|Badge of Clan Gordon*|
The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. Having entered into a personal union with the kingdoms of England and Ireland following James VI's succession to the English and Irish thrones in 1603, Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with England on 1 May 1707 to create a single Kingdom of Great Britain. This union resulted from the Treaty of Union agreed in 1706 and enacted by the twin Acts of Union passed by the Parliaments of both countries, despite popular opposition and anti-union riots in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and elsewhere. Great Britain itself subsequently entered into a political union with Ireland on 1 January 1801 to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.Scottish independence?
Scotland's legal system has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, and Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in public and private law. The continued existence of legal, educational and religious institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union. In 1999, a devolved legislature, the Scottish Parliament, was reconvened with authority over many areas of home affairs following a referendum in 1997. In May 2011, the Scottish National Party won an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament. As a result, a referendum on independence will take place on 18 September 2014. Wikipedia
As Thursday approaches I have lots of odd feelings bouncing around inside of me.
While I am an American born and bred, I learned a fair bit about Scotland at the knee of my paternal grandmother. She was born near Aberdeen, the one in Scotland, not the one in Maryland.
Then there was my maternal grandmother, her people hailed from Scotland as well. She made sure we knew that Clan Gordon was in the blood.
So a lot of the blood running through my veins first arose in the Highlands of Scotland. A fair bit originated in the lowlands as well, but we don't speak much of that. Heh. Not to mention the not insubstantial sang français from my paternal grandfather's family.
This referendum on Scottish independence tears at me. On the one hand it is a romantic ideal, not really seen since The Forty-Five.
The Jacobite rising of 1745, often referred to as "the Forty-five", was the attempt by Charles Edward Stuart to regain the British throne for the exiled House of Stuart. The rising occurred during the War of the Austrian Succession when most of the British Army was on the European continent. Charles Edward Stuart, commonly known as "Bonnie Prince Charlie" or "the Young Pretender," sailed to Scotland and raised the Jacobite standard at Glenfinnan in the Scottish Highlands, where he was supported by a gathering of Highland clansmen. The march south began with an initial victory at Prestonpans near Edinburgh. The Jacobite army, now in bold spirits, marched onwards to Carlisle, over the border in England. When it reached Derby, some British divisions were recalled from the Continent and the Jacobite army retreated north to Inverness where the last battle on Scottish soil took place on a nearby moor at Culloden. The Battle of Culloden ended with the final defeat of the Jacobite cause, and with Charles Edward Stuart fleeing with a price on his head. His wanderings in the northwest Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the summer months of 1746, before finally sailing to permanent exile in France, have become an era of Scottish history that is steeped in romance. WikipediaTradition and family gossip indicate that I probably had ancestors on both sides at Culloden!
So on the one hand we have William Wallace bellowing "Freedom" in the closing scenes of that movie (which is very ahistorical!), and on the other hand we have the certainty that Scotland, by itself, is probably not a viable political entity. In my opinion, a "Yes" vote would make the old country just another pawn for the Eurocrats to push around.
Trepidation, that's what I'm feeling. I'm sure the professional politicians of the Scottish National Party (SNP) are salivating at the prospect of being independent from Britain. So what's this bunch of politicos that has the people over there so worked up?
The Scottish National Party (SNP; Scottish Gaelic: Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba, Scots: Scots Naitional Pairtie) is a Scottish nationalist and social-democratic political party in Scotland. The SNP supports and campaigns for Scottish independence. WikipediaWhat the Sam Hill is a social-democrat?
Social democracy is a political ideology that officially has as its goal the establishment of democratic socialism through reformist and gradualist methods. Alternatively, social democracy is defined as a policy regime involving a universal welfare state and collective bargaining schemes within the framework of a capitalist economy. It is often used in this manner to refer to the social models and economic policies prominent in Western and Northern Europe during the later half of the 20th century. WikipediaI highlighted the scary bit for you. That's the piece that really worries me.
So yeah, trepidation is the word of the day for Thursday.
Here's praying that they don't do anything foolhardy.
Of course, I said that about the U.S. in 2008, then in 2012 again.
*"Clan member crest badge - Clan Gordon" by Celtus (Celtus @ english wikipedia) - Own work by uploader. The stag's head is adapted from an out-of-copyright book.). Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Clan_member_crest_badge_- _Clan_Gordon.svg#mediaviewer/File:Clan_member_crest_badge_-_Clan_Gordon.svg