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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb history of Scotland, 24 Mar. 2014
By 
William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Scottish Nation: A Modern History (Paperback)
This is a truly magnificent work, a comprehensive survey of Scotland’s history since 1700. Thomas Devine is the Personal Senior Research Professor of History at the University of Edinburgh.

He points to the gains, both economic and intellectual, that Scotland made after the Union of 1707, writing of “the material opportunities that were now flowing in great abundance from the political connection which had been forged in 1707.” He notes, “this interest in the material aspects of historical evolution matured to a high level of intellectual distinction in a society which was itself experiencing the beginnings of unprecedented economic and social change from agriculture to industry.”

Between 1760 and 1830, the Industrial Revolution and urbanisation spread across the whole of Britain. But Scotland kept its ancient form of landownership. 1,500 private estates have owned most of Scotland’s land for nine centuries. In 1872-73, just 659 people owned around 80 per cent of Scotland; 118 owned half of it.

Even in the 1970s, a third of all privately owned land was still in estates of 20,000 acres or more. Devine notes, “landownership itself has proved to be remarkably resilient in Scotland and England, compared to other European countries and to Ireland, where large estates have virtually disappeared altogether.”

He remarks, “Despite high taxation of income, there remained considerable tax advantages in owning land, particularly if it was both owned and farmed. This has been further enhanced in some areas by the application of the Common Agricultural Policy within the European Community, with its range of farming subsidies. Ironically, the Scottish landowners in the late twentieth century now benefit more from public financial assistance than their ancestors ever did, even in the days of the Corn Laws. In addition, a free market in land persists in Scotland, although regulation and control have become the norm in virtually all other European countries.”

He cites Jim Callaghan’s famous remark that the SNP motion ending his government was the first instance in history of turkeys voting for an early Christmas: nine out of eleven SNP MPs lost their seats.

But, unfortunately, it wasn’t just the SNP who lost. Their infamous vote ushered Thatcher into power, with disastrous results for us all, not least in Scotland. In Thatcher’s first two years, 1979 to 1981, Scotland lost 11 per cent of its manufacturing output and a fifth of its manufacturing jobs. From 1976 to 1987 it lost 30.8 per cent of its manufacturing output.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The divine Devine!, 24 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Scottish Nation: A Modern History (Paperback)
Whatever this man writes is worth reading. He has a phenomenal grasp of Scottish history and is a "must read" for anyone who wants a fair and balanced overview of the period.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 2 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: The Scottish Nation: A Modern History (Paperback)
A worthwhile read at this crossroads in the future of independence debate. He give a broad spectre of views without being biased.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading this year!, 17 May 2014
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Ellen Lyons (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Scottish Nation: A Modern History (Paperback)
In this historic year, when Scotland votes for or against Independence this is an essential read providing background to the Union of Scotland and England in 1707 and beyond.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A guid long read., 30 Jun. 2013
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Full of well researched detail. So much so that a second read is required to take it all in. A good dip in and out book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent up to date book on the last 300 years of Scottish history., 3 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Scottish Nation: A Modern History (Paperback)
Love it. A good read with plenty of examples and good referencing. Ideal course book to accompany Modern Scottish History 1700 to present day run by University of Dundee.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best, 7 Sept. 2014
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Mr. J. J. Bald (Linton, Uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Scottish Nation: A Modern History (Paperback)
As a lowland Scot, born in Glasgow and with relatives from Renfrew and Fife, I am learning more about Scotland from this book than any other source, and it puts my own experience into perspective. Man's inhumanity to man is a fairly constant theme, though with brighter moments. The political analysis of the events leading to the act of union is crystal-clear, and we may yet see history repeat itself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book was part of my course work, it ..., 11 Nov. 2014
This book was part of my course work, it should be compulsory in all Scottish schools. A book to read over and over,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 Sept. 2014
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Excellent
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Scottish Nation: A Modern History (Paperback)
Essential reading to understand post-referendum politics
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The Scottish Nation: A Modern History
The Scottish Nation: A Modern History by T M Devine (Paperback - 5 July 2012)
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