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Title: Critics of empire in Scotland c1950-1963
Author: Hendrikson, Alex
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 5009
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2014
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Scotland's response to the end of the British Empire was different from reactions in the rest of the UK. This thesis examines the specific ways in which Scottish civil society and politics engaged with British decolonisation during the 1950s and early 1960s. The thesis draws heavily on the understudied archival records of Scottish civil society and pan-UK political groups to demonstrate that a conspicuous critique of decolonisation emerged north of the border. It shows (in Chapters I and II) that the most powerful and distinctive strand of anticolonialism in Scotland coalesced Scottish civil society organisations, primarily the Church of Scotland (CoS). Transnational connections, especially in Central Africa, shaped an anticolonialism largely driven by an Edinburgh based middle-class establishment which found its primary focus on opposing the imposition of the Central African Federation on Nyasaland and the Rhodesias. As Chapter III shows, this anticolonialism also found expression in the previously understudied Scottish Council for African Questions, a pressure group formed in opposition to the Central African Federation, with close ties to the CoS (along with university academics and other notables). Political parties and trade unions also campaigned on anticolonial causes and their responses are charted in Chapters IV to VII. With the exception of Scottish nationalist organisations, such groups operated more in a pan-British context and had many connections to equivalent organisations in England. Pan-UK political and other organisations tended not to be vehicles of Scottish distinctiveness, but could at times be prominent local vehicles of anticolonialism. However, by the end of the decade, Scottish politics was taking its lead from Scottish civil society in opposition to the Central African Federation. By reconstructing critiques of empire in Scotland, the thesis sheds further light on Scotland's complex relationship with the British Empire, demonstrating how Scotland's transnational connections and civil society generated a distinctive response to the end of empire.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Great Britain ; Scotland