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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:50 pm 
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Location: In the early days of a better nation
http://www.celticleague.net/wp-content/ ... 202012.pdf

Excuse the formatting problems.

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“[i]Although colonised by the English, Scotland has long refused to consider itself as anything other than a separate country, and it has bound itself to historical fact and legend alike in an effort to retain national identity.” - Encyclopædia Britannica (1){/i}

Colonisation, Colonialism, Colony, Colonial. The concept of Scotland as “colony” is one of the biggest taboos in Scottish politics and historiography. If you hear these words at all in a Scottish context, it’s nearly always to do with Scots overseas, or the profits Scots made in the British Empire, e.g. the book [i]Scotland’s Empire[i/]. (2) But it’s not the overseas Empire I’m interested in here, it’s the Near Abroad. Can we call Scotland a colony?

Few Scots would accept the idea of Scotland as a colony. This is for two main reasons, firstly their pride – Scotland is supposed to be a country in a union, not a conquered one – and secondly the definition – Scotland’s not supposed to fit it. Even the politicians who are willing to discuss the exploitation of Scotland in the Union never use the word “colony”. It’s a taboo – supposedly colonialism happened out there, beyond Europe, it didn’t happen within it. Yet no respectable historian, or politician for that matter, would ever deny Russia, Turkey and Austria had sizeable empires in Europe during and after the 19th century.

These days, you won’t see “colonialism” used much in a contemporary context. Instead, diplomats, politicians and journalists theworld over use euphemisms such as “overseas territory”, “province”, “dependency” or even “region” for colonies. Examples of textbook colonialism may be far less common than they were a century ago, but they do still exist – French Guiana, Guam, Tibet, and Tahiti all spring to mind. These are much more extreme examples of colonialism than what we have here. Oddly enough, the same diplomacy is not reserved for self-determination – major English language publications such as Time, National Geographic, or The Journal of International Affairs use pejoratives such as “separatist”, “breakaway”, “insurgent” or “rebel” for such movements, depending on the level of violence involved. Hegemony’s not in it.

At a passing glance, many of the trademarks of British colonial rule just aren’t there. Scotland has neither a lieutenant governor, nor a governor general. It does have representatives in Westminster, and Brussels, and it does have a devolved parliament. The British Royal Family claims Scottish roots. People from Scotland have become leading figures in British politics, the last three British prime ministers – Cameron, Blair and Brown – all have some kind of Scottish background. Scotland was more similar to England, than say, Jamaica, Canada, New Zealand or Hong Kong. Its indigenous people were white Christian Europeans, with a similar level of technology. Some of the population already spoke a Germanic language. This allowed Scots to assimilate in ways that Indians, Chinese, or Africans could not. Do these factors mean Scotland was/is not a colony?

Here are some of the traits of colonialism in brief -
* Exploitation of resources, particularly mineral, e.g. Australia (numerous), Zambia (copper); general economic exploitation, although it should be noted that many colonies do not make a profit for their colonisers, e.g. American Samoa, which was taken mainly because of the USA’s Pacific expansion, and as a refuelling/repair base for ships, not economic benefits.
* Absorption of that country’s élite or aristocracy, by force, assimilation or purchase e.g. Ireland, India etc mainly by private education.
* Denigration of the pre-existing local culture(s) and languages achieved by various means, most commonly the education system, and/or media. Promotion of the coloniser’s own culture and values as being superior.
* Large scale in-migration by the coloniser. This does not happen in all colonies, and is probably less apparent in Scotland, than say, Canada or Australia.
* Population transfer. The use of colonial populations to fight, work in and/or hold down a third territory, e.g. Scots in Quebec, Indians in Africa, the black slave trade in the Caribbean. Sometimes this is voluntary, sometimes completely forced.
* Territorial or strategic importance e.g. Guam in relation to continental Asia or the Falklands in relation to the Antarctic and Cape Horn. Scotland’s territorial importance relates to the North Sea (and by extension the Baltic), and North Atlantic (and by extension the Arctic Ocean/Norwegian Sea). This was particularly important during the Cold War.
* The idea that the colony in question is actually being helped by the coloniser, and needs it to be there for its own good. Many people in the colonising nation actually believe this, and people in the colonised nation internalise this notion as well.

Within Scotland, we can see some fairly similar processes. Until recently – and this is changing – the Scottish aristocracy quiteliterally had an English accent. TheScotsmen on the make such as Lord Reith,and Robert Watson-Watt sometimes had Scottish accents, but watered down ones.The aristocracy would send its children to English public schools, like the maharajahs, and failing that, to theirScottish imitators, many of which still exist.The worst brutality in modern Scottish history was centuries ago, occurring between the Union of the Crowns (1603) and the radical revolts and Clearances of the early 19th century. There were other
events before and after that of course. Before the Wars of Independence, England, and the Anglo-Normans made considerable inroads into Scotland and managed to marginalise Celtic culture in many areas, plant burghs of English, Flemish and Norman merchants, and destroyed the Culdee church. This led to the confusion and annexation that Edward Longshanks attempted. However, I believe a section of the Lowland Scottish aristocracy never quite let go of the colonial mindset between the Declaration of Arbroath and the Union of the Crowns. Most notably this can be seen in their persecution of Gaelic language and culture, and an attempted plantation of Lewis by the so called “Gentleman Adventurers of Fife”. And because the colonial mindset perhaps never entirely disappeared, Scotland faced first the abolition of its crown, and then its parliament a century later. We still exist within the Union, and we have gained a parliament, but I think we still face a colonial mindset in our media, civil servants and business community. This is partly down to education, particularly the private schools.

With a few exceptions, I do not believe that this issue has ever received proper attention. Unionists (and many nationalists) would deny Scotland was ever colonised. The idea rarely gets serious attention. I have heard a few rants by nationalists, in which emotion seems to have gained the whip-hand over fact and reason... and also numerous rebuttals by unionists, along the lines of “Africa/Asia
suffered from X, Y & Z, and Scotland didn’t, so therefore it was not colonised”. While I do not think this matter can be fully discussed in Carn, for reasons of space etc, I hope that this article may inspire other people to study this question further. I also hope that readers will think about how much the colonial traits listed above do and don’t relate to Scotland. Some are certainly much more applicable than others. Are Scots in denial, or am I plain wrong?

Notes:
1 - The quote at the beginning was taken from “Scotland” (2009 Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica). I include it because it is unusual to see such
language used in a mainstream context.
2 - Genuine Scottish imperialism was actually a paper mouse, involving a tiny colony in Panama and Nova Scotia. When the Panama colony (Darién) failed after a few months, the Scottish economy imploded which led to the end of independence. There is also the matter of Orkney and Shetland, which has never been discussed (to my knowledge) in Carn


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:52 pm 
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I'll track down the second part, which discusses if involvement by Scots in British colonialism, means that Scotland was not itself a colony.

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