|About the Book|
Pentlands work promises to fill a major hole in Scottish historical writing, and to do so in an exciting and innovative way. COLIN KIDD Awarded the Senior Hume Brown Prize 2010 The passing of the Great Reform Act of 1832 retains a central placeMorePentlands work promises to fill a major hole in Scottish historical writing, and to do so in an exciting and innovative way. COLIN KIDD Awarded the Senior Hume Brown Prize 2010 The passing of the Great Reform Act of 1832 retains a central place in British history. Historical debate, however, has focussed on whether reform represented the end of the ancien regime or a conservative holding action by political elites. Little critical thinking has been devoted to investigating the passage of the three different Reform Acts as a renegotiation of the relationship between England, Scotland and Ireland. By providing a history of reform in one national context this study addresses several key themes. It delivers a more British history of reform, exploring how the constitutional crisis of 1828-32 was negotiated in different contexts and how, throughout the 1820s and 30s, events in England, Scotland and Ireland impacted on one another. It moves beyond constitutional questions to explore the development of a political culture of reform in shared languages, strategies and personnel across a number of political, religious and social reform campaigns. Finally, it argues that the period was crucial in the renegotiation of what it meant to be British and had a profound impact on national identities in Scotland, where different versions of Britishness and Scottishness were integral to the practice of politics at all levels.