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Conclusions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 December 2020

Karin Bowie
Affiliation:
University of Glasgow
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Summary

Scottish representations of public opinion changed markedly between the mid-sixteenth and early-eighteenth century. While allegorical figures were used across this period to speak for the people and the kingdom, direct statements about the actual opinions of groups of people became more common. Though often overstated, these claims emerged from modes of engagement allowing ordinary people to form and express opinions on national affairs. Collective protestations, adversarial petitioning, covenant oaths and persuasive communications made it possible to imagine subjects holding informed opinions and to demand that governments take these opinions into account. While studies of the public sphere, print culture and popular politics have tended to focus on certain forms of communication or social groups, this study has aimed to explain the formation, expression and impact of public opinion. This historicisation of public opinion has revealed the growing importance of opinion politics in post-Reformation Scotland. Intense religious and constitutional anxieties stimulated pragmatic innovations in political practices as dissidents sought to weaponise opinion at large and the crown sought to regulate it. These dynamics produced a recognised, though contested and often instrumental, sense of Scottish national opinion, shaping events in the composite British monarchy and providing a framework for Scottish political voices in the post-1707 United Kingdom.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Conclusions
  • Karin Bowie, University of Glasgow
  • Book: Public Opinion in Early Modern Scotland, c.1560–1707
  • Online publication: 21 December 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108918787.008
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  • Conclusions
  • Karin Bowie, University of Glasgow
  • Book: Public Opinion in Early Modern Scotland, c.1560–1707
  • Online publication: 21 December 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108918787.008
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Conclusions
  • Karin Bowie, University of Glasgow
  • Book: Public Opinion in Early Modern Scotland, c.1560–1707
  • Online publication: 21 December 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108918787.008
Available formats
×