During the early 17th century, when King James VI ascended to the English thrown, the Scottish Parliament and Old Scottish Court used “Scots” as their official language. The mark of Scotland seemed enduring and profound. However, after the union of the English and Scottish parliaments in 1707, England began imposing its language through the Scottish educational system on the Scottish Lowlanders. Scottish nobles began recasting their speech in English in order to identify with society in London, and Scottish Enlightenment philosophers took on the mantle of their English conquers. England was imposing a universal standard that threatened Scotland’s national identity of independence and bravery: “for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule.” Robert Burns took the stage during the most critical moment and revived Scotland’s heritage of liberty for all time.
Jennifer R. McDermott’s treatment of Burns is the finest I have yet seen (read here). It is a “must read” for all liberty lovers!
E. Wesley – Mackinac Center Intern