Free speech in the coffee houses of Europe and America birthed the rise of gentility, republican government, and liberty during a time of, as Beatrix Potter said, “swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets – when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta…” Whether philosophical men between sips passionately debated the latest movements of the British Army in America, or some highwaymen sat brooding plots over steaming mugs, coffee was sure to find its way at the heart of most adventures. With the introduction of coffee into Europe in the 17th century and the subsequent rise of the coffee house as a public forum in the 17th and 18th centuries, some of the greatest political, social, and literary achievements of Great Britain and America started with a cup of coffee.
What is it about Scotland that has stirred the imagination for centuries? Aside from spectacular geography, one word answers this question, “heritage.” The struggles of Scotland may be largely understood as an endeavor to preserve a culture and people that resonate with valiant and independent principles. In this sense, Scotland embodies the highest ideals of conservative thought; preserving the true, good, and beautiful. Although misplaced, the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 was certainly the last national moment of Scottish independent fervor, and marks the grave of Scottish autonomy and tradition. Any rebirths of Scottish culture since 1745 have been reenactments of earlier glory, such as the Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott craze of the 19th century and the Celtic music fad of our own day. With the last battle at Culloden, the English banned the kilts along with all Highland dress, destroyed the clan system, illegalized the carrying of all weapons in Scotland, and sealed the power of the English monarch over all Scottish subjects. The end of a civilization had come. Read more on Landmarks of Liberty…
The knights of James for battle array,
While James himself is still away,
That reiver Rob Roy and Lord Murray,
Broadsword to broadsword pledged to stay.
Per Scriptum E. Wesley – Mackinac Center Intern
In 1320, the signers of the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath vowed, “for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule.” Scotland’s only claim to the English throne was through Stuart family inheritance, and when the English decided to switch royal lines, Scotland had a hereditary right to be excluded from the domain of the new English king, being that the terms of inheritance had been violated. If England won, Scotland would have to submit, if Scotland won, England would have to submit. Read more on Landmarks of Liberty…