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Scotland and the Jacobites

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Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:54 am

Scotland a mostly Protestant country - how come the any Catholics have power there?
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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Basileus on Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:06 pm

Not my area of expertise but I think you will find that in the Highlands and Islands the clans remained Catholic whilst in the Lowlands the Protestants were in control. Obviously the Calvinist were a major influence from Edinburgh with Knox etc. Therefore, during the Civil Wars in the British Isles, Scotland could field pro Catholic and pro Protestant forces. To what extent the religous split reflected language and cultural differences in Scotland at the time I am uncertain but would not be suprised if there was a cross over.

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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:11 pm

Thankis Basileus. I always think it odd that France/England want the Scots onside when surely half of Scotland should rebel against the other half if the ruler picks a side.
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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Deacon on Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:20 pm

I half think the main reason the scots might support the Jacobites is to annoy england!
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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Jason on Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:42 pm

Basileus is right though it gets even more complex when you bear in mind some clans were pro-Jacobite and some weren't...sometimes because they're neighbours were. And the difficulties the Kings of Scotland had often had in exercising their power in the highland and islands did make the differences and the tendency of the H&I to back the 'other side' more extreme. Even to this day there is a tendency in Orkney to see themselves as not quite Scottish-I was up there for a job interview a couple of years back and visited the main museum in Kirkwall...it was quite amusing to read the displays which were very much "those damn Scots came and raided and killed and were very very bad" then you get to a panel which went "Cromwell sent troops here, they became part of the community and taught us to make doorlocks" (to keep the Scots out I guess?).

As to why both France and England wanted Scotland on side, I think it was more because it was seen as the backdoor into England-get troops there and you can be way into England very quickly-look how far the Jacobites got in 1745...and even as late as the reign of Henry VIII there was a fear in England that the Kings of France and Scotland would meet at the Humber.
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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Basileus on Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:41 am

I dont know if there are any Scots out there or people who have studied the period. One of the things I wonder about in this discussion is to what extent the political landscape of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was determined by the early middle ages. The lowlands and the south east had been settled by the Anglo Saxons and the language here was English, the Norse had settled in the Islands and parts of the Highlands with their own language which I think didnt die out until quite late eighteenth/nineteenth century. The Picts in the centre and east had merged with the Scots in the west, again with their own language.
Did this effect later political and religous allegiences? It strikes me as an interesting issue, I presume there may be some books or research on it out there?

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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Guest on Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:09 am

So in game Scotland could end up a Catholic nation on the side of The Pope, Spain, France and Austria?

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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Jason on Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:18 am

I don't think without a very bloody religious-focused Scottish civil war Albreada Smile Given the strength of the Covenanter movement (for example), any attempt to take the country back to Catholicism is going to meet with a lot of resistance.

I think in-game, the main challenge is for the player, as the lowlands-based political power, to bring the highlands and islands properly under control...without causing a revolt Wink I also think that he will come to realise that peace with England has benefited Scotland (no border raids for example, access to the growing economy of England) and try to get on without being dominated by his southern neighbour...now of course, this all depends on the attitude of England...


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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by baggins on Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:01 pm

Jason is right. There seems to be a misconception that all jacobites are catholic. The royal stuarts were catholic but that does not mean their supporters were all catholic.

In fact only a small minority involved on the jacobite side in the '45 rebellion were catholic. the highlanders were not largely catholic, but they were definately "different" from the lowlanders - who mainly looked down on them as ignorant and uncouth. (The romatic take on the highlands is an invention of sir walter scott.)

they were different partly because of language and economic hardship and partly because of the clan system which still meant that your chief's word bound you to action.

you also have to distinguish between the religion of the ruler and the religion of the people. scotland in the 18th century is very definately a protestant (and mainly calvinist) nation, and even with the stuarts in charge it would remain so unless something very remarkable happened.
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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Deacon on Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:12 pm


From my admittedly limited knowledge of the period, people were still pretty particular about the lineage of kings and therefore the ousting of James II may not have sat well with some even if they did not share his catholic faith.


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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by baggins on Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:24 pm

The ousting of James VII of Scotland was popular, as was his replacement by William I and Mary II. The scots particularly disliked James's obvious catholic pretentions (at least his brother has hid it) and his foolish support for religious minorities including catholics.

The coup was partly justified by the fiction that James had abdicated by throwing the great seal of England in the Thames, and that Mary was his legitimate heir.
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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Deacon on Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:33 pm


What was the English/Scottish obsession with Roman Catholicism of the period about? Bloody Mary is ~150 years in the past at this point. Did some catholic piss in their oatmeal as it were?

There is a lot in the period that I get, but being an unbeliever I have real trouble getting inside the heads of the religious nuts of the period!

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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by baggins on Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:40 pm

Given bonfire night - in reality an anti-catholic celebration - this is a timely question.

Put simply Catholicism = arbitrary government and corruption.

To be Catholic is to be different, the be in hock to a foreign power. Remember the massacre of St Bartholomew's day, they would say.

To be catholic is to believe in French style absolutism, so the argument goes, and be against parliament.

It may be useful to think of Catholicism then in the same way as people thought of Communists 20 years ago.
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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Deacon on Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:55 pm


Thanks, that's very helpful.

I can get the Muslim/Catholic thing. "we're right, everybody else is wrong." (The muslims adding the caveat that if you're christian or jewish you're at least half way to the truth.)

But I had trouble understanding why the English were so particular about catholicism. I guess it makes more sense in the context of the only sort of democratic state you'd not like a religion that supports the divine right of kings and all that.

Though I imagine in game a number of english players had wished they had a bit more absolutism!


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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Guest on Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:37 pm

It'd be interesting to see a Scotland 'Go Catholic' in game then. But how would that be achieved?
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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Deacon on Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:15 am


Interesting, perhaps, but unlikely. Why would a scottish player try to go catholic unless someone, likely france, paid them a lot to get them to support the jacobites?

A lot of pain for no gain as I understand it.

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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by baggins on Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:16 am

I missed out some other improtant elements of the anti-catholic mythology in the UK.

The War of the Three Kingdoms (as the English Civil War is now known) was thought in large part to have been an attempt by the Stuarts to impose Catholicism (although in reality it was not), and there was a huge amount of propaganda about irish catholics slaughtering good protestants.

The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) was, at heart, driven by anti-reformation anti-protestantism as the Hapsburgs succesfully reasserted catholicism over much of their lands and Germany. Despite the intervention of France on the "protestant side" it was seen as a Dutch, Swedish, German protestant war against Catholic Spain and Imperial Austria. Of course the Thirty years war had plenty of stories of catholics slaughtering protestants to keep the anti-catholic propagandists happy, even 50 years later (Might seem like a long time ago in 1700, but think of how our attitudes to the Japanese, for example, are still tainted by their excesses during WWII. And then imagine those Japanese were still in power, but in France!).

Going back a bit the Papal Bull, Regnans in Excelsis issued in 1570 by Pope Pius V declared the English Queen Elizabeth, "the pretended Queen of England and the servant of crime" to be a heretic and releasing all her subjects from any allegiance to her and excommunicating any that obeyed her orders. This was widely seen as excusing those who would assasinate the Queen.

Oh and then there is Guy Fawkes himself, a catholic plot to blow up the English parliament...tut tut...the "Guy" we burn on bonfire night was as often as not a fake pope as he was a fake "Guy". After burning the fake pope the good protestants would have a night of hard drinking, and smash up Catholic homes and beat up any unfortunate Catholics hanging around. Pogrom anyone?

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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Guest on Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:37 am

Deacon wrote:
Interesting, perhaps, but unlikely. Why would a scottish player try to go catholic unless someone, likely france, paid them a lot to get them to support the jacobites?

A lot of pain for no gain as I understand it.


Really just to see if it could be done. Changing history.

I've seen a player of Russia work to restore the Old Faith rather than battle it. I wondered how the same could be achieved in Scotland where you're dealing with a tiny population by comparison.

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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by baggins on Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:48 pm

I would suggest by a combination of outlawing protestantism, legal repression, forced transportation, a large garrison, arbitrary arrest of opponents, state sponsored terror (eg burning at the stake) and it would take about 30 years if it was at all possible.

In game terms it may be more posisble than in reality, but I would say it would be almost imposible given how ingrained calvinism is, especially amongst the elites.
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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Deacon on Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:51 pm


Basically, you'd have to do a henry VIII in reverse.

Given the pace of the game, that just doesn't strike me as any fun, because you'd be doing it for a long, long time.

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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by baggins on Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:10 pm

I dont mean to be picky but I'm not sure the parallel with Henry VIII holds. After all his daughter, Mary, did return England to Rome without a serious revolt albeit with much burning at the stake and the head of Lady Jane Grey.

Henry was running with the tide of history, taking on the church when it was at a low point, genuinely corrupt and hypocritical, and suffering from attacks under the reformation. Even he didnt change too much about the church liturgy.

With Scotland, apart from some highland minks, you would be dealing with an ingrained protestant country and profoundly anti-Catholic elites. I would rather imagine it to me more like doing a "Bohemia" in reverse in the 30 years war. Basically you are declaring war on the Scottish people and will need to destroy their will to resist, and turn the countries elites on its head.

What's worse is that given the levels of repression required, you would be justifying all the anti-Catholic propaganda, leading to further resistance, and further repression. There are no parallels in British history, not even Cromwell in Ireland.

Sheer folly in my view.
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Re: Scotland and the Jacobites

Post by Deacon on Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:25 pm


I think it depends upon what you mean by going catholic.

Converting a nation, or establishing a mostly absolute monarch who is catholic with some type of religious toleration.




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