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National Identities within Britain and the Proposed Union in 1603-1607 Sybil M. Jack He that doth not love a Scotchman as his brother, or the Scotchman that loves not an Englishman as his brother, is a traitor to God and the King . . . . he merits to be buried in the bottom of the sea that shall but think of a separation where God hath made such a Union. James VI and I (1604) The human race, though divided into different nations and states, still has a certain unity, not only as a species but, as it were, politically and morally as is indicated by the precept ofmutual love and charity which extends to all, even to strangers of any nation whatsoever. Francisco Suarez (1548-1617)' 1 Selectionsfrom Three Works ofFrancisco Suarez, vol. II. An English version oft prepared by Gwladys L. Williams, Annie Brown andJohn Waldron, with certain revi by Henry Davis. No 20 in The Classics ofInternational Law, ed. James Brown Scot (Oxford: Clarendon Press; London: Humphrey Milford, 1944), pp. 348^49. 76 Sybil M. Jack Lo I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel saith the Lord: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandeth what they say. Jeremiah 5 v. 15; King James version INTRODUCTION James VI and I's attempt to unify all the kingdoms which lay within the boundaries of the British Isles2 was a conscious effort to fuse the different cultures which underlay the various - and multiple - ways in which the people in his different kingdoms constructed and were in the process of actively reconstructing their identities so that a single 'civilisation', a word to which he was attached, a single set of manners, as later defined by David H u m e , would exist within the island boundaries.3 A s he had inscribed on his n e w gold coins: Faciamus eos in gentem unum.4 2 Precise international boundaries themselves were a comparatively new practice zones had been more common in the Middle Ages. For a recent study of boundaries, see Kathryn A Manzo, Creating Boundaries: The Politics ofRace and Nation (Boulder, Colorado: L. Rienner, 1996), who sees a boundary as delimiting sacred kin from alien kind and suggests that 'without the racialized kind ofalien there can be no national kin', pp. 3-4; Liah Greenfield in Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity (Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 1992) has the same view of boundaries, but dates the emergence ofnationalism to the first third ofthe sixteenth century in England. 3 One of the seminal studies on the 1590s in Scotland is Arthur H. Williamson, Scottish National Consciousness in the Age ofJames VI: The Apocalypse, the Union and the Shaping of Scotland's Public Culture (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1979); more recently there has been Brian P. Levack, The Formation ofthe British State: England, Scotla and the Union of1603-1707(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987) which is more concerned with the practical aspects of Union; see also Roger A. Mason, '"Imagining Scotland": Scottish political thought and the problem of Britain 1560-1650', in Scots and Britons: Scottish Political Thought and the Union of 1603, ed. Roger A. Mason (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); British Consciousness and Identity: the Making Britain 1533-1707, ed. Brendan Bradshaw and Peter Roberts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998) has a wider scope and nothing directly focussed on 1603. For a detailed account of the events relating to the Union, see Bruce Galloway, The Union of England and Scotland 1603-8 (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1986). 4 A still useful study of the overall picture is Patrick William Joseph Riley, The Union of England and Scotland (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1978); for the results of the failure of Union see Keith M. Brown, Kingdom or Province? Scotland and the Regal Union 1603-1775(London: Macmillan, 1992) where he picks out forhis introductory verse Ezekiel 37.22: T will make them one nation in the land . . . there will be one king over them and they will never again be two nations or divided into two kingdoms.' National Identities within Britain and the Proposed Union in...


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