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" That Independency Which A Whole Nation Had Renounced": Negotiating Scottish Identity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter assesses the success of narrative strategies in consolidating the Union in the hearts and minds of readers, at the same time revealing the extent to which readers did not simply assimilate and appropriate the books they read but could also subvert the meanings intended for them. For many Scots preparing for public life in the second half of the eighteenth century, a basic working knowledge of English history was considered crucial. Scott contends that Scottish books became &t;tools she used in a struggle for minds and hearts&t;, helping Archbald to perpetuate vernacular Scottish culture in early Republican America and ultimately disseminating that distinctive pseudo-Scottish identity claimed by many North Americans to this day. The conjectural tenor of Enlightenment historiography also stimulated readers' understanding of the social and economic conditions of modern Scotland.

Keywords: America; Scottish books; scottish identity



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