Project Title: The Scots and the ‘Protestant International’, c.1680-c.1748
School: School of Art History
About Michael’s Research
An investigation of the idea of a broader Protestant community among Scots both high and low, and an examination of how it informed their politics, culture, identities, relationship with the Union and loyalty to their monarchs. It targets both Scots in Europe and engagement with European affairs in Scotland: the exiles who proved so influential in the Revolution and Act of Union, the diplomats over-represented in talks with Reformed powers, the Kirk’s keen interest in Scotland’s zeal for and contributions to “the Protestant Cause”.
Key questions are raised: did a particular engagement emerge which maintained a distinctiveness within the Union, and an enduringly Scottish-tinged relationship with the continent? What did this mean for the Scottish identity? Could this consciousness help explain the actions of the Williamite and Hanoverian parties in Scotland at critical moments, and could its study shed light on the nature of engagement with foreign affairs in what is often seen as an insular corner of the British Isles?
My research thus engages with sources in multiple languages, and with key historiographical fields such as memory, the spread of news, and new diplomatic history. Ultimately, it seeks to uncover just what Scotland’s place was in this European confessional coalition, as imagined by Scots and by those who met them.
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