

two concepts of the early modern
3
The English debate over universal monarchy
37
Power commerce and natural law in Daniel Defoes
63
intellectual origins of
97
Scottish cultural change 16601710 and the Union of 1707
121
Religious realignment between the Restoration and Union
145
natural law
171
An elusive sovereignty The course of the Union debate
198
Scottish law Scottish lawyers and the status of the Union
243
Molyneux and his legacy
271
The legacy of British Union for the North American
297
the War of American
318
Index
349
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