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Appears in Collections:History and Politics eTheses
Title: ‘That ye may judge for yourselves’: The contribution of Scottish Presbyterianism towards the emergence of political awareness amongst ordinary people in Scotland between 1746 and 1792
Author(s): Honeyman, Valerie
Supervisor(s): Macleod, Emma
Smyth, Jim
Keywords: Presbyterianism
popular political consciousness
literacy and education
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis offers a new interpretation of the origins of eighteenth-century popular political consciousness in Scotland during the second half of the eighteenth century by considering the relationship between Presbyterianism, literacy and political activity, and it examines the long-standing enmity to the authority of the elite expressed through patronage disputes, the burgh reform movement and opposition to Catholic relief. In particular it discusses the ongoing debate over lay ecclesiastical patronage arguing that religious dispute was a major stimulus to the process of politicising ordinary people. This process was aided by the inherent radicalism within Presbyterianism which was egalitarian and anti-hierarchical, and which was used to justify inclusion in the political process. It also emphasises the continuing relevance of Scotland’s Covenanting tradition for people from all walks of life who engaged with ideas predominantly through polemical religious books, particularly Covenanting theology and history, and it argues that the clergy provided a crucial link between the general populace and the issues of the day through their ability to draw people into contemporary debate as a result of their preaching and publications.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Arts and Humanities
History and Politics

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