Graeme Morton - University of Guelph


List of Tables and Figures
1. Being Scotland
2. Weather Scotland Will
3. We Live, We Die
4. Urban Scots
5. Getting Around
6. Working Scots
7. Poverty, Spending and Sport
8. Reading, Writing, Talking and Singing
9. Believing Ourselves
10. Controlling Ourselves and Others
11. Emigration and Diaspora
12. Being Ourselves
Further Reading

What does it mean to be a Scot and what forged that identity? This revised and updated volume of the New History of Scotland series explores a period of intense identity formation in Scotland. Examining the ‘us and them’ mentality, it delivers an account of the blended nature of Scottish society through the transformations of the industrial era from 1832 to 1914. Where previous histories of this period have focused on industry, this book will take a closer look at the people that helped to form Scottish national identity. Graeme Morton shows that identity was a key element in explaining Industrial Scotland, charting the interplay between the micro and the macro.

(Hardback, ISBN: 978 0 7486 2048 7) (Paperback, ISBN: 978 0 7486 2049 4)
Special price of HB £55.50, PB £16.99 (usual prices HB £65.00, PB £19.99)

Discount available until 31 December 2012 for individual purchasers ordering directly from EUP only.

Discount code: 6JG.

North American orders will be transferred to Columbia University Press to reduce shipping charges.


Ourselves and Others is a social history based on a question so simple yet so difficult to answer: who were the Scots? When we look at the great changes that took place in Scotland, and explore the factors affecting how many Scots were being born, the rate at which they died, the numbers who left for a life elsewhere, those who returned and those who came from other countries, we are moved to try to understand the lives of the Scottish people and those who lived in Scotland. Consciously, this is a history of Scots within the nation, within Britain, and also distant of Scotland.

The chapters are set out to investigate Scotland as a society structured by its institutions, its economy and its political and constitutional framework, along with multifarious customs, beliefs and accepted ways of doing things. The denominational differences within Protestantism, and Presbyterianism most especially, and the growth in the number of Irish Catholics mid- century were reflected in marriage, childbirth, illegitimacy and social mores, as well as cultural control and legal and social punishment. Religious beliefs and practices structured many different aspects of lives that were ordinary as well as the experiences of extraordinary people in this period. And the churches, too, structured the lives of Scots overseas. The number of Presbyterian churches to be found throughout the ‘new world’ is testament to that, with by comparison nary an Anglican church to be found in the Maritime Provinces of Prince Edward Island or Nova Scotia, for example. But this is also evidenced by a debate that strained the Free Church of Scotland immediately after its creation in 1843: should it take much-needed financial help from Scottish slave owners in the southern states of America, or was that help tainted beyond its monetary value?

Ourselves and Others is a blended history of the Scots in a period of major transformation. It is not about ‘the other’, for that is only part of how life was envisaged and identities were formed. ‘Being Scotland’ is about the blend itself. We do not simply reflect ourselves in England’s economic and constitutional development or in Ireland’s Roman Catholicism; we are part of that development, as it is part of us, of being Scottish within the united kingdom of Britain. The wearing of multiple hats – one or another, but never more than one at a time – or imagining identities as if they were a Russian doll – each self- contained but subsumed beneath a larger identity – was not being Scotland in the 1832–1914 period. There was no zero- sum or sliding scale here. Rather, it was a relentless eddy of historical developments from home and away, some engaged with completely, most only elliptically; in other words a blend of our history with a chaser of others.