The Scottish press, the Union and civil society after 1707: the Glasgow Advertiser and the General Assembly Test Act debate of 1790

Benchimol, A. (2018) The Scottish press, the Union and civil society after 1707: the Glasgow Advertiser and the General Assembly Test Act debate of 1790. Scottish Affairs, 27(1), pp. 82-91. (doi: 10.3366/scot.2018.0226)

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Constitutional debate in the twenty-first century Scottish media is often presented by reporters and commentators as a uniquely contemporary feature of the nation’s civil society. The present article will explore how the Scottish press and eighteenth-century Scotland’s most high profile civil society institution – the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland – interacted to facilitate constitutional debate around the legal, social and ecclesiastical meaning of the Union for Scots, some eighty years after the settlement of 1707. The article examines the Glasgow Advertiser’s coverage of the 1790 General Assembly debate over a motion to repeal the Test Act (which stipulated a confessional qualification in the Church of England for Kirk members seeking to hold British office) to illustrate how the eighteenth-century Scottish newspaper press sought to uphold the constitutional interests of the nation through extensive coverage of a central institution of Scottish civil society.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Civil society, press, Glasgow Advertiser, Test Act, Church of Scotland, General Assembly, national identity, Union of 1707.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Benchimol, Dr Alex
Authors: Benchimol, A.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN1187 Scotland
K Law > KD England and Wales > KDC Scotland
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Research Group:Scottish Romanticism Research Group
Journal Name:Scottish Affairs
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press
ISSN (Online):2053-888X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Edinburgh University Press
First Published:First published in Scottish Affairs 27(1):82-91
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
7171411707 and 2014: The National Press, Civil Society and Constitutional Identity in ScotlandAlex BenchimolThe Royal Society of Edinburgh (ROYSOCED)N/ACRIT - ENGLISH LITERATURE