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Given the extraordinary insights of J.V.Stalin in his classic "The National Question", Marxist-Leninists tend to overlook the writings of Marx and Engels on the National Question. That is to a point acceptable. However, to mis-construe or to selectively quote them, in order to prove a previously held bias, is unacceptable. The appendix carries an exchange in the ISML e-List, showing a tendency in this direction. This was prompted by disagreements upon the "National Question" in - Britain, the United Kingdom, or England, Scotland and Wales.
This article aims to:
First examine the general theory around the National Question as seen by Marx and Engels;
Secondly to briefly re-examine the modern day debate, on the National Question in those islands labeled as "British Isles". We will ask whether from the point of view of Stalin's definition of a nation, Scotland and Wales constitute true "nations"?
Stalin's definition of a nation is as follows:

"A nation is a historically constituted, stable community of people formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture."
J.V.Stalin; "Marxism and the National Question"; Works"; Volume 2; Moscow; 1956; p. 307.

We refer the reader to the excellent analysis by the late Comrade W.B.Bland. His article on behalf of the Communist League (Britain)for the NCMLU is at the following Alliance web-site: National Question-Bland. or at the following NCMLU web-site: National Question-Bland.

Unfortunately Comrade Bland did not conclude his work. In addition, his article was not intended to outline the views of Marx and Engels on Britain in detail. It is these two aspects that form the content of this current article, that is intended to supplement Bland’s analysis.

Stalin’s article "the National Question" rightly, is a foundation for Marxist-Leninist. But this article, largely reflects the era of mature socialist revolutions and colonial liberation struggles. Earlier Marxist analysis was immersed in problems of nation building in the era of capitalist democratic revolution against feudalism, especially in Western Europe.

There are three broad periods of step-wise developments in the Marxist-Leninist viewpoint on the National Question. These may be summarised as follows:

1) The Marxist Period: A view understood and applied by Marx and Engels; a view of the National Question – applied predominantly in the era of the transition from feudalism to capitalist relations of production; and less systematically applied to the colonial revolution;

2) The Leninist Period: A view understood by Lenin of the National Question; on applying a consistent strategy to the national liberation struggle of the colonies of finance imperialism; and to the immediate socialist revolution in the Russian absolutist state;

3) The Marxist-Leninist Period: A view understood by Stalin; that went further in implementing anti-colonial struggles; and in applying lessons of the National Question in the building of multi-national socialist states as in the USSR.

This framework models the main contributions made by Marx and Engels, Lenin, and finally Stalin, to the National Question. Marx and Engels pioneered the analysis of colonialism as their articles on India, China and Ireland testify. But, their immediate revolutionary problems centred on the transition in Western Europe, from the feudal mode of production to a capitalist one. Similarly, Lenin did assist translating theory into the practice of forming a multi-national socialist society. But he was centred on the two-stage revolution in Russia, and the bulk of creation of a multi-national socialist society occurred after his death, under Stalin’s leadership.

The modern current situation follows a temporary defeat of socialism world-wide, with a resurgence of imperialism. Naturally this situation had not been analysed by Marx, Engels, Lenin or Stalin.

This modern current situation, has resulted in a heightened alienation of workers. In Scotland and Wales, this has becomes transformed into "national hopes", for the quiescent-dormant remnants of nations. These had never resolved their "national" cultural wishes. Had socialism been developed, these remnant nations could have been enabled into a socialist federation. But in the current lull in the working class movement, such stalled grievances are frequently re-lit as a mythical "national solution" for the working class.

But this "solution" is a false path. Coming as it does: Within the era of resurgent imperialism; in these countries where all feudal transitions have been long effected; when the economic integration with England has long been completed; and when the socialist revolutionary era is now longer just dawning but is at least at midday.
This Nationalist false by-way, only divides the working class further and even more delays the working class goal – Socialism.

Alliance has previously examined the National Question, largely with reference to the works of Lenin and Stalin. We noted relevant writings of Marx and Engels, as for instance upon the United States of America. However, we have not focused on Marx and Engels vis-à-vis the national question.

It is time that this omission, be rectified in our view. Current fashions, set by Trotskyites such as Tom Nairn, dictate that Marx and Engels "did not analyse the British experience". Nairn writes:
"The marked deficiencies of analysis have unfortunately an influential origin in the history of British writing: The deficiencies of Marx and Engels’ own views on the British state. …. From mid century onwards the main theorists of the following century’s revolutions lived in the most developed capitalist society, …Yet they wrote very little on its state and hegemonic structures. Their long exile coincided largely with an era of quiescence and growing stability in Britain, and this seems to have rendered them largely incurious about their immediate political milieu. The absence of curiosity led them to persist in a view (very marked in other occasional letters and articles on Britain) of the state as a façade or mask of capitalist realties".
Nairn Tom; "The Break-Up of Britain"; London; 1977; page 18-19.
Epriam Nimni takes a step further, and insists that Marx and Engels were "insensitive " to the national question. Unsurprisingly Nimni finds that the only ‘Marxist" that is sensitive to the "multidimensionality of the national problem" is Otto Bauer:
"Marx and Engels were, to put it mildly, impatient with and intolerant of ethnic minorities. This is clear from their private correspondence, the most infamous example of which is the characterisation of Lassalle as a "Jewish Nigger"…….
Only those Marxist theories capable of breaking with the abortive rigidities of the above named parameters (i.e. of Marx and Engels-Editor) have managed to provide a more sensitive analysis of the national phenomena. The work of Otto Bauer and the Austro-Marxists would be the single most important exception to this misleading stance of classical Marxism."
Nimni, Ephraim: "Nationalism And Marxism Theoretical Origins of a Political Crisis"; London 1991; p.30; p.42-43.
Tom Nairn is to the British ‘left’, the prime exponent of ‘national’ separation. Regrettably this influence has now influenced Marxist-Leninists. We highlight Marx and Engels own views, to assist in debunking both Nairn and Nimni. At the same time, some Marxist-Leninists also calim that Marx and Engels viewed Scotland and Wales as nations that should be supported as such.
To garner Marx and Engels as authoritative supports of Welsh and Scottish nationalism was the aim of recent exchanges on the International Struggle Marxist-Leninist e-list [See Appendix]. If true, their view would be potent, as Marx and Engels lived in Britain for a large part of their lives [and contrary to Nairn] played an active role in the working class and progressive movements of their adopted country.

Outline of Text

We first discuss Marx and Engels on nation formation in general;
We then analyse claims that Marx and Engels supported Welsh and Scottish nationalism.
Finally we will trace the history of Scotland; and then Wales to the present day from the point of view of whether they still can claim to be nations.

We argue that Marx and Engels recognised only two unequivocal nations in the sceptr’ed Isle – Britain [Sometimes they called it England] and Ireland.
Overall Synopsis: General key concepts on nation formation: Marx and Engels assessed each national claim and movement from the vantage point of the working class. This required an analysis of each national movement’s contribution to the overall political movement of the working class – both nationally and internationally.
i) The Marxist final goal: Formation of a class with one goal – socialism;
Synopsis: Marx and Engels argued that nationalist interests could not distract the working class from their final goal - socialism. But the working class needed to capture national state power as an interim step. They saw the culmination of bourgeois society as "civil society" – a highly centralized state that began to exert an international erosive power on the world’s nationalities.
Marx and Engels discovered that revolutions in the mode of production both enabled and demanded societal changes. This intellectual discovery was the foundation of historical materialism. This philosophy allowed a view of how the modern state had come into being. The process of the formation of the "Civil Society", was therefore the result of a real social history, not dependent upon theories, mankind’s wishes, nor on Statecraft and the actions of ‘princes’:
"The form of intercourse determined by the existing productive forces at all previous historical stages, and in its turn determining these, is civil society. The latter, as is clear from what we have said above, has as its premises and basis the simple family and the multiple, the so-called tribe…. Already here we see how this civil society is the true source and theatre of all history, and how absurd is the conception of history held hitherto, which neglects the real relationships and confines itself to high-sounding dramas of princes and states."
Marx Karl and Engels Frederick: "The German Ideology"; "Part I: Feuerbach. Opposition Of The Materialist And Idealist Outlook [5.Development of the Productive Forces As a Material Premise of Communism]"; Volume 5; Moscow; 1976; p.50. or a version is at: ... t_b.htm#b1
This real social history had created the necessity for a centralized state, a need voiced as society emerged from the "ancient and medieval communal society". It was from the beginning, a need expressed by the bourgeoisie for their society - bürgerliche Gesellschaft:
"Civil society embraces the whole material intercourse of individuals within a definite stage of the development of productive forces. It embraces the whole commercial and industrial life of a given stage and, insofar, transcends the State and the nation, though, on the other hand again, it must assert itself in its foreign relations as nationality, and inwardly must organise itself as State. The word "civil society" [bürgerliche Gesellschaft] emerged in the eighteenth century, when property relationships had already extricated themselves from the ancient and medieval communal society. Civil society as such only develops with the bourgeoisie; the social organisation evolving directly out of production and commerce, which in all ages forms the basis of the State and of the rest of the idealistic superstructure, has, however, always been designated by the same name".
Marx Karl and Engels Frederick: "The German Ideology"; "Part I: Feuerbach. Opposition Of The Materialist And Idealist Outlook [10.The Necessity, Preconditions & Consequences of the Abolition of Private Property.]"; Volume 5; Moscow; 1976; p.89. or a version is at: ... t_b.htm#b1
As history wore on, it evolved a force that transcended narrow national boundaries and eroded national isolation, creating a "world history":
"History is nothing but the succession of the separate generations, each of which exploits the materials, the capital funds, the productive forces handed down to it by all preceding generations, and thus, on the one hand, continues the traditional activity in completely changed circumstances and, on the other, modifies the old circumstances with a completely changed activity. …..
The further the separate spheres, which interact on one another, extend in the course of this development, the more the original isolation of the separate nationalities is destroyed by the developed mode of production and intercourse, and the division of labour between various nations naturally brought forth by these, the more history becomes world history. Thus, for instance, if in England a machine is invented, which deprives countless workers of bread in India and China, and overturns the whole form of existence of these empires, this invention becomes a world-historical fact. Or again, take the case of sugar and coffee which have proved their world-historical importance in the nineteenth century by the fact that the lack of these products, occasioned by the Napoleonic Continental System, caused the Germans to rise against Napoleon, and thus became the real basis of the glorious Wars of liberation of 1813. From this it follows that this transformation of history into world history is not indeed a mere abstract act on the part of the "self-consciousness", the world spirit, or of any other metaphysical spectre, but a quite material, empirically verifiable act, an act the proof of which every individual furnishes as he comes and goes, eats, drinks and clothes himself."
Marx Karl and Engels Frederick: "The German Ideology"; "Part I: Feuerbach. Opposition Of The Materialist And Idealist Outlook [6. Conclusions From the Materialist Conception of History: History as a continuous Process, History as Becoming World History, The necessity of Communist Revolution]"; Volume 5; Moscow; 1976; p.50-51. or a version is at: ... t_b.htm#b1
In all this momentous change, what attitude was the working class to take? The main aim for Marx and Engels was unequivocally the seizure of state power by the Working peoples. This was something that was getting closer, as capital "centralised" and "divided" society more and more. The ‘nation’ of which Engels wrote his famous book "The Condition of the Working Class in England", showed the "inevitability" of the coming crisis:

"The centralisation of capital strides forward without interruption, the division of society into great capitalist and non-possessing workers is sharper every day, the industrial development of the nation advances with giant strides towards the inevitable crisis."
Engels, Frederick;1845; "Condition of the Working Class in England – ‘The Remaining Branches of Industry’"; In Collected Works; Volume 4; Moscow; 1975 p. 497.

As the priority of the working class was the social revolution, it naturally meant that they should not be fooled into narrower goals such as nationalism. But Marx and Engels were not Utopians, and saw that the first immediate step was the winning of state power by the working class – it must become "the leading class of the nation".
It was only in this sense that the working class was "national".
There was little doubt that the working class victory in several countries, would allow the dissipation of national wars and jealousies. This is expressed in their famous Communist Manifesto as follows:
" The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality. The working men have no country. We cannot take from them what they have not got. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is, so far, itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of the word. National differences and antagonisms between peoples are daily more and more vanishing, owing to the development of the bourgeoisie, to freedom of commerce, to the world market, to uniformity in the mode of production and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto.
The supremacy of the proletariat will cause them to vanish still faster. United action, of the leading civilised countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat.
In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end."
Marx Karl, Engels Frederick: Manifesto of the Communist Party": 1848; In Collected Works; Volume 6; Moscow 1976; pp. 502-03. Or at:
The bourgeoisie had managed to break all national boundaries and were sweeping all parts of the world into one vast market:
"The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the productions of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures there arises a world-literature."
Marx Karl, Engels Frederick: Manifesto of the Communist Party": 1848; In Collected Works; Volume 6;Moscow 1976; 486. Or at:
In all this, the revolutionary goal remained to achieve power. What situations were the most conducive to that goal? It was only democratic states that could sweep away vestiges of feudalism. It was this that impelled Marx and Engels to support revolutionary democratic struggles resulting in the bourgeois revolution – as a prelude to the proletarian revolution:
"The Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement.. . . . The Communists turn their attention chiefly to Germany, because that country is on the eve of a bourgeois revolution that is bound to be carried out under more advanced conditions of European civilisation, and with a much more developed proletariat, than that of England was in the seventeenth, and of France in the eighteenth century, and because the bourgeois revolution in Germany will be but the prelude to an immediately following proletarian revolution."
Mrax And Engels: "The Communist Manifesto"; Ibid; IV: Position Of The Communists In Relation To The Various Existing Opposition Parties" CW Volume 6; p. 518-9. Or at:

ii) The Dialectical View of Nations: Some have a future and some have a past; The Case Of German States Taking Over Polish and Bohemian Slavonic lands
Synopsis: Marx and Engels recognised that nations came into being and died. Those that died were absorbed by more vigorous nations. However even when absorbed, remnants would often try to gain national status. In the case of Poland – this was progressive as it eroded both German and Russian imperial absolutism. For other nations – those in the "South Slavonic" grouping, their resort to reactionary alliances such as the Pan-Slavic League dominated by Russia rendered them insupportable. Support to a national struggle was not immediate, but contingent on the overall goals of the international working class.

For Marx and Engels, all national movements were seen through the prism of one over-riding goal: Namely, to break feudalism, smash absolutist states, and assist the rise of democratic states. This alone could give the best lift-off to the take-over of the state by workers and would assist the workers revolution.
Marx and Engels recognised that national states come into being and pass out of being. They argued that nations that were waning would not disappear quickly, nor even without attempts at re-establishing a claim to nationhood. To re-establish such a claim, some nations (or remnants of nations) might even ally themselves to reactionary causes. But if they did that, they ran the risk of completely relinquishing whatever historical ‘rights’ they claimed.
In fact Marx and Engels distinguished between the national question of Poland and that of Bohemia and Croatian precisely because of this. It is well known that Marx and Engels supported the cause of Poland’s national independence. It is less understood that they repudiated the case for Czech independence. What were their grounds for this difference?
We review the penetration by first German nobles, then by the German trading and manufacturing middle classes, into Slavonic Europe. Engels pointed out that a general process had occurred whereby the "Tschechs" – or Czechs and Poles were overtaken by a more dynamic social grouping of German nationality. The process is similar to that of the colonial penetration of imperialism into colonies:

"The whole of the eastern half of Germany as far as the Elbe, Saale and Bohemian Forest, has as it well known, been re-conquered during the last thousand years from invaders of Slavonic origin. The greater part of these territories have been Germanised to the perfect extinction of all Slavonic nationality and language……
But the case is different along the whole of the frontier of ancient Poland and in the countries of the Tshechian tongue, in Bohemia and Morovia. Here the two nationalities are mixed up in every district, the towns being more or less German while the Slavonic elements prevails in the rural villages, where however it is also gradually disintegrated and forced back by the steady advance of German influence…"
Engels, Frederick : "Revolution and Counter-Revolution: VIII. Poles, Tschechs, And Germans"; 1852.; In Collected Works Marx and Engels; Volume 11; Moscow 1979; p. 43; Or At:

Underlying the new domination is the superior social level, consistent with the more advanced mode of production that the Germans had adopted:

"The Slavonians, and particularly the Western Slavonians (Poles and Tschechs), are essentially an agricultural race; trade and manufactures never were in great favor with them. The consequence was that, with the increase of population and the origin of cities in these regions, the production of all articles of manufacture fell into the hands of German immigrants, and the exchange of these commodities against agricultural produce became the exclusive monopoly of the Jews, who, if they belong to any nationality, are in these countries certainly rather Germans than Slavonians. . . . . The importance of the German element in the Slavonic frontier localities, thus rising with the growth of towns, trade and manufactures, was still increased when it was found necessary to import almost every element of mental culture from Germany; after the German merchant and handicraftsman, the German clergyman, the German schoolmaster, the German savant came to establish himself upon Slavonic soil. And lastly, the iron thread of conquering armies, or the cautious, well-premeditated grasp of diplomacy, not only followed, but many times went ahead of the slow but sure advance of denationalization by social development. Thus, great parts of Western Prussia and Posen have been Germanized since the first partition of Poland, by sales and grants of public domains to German colonists, by encouragements given to German capitalists for the establishment of manufactories, etc., in those neighborhoods, and very often, too, by excessively despotic measures against the Polish inhabitants of the country."
Frederick Engels: "Revolution and Counter-Revolution: VIII. Poles, Tschechs, And Germans"; 1852.; In Collected Works Marx and Engels; Volume 11; Moscow 1979; p. 44-46; or at:

This was the climate up to 1848 – a seamless penetration of German capital, which led to German domination over Poland. The 1848 Revolution struck the notes of national liberation however, and this awakened the Polish aspirations:

"In this manner the last seventy years had entirely changed the line of demarcation between the German and Polish nationalities. The Revolution of 1848 calling forth at once the claim of all oppressed nations to an independent existence, and to the right of settling their own affairs for themselves, it was quite natural that the Poles should at once demand the restoration of their country within the frontiers of the old Polish Republic before 1772."
Frederick Engels: "Revolution and Counter-Revolution: VIII. Poles, Tschechs, And Germans"; 1852.; In Collected Works Marx and Engels; Volume 11; Moscow 1979; p. 45; Or a version is at:

What policy should progressive Germans support, asked Engels? He recognised that the people of Poland had been over-taken by an apparently more advanced society in the first place:

"Should whole tracts of land, inhabited chiefly by Germans, should large towns, entirely German, be given up to a people that as yet had never given any proofs of its capability of progressing beyond a state of feudalism based upon agricultural serfdom? The question was intricate enough."
Frederick Engels: "Revolution and Counter-Revolution: VIII. Poles, Tschechs, and Germans"; 1852.; In Collected Works Marx and Engels; Volume 11; Moscow 1979; p. 45; or a version is at:

This would imply that the national rights of Poland were not predominant in the equation. Nonetheless, for Engels, the solution demanded that all geopolitical forces be resolved in a simultaneous equation. This therefore, of necessity had to include the major absolutist state left that threatened European working class aspirations– i.e. Russia. In this transformed equation, the ‘advanced party’ in Germany would have to support Polish national Statehood, regardless that the ‘middle classes’ fearing revolutionary spirit would reject Polish nationhood:

"The only possible solution was in a war with Russia. The question of delimitation between the different revolutionized nations would have been made a secondary one to that of first establishing a safe frontier against the common enemy. The Poles, by receiving extended territories in the east, would have become more tractable and reasonable in the west; and Riga and Milan would have been deemed, after all, quite as important to them as Danzig and Elbing. Thus the advanced party in Germany, deeming a war with Russia necessary to keep up the Continental movement, and considering that the national re-establishment even of a part of Poland would inevitably lead to such a war, supported the Poles; while the reigning middle class partly clearly foresaw its downfall from any national war against Russia, which would have called more active and energetic men to the helm, and, therefore, with a feigned enthusiasm for the extension of German nationality, they declared Prussian Poland, the chief seat of Polish revolutionary agitation, to be part and parcel of the German Empire that was to be. The promises given to the Poles in the first days of excitement were shamefully broken. Polish armaments got up with the sanction of the Government were dispersed and massacred by Prussian artillery; and as soon as the month of April, 1848, within six weeks of the Berlin Revolution, the Polish movement was crushed, and the old national hostility revived between Poles and Germans. This immense and incalculable service to the Russian autocrat was performed by the Liberal merchant-ministers, Camphausen and Hansemann."
Frederick Engels: "Revolution and Counter-Revolution: VIII. Poles, Tschechs, And Germans"; 1852.; In Collected Works Marx and Engels; Volume 11; Moscow 1979; p. 45; Or a version is at:

The other main area of German penetration, which led in 1848 to a revival of the National question was Bohemia . This is now the site of modern day Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic. There, Engels argued that a national struggle should not be supported. Engels outlined why he held a view that "Bohemia could only exist .. as a portion of Germany" - as follows:

"The question of nationality gave rise to another struggle in Bohemia. This country, inhabited by two millions of Germans, and three millions of Slavonians of the Tschechian tongue, had great historical recollections, almost all connected with the former supremacy of the Tschechs. But then the force of this branch of the Slavonic family had been broken ever since the wars of the Hussites in the fifteenth century. The province speaking the Tschechian tongue was divided, one part forming the kingdom of Bohemia, another the principality of Moravia, a third the Carpathian hill-country of the Slovaks, being part of Hungary. The Moravians and Slovaks had long since lost every vestige of national feeling and vitality, although mostly preserving their language. Bohemia was surrounded by thoroughly German countries on three sides out of four. The German element had made great progress on her own territory; even in the capital, in Prague, the two nationalities were pretty equally matched; and everywhere capital, trade, industry, and mental culture were in the hands of the Germans. . . . . .
But as it often happens, dying Tschechian nationality, dying according to every fact known in history for the last four hundred years, made in 1848 a last effort to regain its former vitality — an effort whose failure, independently of all revolutionary considerations, was to prove that Bohemia could only exist, henceforth, as a portion of Germany, although part of her inhabitants might yet, for some centuries, continue to speak a non-German language."
Frederick Engels: "Revolution and Counter-Revolution: VIII. Poles, Tschechs, And Germans"; 1852.; In Collected Works Marx and Engels; Volume 11; Moscow 1979; p. 46; or a version is at:

Engels was so negative about the outlook for Bohemia-Czech-Moravian nationalism because of two factors:
Firstly its historic role had been superseded by a more dynamic nation – that of Germany, as outlined by him above; and
Secondly because it had allied itself to a reactionary dangerous enemy of the entire European working class that threatened its’ single ultimate aim: Socialism. This enemy was Russia (and also Austria at times), and the joint movement where the smaller Slavonic nationalisms united together with Russia, adopted the name Pan-Slavism.
Engels analysed Pan-Slavism as a reactionary force, a force that incidentally is still bruited at various times even nowadays by those who claim "Marxist-Leninist" views. In contrast to them, on "Pan-Slavism", Engels was firm.
Engels described the various nationalities comprising the allied movement, as having an overall aim of "subjugating the civilized West under the barbarian East":

"Bohemia and Croatia (another disjected member of the Slavonic family, acted upon by the Hungarian, as Bohemia by the German) were the homes of what is called on the European continent "Panslavism." Neither Bohemia nor Croatia was strong enough to exist as a nation by herself. Their respective nationalities, gradually undermined by the action of historical causes that inevitably absorbs into a more energetic stock, could only hope to be restored to anything like independence by an alliance with other Slavonic nations. There were twenty-two millions of Poles, forty-five millions of Russians, eight millions of Serbians and Bulgarians; why not form a mighty confederation of the whole eighty millions of Slavonians, and drive back or exterminate the intruder upon the holy Slavonic soil, the Turk, the Hungarian, and above all the hated, but indispensable Niemetz, the German? Thus in the studies of a few Slavonian dilettanti of historical science was this ludicrous, this anti-historical movement got up, a movement which intended nothing less than to subjugate the civilized West under the barbarian East, the town under the country, trade, manufactures, intelligence, under the primitive agriculture of Slavonian serfs."
Frederich Engels: "Revolution and Counter-Revolution: IX. Panslavism--The Schleswig-Holstein War"; 1852. In Marx And Engels Collected Works; Volume 11, Moscow; 1979; pp. 46-47. Or at:

Engels pointed to the real political reality and force, which could effect this wish for nationalism. This real force was the counter-revolutionary Russian Absolutist State:

"But behind this ludicrous theory stood the terrible reality of the Russian Empire; that empire which by every movement proclaims the pretension of considering all Europe as the domain of the Slavonic race, and especially of the only energetic part of this race, of the Russians; that empire which, with two capitals such as St. Petersburg and Moscow, has not yet found its centre of gravity, as long as the "City of the Czar" (Constantinople, called in Russian Tzarigrad, the Czar's city), considered by every Russian peasant as the true metropolis of his religion and his nation, is not actually the residence of its Emperor; that empire which, for the last one hundred and fifty years, has never lost, but always gained territory by every war it has commenced. And well known in Central Europe are the intrigues by which Russian policy supported the new-fangled system of Panslavism, a system than which none better could be invented to suit its purposes. Thus, the Bohemian and Croatian Panslavists, some intentionally, some without knowing it, worked in the direct interest of Russia; they betrayed the evolutionary cause for the shadow of a nationality which, in the best of cases, would have shared the fate of the Polish nationality under Russian sway. It must, however, be said for the honor of the Poles, that they never got to be seriously entangled in these Pan-slavist traps, and if a few of the aristocracy turned furious Pan-slavists, they knew that by Russian subjugation they had less to lose than by a revolt of their own peasant serfs. The Bohemians and Croatians called, then, a general Slavonic Congress at Prague, for the preparation of the universal Slavonian Alliance. This Congress would have proved a decided failure even without the interference of the Austrian military."
Frederich Engels: "Revolution and Counter-Revolution: IX. Pan-Slavism--The Schleswig-Holstein War"; 1852. In Marx And Engels Collected Works; Volume 11, Moscow; 1979; pp. 47.
Or a version is at:

It was primarily on these grounds that Marx and Engels consistently supported the Polish movement. It will be remembered that the Polish revolt precipitated a movement for international solidarity that resulted in the First International – the International Working Mens’ Association (IWMA):

"You say:
"That the imperial yoke oppressing Poland is a brake equally hampering the political and social emancipation of both nations- the Russian just as much as the Polish";
You might add that Russia’s violent conquest of Poland provide a pernicious support and real reason for the existence of a military regime in Germany, and as a consequence, on the whole Content. Therefore workmen, on breaking Poland’s chains, Russian socialists take on themselves the lofty task of destroying the military regime: that is essential as a precondition for the general emancipation of the European proletariat."
Marx, Karl: The General Council of the International Working Men’s Association to Committee Members of the Russian Section in Geneva."; March 24th, 1870; London. In Collected Works; Volume 21: Moscow 1981; p.110.

Consistently the diplomatic writings of Marx and Engels sounded the theme of vigilance against Russian absolutism. This was one of the reasons for their opposition to Mikhail Bakunin who supported Pan-Slavism, who had formed a secret alliance with Russian absolutism.
The whole area’s history was redolent of the birth and the dying of nations. Marx and Engels felt that this was not only the story of the Germanic and Slavonic areas of Europe, it was the story of the entire area of Europe and even beyond – to the Americas:

"Thus ended for the present, and most likely for ever, the attempts of the Slavonians of Germany to recover an independent national existence. Scattered remnants of numerous nations, whose nationality and political vitality had long been extinguished, and who in consequence had been obliged, for almost a thousand years, to follow in the wake of a mightier nation, their conqueror, the same as the Welsh in England, the Basques in Spain, the Bas-Bretons in France, and at a more recent period the Spanish and French Creoles in those portions of North America occupied of late by the Anglo-American race - these dying nationalities, the Bohemians, Carinthians, Dalmatians, etc., had tried to profit by the universal confusion of 1848, in order to restore their political status quo of A. D. 800. The history of a thousand years ought to have shown them that such a retrogression was impossible; that if all the territory east of the Elbe and Saale had at one time been occupied by kindred Slavonians, this fact merely proved the historical tendency, and at the same time physical and intellectual power of the German nation to subdue, absorb, and assimilate its ancient eastern neighbors; that this tendency of absorption on the part of the Germans had always been, and still was one of the mightiest means by which the civilization of Western Europe had been spread in the east of that continent; that it could only cease whenever the process of Germanization had reached the frontier of large, compact, unbroken nations, capable of an independent national life, such as the Hungarians, and in some degree the roles: and that, therefore, the natural and inevitable fate of these dying nations was to allow this process of dissolution and absorption by their stronger neighbors to complete itself. Certainly this is no very flattering prospect for the national ambition of the Pan-slavistic dreamers who succeeded in agitating a portion of the Bohemian and South Slavonian people; but can they expect that history would retrograde a thousand years in order to please a few phthisical bodies of men, who in every part of the territory they occupy are interspersed with and surrounded by Germans, who from time almost immemorial have had for all purposes of civilization no other language but the German, and who lack the very first conditions of national existence, numbers and compactness of territory? Thus, the Pan-Slavistic rising, which everywhere in the German and Hungarian Slavonic territories was the cloak for the restoration to independence of all these numberless petty nations, everywhere clashed with the European revolutionary movements, and the Slavonians, although pretending to fight for liberty, were invariably (the Democratic portion of the Poles excepted) found on the side of despotism and reaction. Thus it was in Germany, thus in Hungary, thus even here and there in Turkey. Traitors to the popular cause, supporters and chief props to the Austrian Government's cabal, they placed themselves in the position of outlaws in the eyes of all revolutionary nations."
Frederick Engels: "Revolution and Counter-Revolution: XIV. The Restoration Of Order—Diet And Chamber"; 1852; In Marx And Engels Collected Works; Volume 11, Moscow; 1979; pp. 70-71. Or a version is at:

On the whole, the main reason that the bourgeoisie may not achieve their historical role of actually forming a nation - is dominance by a more vigorous nation. However, another element may enter the drama – that is the fear of the bourgeoisie that they cannot restrain their own working class from further revolution:

"It is a peculiarity of the bourgeoisie, in contrast to all other ruling classes, that there is a turning point in its development after which every further expansion of its agencies of power, hence primarily of its capital, only tends to make it more and more unfit for political rule. "Behind the big bourgeoisie stand the proletarians". In proportion as the bourgeoisie develops its industry, commerce, and means of communication, it increases the numbers of the proletariat. At a certain point - which is not necessarily reached everywhere at the same time or at the same stage of development - it begins to notice that its proletarian double is outgrowing it. From that moment on, it loses the strength required for exclusive political rule; it looks around for allies with whom to share its rule, or to whom to cede it entirely, as circumstances may require. These allies are all reactionary by nature."
Engels,Frederick : "The Peasant War In Germany" - Engels' Preface To The Second Edition of 1870; Collected Works; Moscow 1985; Volume 21; p.97; Another translation of this is to be found at : ... /pwg0a.htm

iii) Workers of one nation, must assess whether a given national struggle furthers the ultimate goals of the international working class
Synopsis: The workers of an oppressing nation must break ranks with their own bourgeoisie and support the struggle of the workers of the oppressed nations. Unless the workers of the oppressing nation do this, they will not be able to free themselves.

The workers of an oppressing nation must recognise that their own revolution demands that they support the oppressed nation, against their own bourgeoisie. This was especially so for England, which Marx felt could not be treated simply as any country, along with all other countries. It must be treated as "the metropolis of capital."
England was in a special status since it had outstripped the world in the degree to which it had become the state home of full blown un-restrained capital:
"Although revolutionary initiative will probably come from France, England alone can serve as the lever for a serious economic Revolution. It is the only country where there are no more peasants and where landed property is concentrated in a few hands. It is the only country where the capitalist form, that is to say, combined labour on a large scale under capitalist masters, now embraces virtually the whole of production. It is the only country where the great majority of the population consists of WAGES-LABOURERS. It is the only country where the class struggle and the organisation of the working class by the TRADES UNIONS have acquired a certain degree of maturity and universality. It is the only country where, because of its domination on the world market, every revolution in economic matters must immediately affect the whole world. If landlordism and capitalism are classical features in England, on the other hand, the material conditions for their destruction are the most mature here. …...England cannot be treated simply as a country along with other countries. It must be treated as the metropolis of capital".
Marx, Karl: "Letter to Dr Kugelmann"; March 28; 1870: In Collected Works; Volume 21: Moscow; 1985; pp.118-119; OR at: ... ntial.html
But if England was the fulcrum of world capitalism, the fulcrum of the English revolution was in Ireland, and the British workers should recognise that they could not participate in the enslavement of the Irish worker – if only in order to obtain their own liberation from capital:
"5) Question of the General Council Resolutions on the Irish Amnesty.
If England is the BULWARK of landlordism and European capitalism, the only point where official England can be struck a great blow is Ireland. In the first place, Ireland is the BULWARK of English landlordism. If it fell in Ireland, it would fall in England. In Ireland this is a hundred times easier because the economic struggle there is concentrated exclusively on landed property, because this struggle is at the same time national, and because the people there are more revolutionary and more exasperated than in England. Landlordism in Ireland is maintained solely by the English army. The moment the forced Union between the two countries ends, a social revolution will immediately break out in Ireland, though in outmoded forms. English landlordism would not only lose a great source of its wealth, but also its greatest moral force, i.e., that of representing the domination of England over Ireland. On the other hand, by maintaining the power of its landlords in Ireland, the English proletariat makes them invulnerable in England itself. "
Marx Karl: "Letter to Dr Kugelmann"; March 28; 1870: In Collected Works; Volume 21: Moscow; 1985; pp.119-120; or at: Kugelmann
Not only was support to the Irish struggle imperative from the point of view of the revolutionary balance of forces, it was also imperative because the forced emigration of the poverty stricken Irish had created a "divide-and-rule" situation whereby the capitalist could use division to his own immediate ends:
"In the second place, the English bourgeoisie has not only exploited Irish poverty to keep down the working class in England by forced immigration of poor Irishmen, but it has also divided the proletariat into two hostile camps. The revolutionary fire of the Celtic worker does not go well with the solid but slow nature of the Anglo-Saxon worker. On the contrary, in all the big industrial centres in England there is profound antagonism between the Irish proletarian and the English proletarian. The average English worker hates the Irish worker as a competitor who lowers wages and the STANDARD OF LIFE. He feels national and religious antipathies for him. He regards him somewhat like the POOR WHITES of the Southern States of North America regarded black slaves. This antagonism among the proletarians of England is artificially nourished and kept up by the bourgeoisie. It knows that this scission is the true secret of maintaining its power.
Moreover, this antagonism is reproduced on the other side of the Atlantic. The Irish, chased from their native soil by the bulls and the sheep, reassemble in the United States where they constitute a huge, ever-growing section of the population. Their only thought, their only passion, is hatred for England. The English and American governments - that is to say, the classes they represennt-play on these feelings in order to perpetuate the international struggle which prevents any serious and sincere alliance between the working classes on both sides of the Atlantic, and, consequently, their common emancipation."
Marx Karl: "Letter to Dr Kugelmann"; March 28; 1870: In Collected Works; Volume 21: Moscow; 1985; p.119-120. ... ntial.html
In Conclusion, the workers of England should recognize that "any people that oppresses another people forges its own chains". To this end the IWMA adopted resolutions for the Irish struggle, moved by Marx:
"Ireland is the only pretext the English Government has for retaining a big standing army, which, if need be, As has happened before, can be used against the English workers after having done its military training in Ireland.
Lastly, England today is seeing a repetition of what happened on a monstrous scale in ancient Rome. Any people that oppresses another people forges its own chains.
Thus, the position of the International Association with regard to the Irish question is very clear. Its first concern is to advance the social revolution in England. To this end a great blow must be struck in Ireland. The General Council's resolutions on the Irish amnesty serve only as an introduction to other resolutions which will affirm that, quite apart from international justice, it is a precondition to the emancipation of the English working class to transform the present forced Union – i.e., the enslavement of Ireland - into equal and free confederation if possible, into complete separation if need be." Marx Karl: "Letter to Dr Kugelmann"; March 28; 1870: In Collected Works; Volume 21: Moscow; 1985; p.120-121; or at: ... ntial.html

"After studying the Irish question for years I have come to the conclusion that the decisive blow against the ruling classes in England (and this is decisive for the workers’ movement ALL OVER THE WORLD) CANnot be struck in England, but only in Ireland. …Ireland is the BULWARK of the English landed aristocracy. The exploitation of this country is not simply one of the main sources of their material wealth: it is their greatest moral power. They represent, IN FACT, the domination of England over Ireland. Ireland is thus the, grand moyen [cardinal means] by which the English aristocracy maintains its domination in England itself."
Marx to Meyer & Vogt. 9th April 1870. In Collected Works Volume 43; Moscow; 1988;pp471-476.
Conclusion to Part One: The Legacy to Lenin and Stalin:

The broad analysis of the national movements as seen by Marx and Engels has been summarised. At least these following general principles of their thought are identified:

1) That the national struggle is the usual form of struggle underlying the bourgeois democratic over-turn of feudal absolutism;
2) Nations are a dialectical entity subject to change – some come into being and some die;
3) That there is no unequivocal legitimacy to every national struggle – this must be viewed in the context of the overall working class aim- state power;
4) That workers of an oppressed nation must shed their chauvinism and support the national demands of the oppressed nations.

It is of course true, that in some details Marx and Engels were wrong – for instance the Czech and Slovak peoples did obtain national status.
Neither Marx nor Engels claimed to be infallible for all time, and could not predict each and every twist in the national struggle of all peoples.
At their time in history there were logical reasons to argue as they did.
Nonetheless, they laid out broad approaches by which communists must approach the national struggle.
It is worth briefly asking, if the principles we have adduced from their work was challenged by either of their successors, Lenin or Stalin? We answer yes.

1) Both Lenin and Stalin pointed out that nations have a dialectical real existence, in that they have a life and death:

"Needless to say, "national character" is not a thing that is fixed once and for all, but is modified by changes in the conditions of life; but since it exists at every given moment, it leaves its impress on the physiognomy of the nation. Thus, a common psychological make-up, which manifests itself in a common culture, is one of the characteristic features of a nation. We have now exhausted the characteristic features of a nation. A nation is a historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture. It goes without saying that a nation, like every historical phenomenon, is subject to the law of change, has its history, its beginning and end."
Stalin, J.V. "Marxism And The National Question"; Part II The National Movement"; In: Works, Vol. 2, pp. 307; Moscow, 1954;

"But the unity of a nation diminishes not only as a result of migration. It diminishes also from internal causes, owing to the growing acuteness of the class struggle. In the early stages of capitalism one can still speak of a "common culture" of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. But as large-scale industry develops and the class struggle becomes more and more acute, this "common culture" begins to melt away. One cannot seriously speak of the "common culture" of a nation when employers and workers of one and the same nation cease to understand each other."
J. V. Stalin, "Marxism And The National Question"; Part II The National Movement"; In: Works, Vol. 2, pp. 339-340; Moscow, 1954;
2) Both Lenin and Stalin pointed out that nation building was a key part of the process of elimination of feudalism: J.V.Stalin:
"The process of elimination of feudalism and development of capitalism is at the same time a process of the constitution of people into nations. Such, for instance, was the case in Western Europe. The British, French, Germans, Italians and others were formed into nations at the time of the victorious advance of capitalism and its triumph over feudal disunity….. From what has been said it will be clear that the national struggle under the conditions of rising capitalism is a struggle of the bourgeois classes among themselves. Sometimes the bourgeoisie succeeds in drawing the proletariat into the national movement, and then the national struggle externally assumes a "nation-wide" character. But this is so only externally. In its essence it is always a bourgeois struggle, one that is to the advantage and profit mainly of the bourgeoisie."
J. V. Stalin, "Marxism And The National Question"; Part II The National Movement"; In: Works, Vol. 2, pp. 313; 319; Moscow, 1954;
3) Both Lenin and Stalin pointed out that the working class should not automatically support all demands for national status: J.V.Stalin:
"The bourgeoisie of the oppressed nation, repressed on every hand, is naturally stirred into movement. It appeals to its "native folk" and begins to shout about the "fatherland," claiming that its own cause is the cause of the nation as a whole. It recruits itself an army from among its "countrymen" in the interests of . . . the "fatherland." Nor do the "folk" always remain unresponsive to its appeals; they rally around its banner: the repression from above affects them too and provokes their discontent. Thus the national movement begins. The strength of the national movement is determined by the degree to which the wide strata of the nation, the proletariat and peasantry, participate in it. Whether the proletariat rallies to the banner of bourgeois nationalism depends on the degree of development of class antagonisms, on the class-consciousness and degree of organisation of the proletariat. The class-conscious proletariat has its own tried banner, and has no need to rally to the banner of the bourgeoisie."
J. V. Stalin, "Marxism And The National Question"; Part II The National Movement"; In: Works, Vol. 2, pp. 317; Moscow, 1954;

"But the policy of nationalist persecution is dangerous to the cause of the proletariat also on another account. It diverts the attention of large strata from social questions, questions of the class struggle, to national questions, questions "common" to the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. And this creates a favourable soil for lying propaganda about "harmony of interests," for glossing over the class interests of the proletariat and for the intellectual enslavement of the workers."
J. V. Stalin, "Marxism And The National Question"; Part II The National Movement"; In: Works, Vol. 2, pp. 319; Moscow, 1954;

"This, of course, does not mean that Social-Democracy will support every custom and institution of a nation. While combating the coercion of any nation, it will uphold only the right of the nation itself to determine its own destiny, at the same time agitating against harmful customs and institutions of that nation in order to enable the toiling strata of the nation to emancipate themselves from them. The right of self-determination means that a nation may arrange its life in the way it wishes. It has the right to arrange its life on the basis of autonomy. It has the right to enter into federal relations with other nations. It has the right to complete secession. Nations are sovereign, and all nations have equal rights. This, of course, does not mean that Social-Democracy will support every demand of a nation. A nation has the right even to return to the old order of things; but this does not mean that Social-Democracy will subscribe to such a decision if taken by some institution of a particular nation. The obligations of Social-Democracy, which defends the interests of the proletariat, and the rights of a nation, which consists of various classes, are two different things".
J. V. Stalin, "Marxism And The National Question"; Part II The National Movement"; In: Works, Vol. 2, pp. 321-322; Moscow, 1954;
4) Both Lenin and Stalin pointed out that the working class of an oppressor nation must support the oppressed nation. ... Q2001.html

- Engels, Frederick;1845; "Condition of the Working Class in England"; In Collected Works; Volume 4; Moscow; 1975;
- Engels, Frederick : "Revolution and Counter-Revolution: VIII. Poles, Tschechs, And Germans"; 1852.; In Collected Works Marx and Engels; Volume 11; Moscow 1979;
-Engels,Frederick : "The Peasant War In Germany" - Engels' Preface To The Second Edition of 1870; Collected Works; Moscow 1985; Volume 21;
- Marx Karl, Engels Frederick: Manifesto of the Communist Party": 1848; In Collected Works; Volume 6; Moscow 1976;
- Marx Karl and Engels Frederick: "The German Ideology"; "Part I: Feuerbach. Opposition Of The Materialist And Idealist Outlook [5.Development of the Productive Forces As a Material Premise of Communism]"; Volume 5; Moscow; 1976;
- Marx, Karl: The General Council of the International Working Men’s Association to Committee Members of the Russian Section in Geneva."; March 24th, 1870; London. In Collected Works; Volume 21: Moscow 1981;
- Marx, Karl: "Letter to Dr Kugelmann"; March 28; 1870: In Collected Works; Volume 21: Moscow; 1985;
- Nairn, Tom; "The Break-Up of Britain"; London; 1977;
- Nimni, Ephraim: "Nationalism And Marxism Theoretical Origins of a Political Crisis"; London 1991;
- Stalin, J.V. "Marxism And The National Question"; Works, Vol. 2, pp. 307; Moscow, 1954.
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Synopsis: Marx and Engels differentiated between Ireland, which they saw as a nation demanding national rights, from Wales and Scotland. The latter they recognised as countries-nations, that had been subsumed into England. They used the term England almost synonymously with Great Britain. They advocated no national rights for Wales or Scotland.
Marx and Engels insistently claimed that Ireland was a separate nation that should be supported as such. But what was their attitude to Wales and Scotland? There is little doubt that Marx and Engels did at times, apply the term "nation" to both Wales and Scotland. Thus for example, Engels contrasts the Welsh farmers to English farmers, in order to explain their different rates of profit. He ascribes this to the "national" tendency of the Welsh to be less mobile than the English:
"If the peasantry of England shows the consequences which a numerous agricultural proletariat in connection with large farming involves for the country districts, Wales illustrates the ruin of the small holders. If the English country parishes reproduce the antagonism between capitalist and proletarian the state of the Welsh peasantry corresponds to the progressive ruin of the small bourgeoisie in the towns. In Wales are to be found, almost exclusively, small holders, who cannot with like profit sell their products as cheaply as the larger, more favorably situated English farmers, with whom, whoever, they are obliged to compete. … Then too these Welsh farmers, by reason of their separate nationality, which they retain pertinaciously, are much more stationary than the English farmers. But the competition between themselves and with their English neighbors (and the increased mortgagees upon their land consequent upon this) has reduced them to such a state that they can scarcely live at all;"
Engels, Frederick: "The Agricultural Proletariat; from "The Condition of the Working Class in England"; In "Collected Works"; Volume 4; Moscow 1975; p. 304-305. A version is at: ... /cwe12.htm
But in a more general vein, that same early and brilliant text ["Condition of the Working Class"] is at pains to portray one class division across the three parts that comprise "England" or "Britain".
Explicitly in the entire corpus of work from Marx and Engels, the statements are made that the Irish form a nation that has the right to, and will ultimately secede. But this is not seen in any way, in their references to the Scots and the Welsh.
In fact, both Marx and Engels frequently used the terms "English" and "British" virtually interchangeably. This following is just one example:
"The means employed by the Fabian Society are just the same as those of the corrupt parliamentary politicians: money, intrigues, careerism. That is, English careerism, according to which it is self-understood that every political party (only among the workers it is supposed to be different!) pays its agents in some way or other or rewards them with posts, These people are immersed up to their necks in the intrigues of the Liberal Party, hold Liberal Party jobs as for instance Sidney Webb, who in general is a genuine British politician".
Engels, Frederick : "Letter Engels to Karl Kautsky; Ryde September 4th 1892; In "Marx and Engels On Britain"; Moscow; 1953; p. 531. (Our Emphasis added); see also at Alliance web-site:
Marx and Engels held the view, as discussed above, that some nations held a legitimacy while others did not. Engels drew an explicit distinction between Scotland and Wales as nations who have either been suppressed or given up their national struggle – from Ireland which had not. His fragmentary remark is from 1870:
"The English have been able to reconcile people of the most diverse races with their rule. The Welsh who cling so strongly to their nationality and their language have been completely integrated into the British Empire. The Scottish Celts, although rebellious until 1745, and since then almost exterminated, first by the government and then by their own aristocracy, have no thought of rebellion. The French of the Channel Islands fought bitterly against France even during the Great Revolution. And even the Frisians of Heligoland, sold to England by Denmark , are content with their lot, and it will surely be a long time before the laurels of Sadowa and the achievement s of the North-German Confederation arouse in them the agonised cry for unification with the great Fatherland. Only the Irish have proved too much for the English to cope with. The tremendous resilience of the Irish race is to blame for this. Despite the most savage suppression, shortly after each attempt to wipe them out the Irish stood stronger than ever before."
Engels, Frederick; "Plan of Chapter Two & Fragments for "The History of Ireland"; "Collected Works"; Volume 21; London 1985; pp. 312.
Indeed elsewhere Engels draws attention to the homogenisation that was taking place between the Scottish and the English, with the disappearance of the Gaelic language:
"..The establishment of communication.
From 1818 to 1829, there were built in England and Wales, 1,000 English miles of roadway of the width prescribed by law, 60 feet, and nearly all the old roads were reconstructed on the new system of McAdam. In Scotland, the Department of Public Works built since 1805 nearly 900 miles of roadway and more than 1,000 bridges, by which the population of the Highlands was suddenly placed within reach of civilisation. The Highlanders had hitherto been chiefly poachers and smugglers; they now became farmers and hand-workers. And, though Gaelic schools were organised for the purpose of maintaining the Gaelic language, yet Gaelic-Celtic customs and speech are rapidly vanishing before the approach of English civilisation.."
Engels Frederick; 1845; "Condition of the Working class in England"; In Collected Works; Volume 4; Moscow 1975; p. 319. Or at: ... /cwe02.htm
Why did Marx and Engels see a difference between Ireland on the one hand – and Wales and Scotland on the other?

To answer this we must briefly examine the pre-history of the Union of Scotland and with England, and that of Wales with England. The following history of Scotalnd, up to the "Glorious Revolution" of William of Orange, will use as much of the text of Marx and Engels that we have been able to trace, that is relvant to this topic.

Synopsis: From tribal times, four indigenous peoples of Scotland – Picts, Britons, Scots and Volatidini warred, but inter-mixed. Later on, yet other peoples invaded and became inter-mixed -Norsemen, Saxons, and finally Normans. In fighting off the Viking invasions, Scotland or Alba, began to fuse into a monarchy under King Malcolm Canmore II. But the proximity of rival kingdoms inevitably led to clashes. These clashes signified a constantly shifting of alliances between the English ruling classes and the Scottish ruling classes. The Royal House of Canmore was dependent upon the English, and became a funnel through which Norman penetration into Scotland occurred. Norman penetration was a modernising influence, with the import of feudalism. This revolutionized Scotland. Moreover it confirmed a division between Highland and Lowland. The Wars of Independence led by Wallace and Robert Bruce could not achieve long lasting success, as the fabric of trade was so closely tied to the market for wool in Europe. The market-burghs that arose, provided the reality behind a willing Union with England. This tendency to union was epitomised by the accession of the joint king of Scotland and England in 1603 - King James VI of Scotland - the grand-son of Henry VIII of England and the legitimate successor of Elizabeth I. Later still, a more formal constitutional Union took place in 1707. But interim steps ensured increasing cross-fertilization of the two pre-nations of England and Scotland. A pattern was woven of a steady integration of two histories, economies and broad culture.

i) Early Foundation and Early invasions

Around Roman times, four peoples inhabited present day Scotland:
Picts, occupying the extreme North and North-East – who spoke two languages; including P-Celtic:

"The mother of Welsh, Cornish and Breton" ;
Mackie JD: "A History of Scotland"; Suffolk; 1964; p. 16.

But the Picts were themselves an amalgam of peoples, called by the Scots the ‘Cruithni’ – who also spoke Q-Celtic:
"the mother of Gaelic, Irish and Manx";
Mackie JD Ibid; p. 16.
The Scots, spoke Gaelic and inhabited the Hebrides and the mainland lowlands; they embraced Christianity under the influence of an Irish abbot – Columba, in 563 AD. This appeared to allow a greater social cohesion allowing them to resist the Pict attacks;

The Britons descended from the Romano-Celtic world, and inhabited the Lowlands and had also become Christian;

And the Votadini in the West close to Lothian, who were another Romano-Celtic peoples (Mackie J.D.: "A History of Scotland"; 1964; Suffolk; pp17-19).

The Romans enforced ‘unity’ extending across the islands of Britain, but after their departure, this became a fractured and warring reality. Nonetheless there was a commonality, which consisted of the fact that society had not moved beyond tribal relations:
"What evidence there is shows that the political and social structure of Scots, Picts, and Briton had much in common. All were organised in tribal kingdoms and the basis of society was a small home-stead inhabited by a kin group, and surrounded by some land, little of which was tilled, the rest .. pasture when it was not bare moor… Chiefs may have owned whole villages…."
Mackie Ibid; pp. 23-24.
A kingship or chiefly structure was in place. For example, The Picts recognised:
"A mormaer (Great Steward)… represented the old provincial sub-king a "toiseach".. equated with the later ‘thane’".
Mackie, Ibid; pp. 23-24.
On top of internal wars between the inhabitants, external attacks were launched by the Frisian Danes, and the Angles of England.
The Angles had established a strong state of Northumbria by 600 AD, and under King Aethelfrith, pushed further North. Later in an alliance with the Pits, the Angles defeated the Britons in 756, under Eanfirth’s rule, who married a Pict bride.
When the Northumbrian state became over-expanded and dissolved, a new threat arose, from "Vikings", who first invaded other countries from Scandinavia, and then used Ireland, Norway and Denmark, as bases to attack Scotland. This led to an enforced defensive unity, and the Scots and Picts combined to resist the Norsemen between 780 and 850.
After Kenneth MacAlpine gained the Pictish throne by inheritance in 1843, a Scottish united kingdom began to take shape – named either "Alba" – according to some historians (T.C.Smout) or "Scotia" by others:
"His successors were buried in Iona as Kings of "The Scots", and the united kingdom took the name of ‘Scotia’".
Mackie Ibid; p. 19.
The Norse invaders became established at Orkney and the Hebrides, exerting an enormous influence upon Scotland. They forged links as the Orkney Earls intermarried with the Scots ruling families. The Scottish King Malcolm II had a grandson – Thorfinn the Mighty – who ruled over Orkney, the Hebrides, and Caithness and Sutherland and seven other Scottish earldoms.

ii) The Scottish Monarchy – the House of Malcolm II of Canmore
The Danish invading presence in Britain (known as the Danelaw) became weaker, and led to a squeeze from both North and South. Southern English pressure collided with Northern Scottish pressure, at Corbridge:
"When after the Danish conquest Northumbria became a ‘no-man's Land’' where Angles, Britons, Danes of York, and Danes from Ireland were engaged in constant warfare, Constantine III (900-943) seized the opportunity to press south. Between 913 and 915 he went as far south as Corbridge to help a Northumbrian alderman against the Danes from Dublin. ….. before long came into contact with the power of Wessex, which advanced through the Danelaw with remarkable speed. "
Mackie Ibid; p.30.
By 921 Edward the Elder (Alfred's son) was at Bakewell, Derbyshire where Edward was accorded a form of homage by the Scots:
"According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the King of Scots 'with all his people', together with the King of the Strathclyde Britons, and all his people, chose Edward for father and for lord."
Mackie Ibid; p.30
But this did not end Scottish resistance. The Scots were pressed by Saxons under Athelstan in 927. By 934 Athelstan defeated Constantine of Scots who had allied with the Irish Danes and Strathclyde at the battle of Brunanburgh (Now Solway). This led to a desire for peace by the Scots:
"A crushing defeat (937) celebrated in the triumph-song embodied in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Thereafter the Scots sought the friendship of the English. This was easier to obtain because in 940 another Danish king from Ireland established himself at York. In 945 Edmund, after he had devastated Cumbria, ‘let it’ to Malcolm I, King of Scots."
Mackie Ibid; p.30.
Edmund’s "letting" to the Scot king, was driven by his wish to block the Irish path into Northumbria. This task was charged to Malcolm. Edmund’s successor Aethelred (the Unready), was preoccupied with Danish invasions. This allowed, in 1018, King Malcolm II to win a great victory at Carham. He then annexed Strathclyde. But when Canute came to power, in 1031 he stopped Malcolm’s excursions South, forcing a submission. Nonetheless by 1034:
"Malcolm II had united himself a kingdom whose limits save for the holdings of the Scandinavians in the north and West were those of modern Scotland";
Mackie Ibid; p. 31.
As Mackie comments however:
"It was significant moreover, that it was only with support from England that Malcolm gained the throne… along with English aid came English domination".
Mackie Ibid p.34.
A.L.Morton, goes even further, identifying the Battle of Carham as a watershed, that began an on-going integration across the border:
"Carham added the Lothians to Scotland. This battle did more than fix the frontier between England & Scotland in its present position. It was decisive in Anglo-Scottish history because it determined that Scotland would not be a purely Celtic country and that its most fertile and economically developed part was English in speech and race and open to feudal influences from the South";
Morton A.L.; "Peoples History of England"; Ibid; p. 105.
Malcolm Canmore became Malcolm II in 1057. To cement the bond with England, he married Margaret of the Wessex royal house. England then fell under Norman sway following the invasion of 1066, and William the Conqueror exacted homage from Malcolm at Abernathy in 1072.

Both Malcolm and subsequent kings of Canmore, swore fealty to English kings, and were given grants of large tracts of English land. By the reign of David I (1124-53) English support carried the border to the river Tees and River Eden. Parts of Huntingdon, Northumberland, and Cumberland were the price of ensuring Scottish Royal fealty. It is true that the Scots Kings denied submission. But this was in reality a formal denial since their actions spoke otherwise. The Scots Kings:
"Denied the assertion, repeated by Henry III in 1251, and by Edward I in 1278, that this homage was for the whole kingdom of Scotland. Yet Henry III, during the minority of Alexander III who married his daughter claimed to be ‘Principal Counsellor to the Illustrious King of Scotland’, and maintained a definite Anglophile party; and Alexander III went south on the summons of Edward".
Mackie Ibid; p.41.
iii) Planting Norman Feudalism Into Scotland

In England, by as early as 600, according to A.L.Morton, feudal property rights began triumphing over tribal rights. This progressive step towards a centralised state, accumulated power in the hands of powerful individuals. These were the ‘delegates’ of a central Royal authority. This process was already advanced in England before the Norman invasion of 1066:
"The thane ("the descendant of the professional war men, who has been granted by the King or who has carved out for himself a larger holding, usually not less than five hides (600 aces) and often much more) was well on the way towards becoming a feudal lord, the coerl (holder of a hide… within whose ranks a rapid social differentiation set in. Some prospered and became thanes, more declined and the normal holding of a free man became smaller) well on the way to becoming a serf, private property in land was beginning to take shape and well-defined social classes were everywhere arising. At the same time the State…. Was superseding the looser tribal organisation that had served the English in their German homeland. Such a process, marked by the acquisition of special powers by a minority and at the expense of the remainder of the people, is in fact the only way in which society can advance beyond the tribal stage and must, for all its harshness, be regarded as essentially progressive."
Morton, A.L: "A People’s History of England"; London; 1974; pp. 38; 39-40.

"During the Tenth Century the consolidation of England into a single kingdom went hand in hand with the creation of an orgnaiston into shires, often centering around King Alfred’s burghs, or those of the Danes. While the earlier and smaller kingdoms could be administered from a single centre, there was no machinery adequate to cover the whole country…though the shire reeve or sheriff was in theory responsible to the King for the administration of the shire, the actual supervision from the center was in practice slight…in the sphere of justice also, greater strides were made in the direction of feudalism by way of the delegation of royal rights to powerful individuals… private courts of justice, always among the most definite marks of feudalism, were well established in England by the time of the Norman Conquest";
Morton Ibid; p.52-53.
But it was the Norman invasion which sealed an English bargain with history, to make feudalism sovereign in England for the next century. The features of feudalism are quite precise and the English system lived up to these more completely than elsewhere:
"The essential political feature of feudalism was the downward delegation of power, and all power was based upon the ownership of land. The King was the sole and ultimate owner of all land, and granted it to his tenants-in-chief in return for military and other services and for the payment of certain customary dues… Feudalism was always in theory a contract between king and vassal, but in England this contrast was more a reality than elsewhere";
Morton Ibid; pp. 60-61.
In contrast Scotland lagged behind, and remained within a tribal system of society. But as the Normans systematically up-rooted older tribal laws and customs in England, they introduced feudalism into Scotland. After all, the Canmore King David I (1124-1153) had come to the Scottish throne spending almost all his life of 40 years, at the Anglo-Norman court in London. There he had a married into Norman nobility and owned the Norman earldom of Huntingdon with property in 14 counties. The historian of the Scottish people, T.C.Smout points out that:
"Within a generation or so after Malcolm Canmore’s death, the Royal House was Norman in blood and heart,
‘French in race and manner of life, in speech and in culture’ ;
Walter of Coventry called them in 1212."
Smout T.C: "A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830"; London; 1969; p. 24.
Undoubtedly the Normans wished to pacify Scotland, and they introduced a system of military fortifications, the mottes:
"The incoming Anglo-Normans introduced a new military system. This took two forms: the heavily armed horsemen provided an offensive force which half-naked tribesmen could hardly resist, and the 'mottes' formed strongholds to maintain the ground won. A motte was simply a wooden tower set on a mound perhaps crowned with a palisade and surrounded at a short distance by a ditch";
Mackie Ibid; p.41;
But the more far-reaching Norman impact upon Scotland, was to accelerate the transition from tribalism to feudalism. Until Norman entry, Scotland was largely tribal, even though it had started on the road to feudalism :
"We know little about the organisation of the native peoples anywhere in Scotland before David’s reign, but Celtic society was clearly tribal based on a real or fancied kinship between every free man and the head of his tribe. The tribes apparently occupied fairly distinct areas of the country, had reached the stage of individual ownership of land among the tribesmen, were organised in social strata (the law of the Britons and Scots mentioned earls, thanes, freemen and carls) and possessed differing tribal laws that were memorised by hereditary wise men who handed them down unaltered to their sons. "
Smout Ibid; pp.24-25.
Marx described the tribal nature of especially the Highland part of Scotland, which persisted until very late on:
"The clan belonged to a form of social existence which, in the scale of historical development, stands a full degree below the feudal state; viz., the patriarchal state of society. "Klaen", in Gaelic, means children. Every one of the usages and traditions of the Scottish Gaels reposes upon the supposition that the members of the clan belong to one and the same family. The "great man", the chieftain of the clan, is on the one hand quite as arbitrary, on the other quite as confined in his power, by consanguinity, &c., as every father of a family. To the clan, to the family, belonged the district where it had established itself, exactly as in Russia, the land occupied by a community of peasants belongs, not to the individual peasants, but to the community. Thus the district was the common property of the family. There could be no more question, under this system, of private property, in the modern sense of the word, than there could be of comparing the social existence of the members of the clan to that of individuals living in the midst of our modern society. The division and subdivision of the land corresponded to the military functions of the single members of the clan. According to their military abilities, the chieftain entrusted to them the several allotments, cancelled or enlarged according to his pleasure the tenures of the individual officers, and these officers again distributed to their vassals and under-vassals every separate plot of land. But the district at large always remained the property of the clan, and, however the claims of individuals might vary, the tenure remained the same; nor were the contributions for the common defence, or the tribute for the Laird, who at once was leader in battle and chief magistrate in peace, ever increased."
Marx, Karl, March 12 1853: "The Duchess Of Sutherland And Slavery"; In Collected Works; Moscow 1979; Volume 11; p.486; A version is also at:
Naturally the fundamental attributes of feudalism were the same as in England:
"Theoretically, feudalism is the antithesis of tribalism, since it based itself upon territorial units that had nothing to do with kinship or other personal relationships. In a feudal country, all land was royal land: all authority resided in the king. If the spending king chose to make his nobles a grant of land, he granted with it a measure of responsibility for those dwelling on the land - in feudal Norman jargon, the 'lord' granted his 'vassals' a 'fief'. This took place at a ceremony of homage that made explicit not only that the vassal was a delegate in certain matters of authority and government, and that he was bound to maintain a castle to help the king keep order, but also that the vassal owed very precise services in exchange - usually the duty of arriving armed on horseback with followers in time of war, and of attending his court and council (later his Parliament) when required. The vassal in turn could ‘subinfeudate', or grant part of his fief to a subtenant on similar terms: the process could go on for several stages until the peasant was reached at the base of the pyramid, the recipient of no rights other than that of his lord's protection and of permission to cultivate the land, but owing his lord heavy duties in the form of labour services and payment of agricultural produce. The fiefs themselves were hereditary but if heirs should fail the land reverted directly to the lord: similarly, if the heir was a minor, the rights and profits of administration returned to the lord during his minority. All rebellion or disaffection automatically carried the penalty of forfeiture. The whole feudal edifice rose to support the king at its apex as the ultimate lord of all land and the sole fountainhead of all justice.";
Smout Ibid; p.25.
The Normans introduced a more thorough process. Once started the process proceeded rapidly:
"How thoroughly was Scotland feudalised? The initial grants by David I were all to the Normans or Bretons who followed him from England; they were all confined to Lothian and southern Cumbria and to royal estates where the incomers would not intrude upon the native aristocracy. Not until the reigns of Malcolm IV (1153-1165) and William the Lyon (1165-1214), was the policy of feudalism for all begun in earnest. Malcolm systematically colonised British Strathclyde with Normans and Flemings, while William crossed the Forth-Clyde line to do the same in Angus and Perth. The alien friends of the king ultimately received fiefs even in such remote and Gaelic areas as Aberdeen and Moray."
Smout Ibid; pp. 25-26
And by and large the Celtic ruling class (mormaers) were eventually ‘brought in’:
"Increasingly, moreover, the powerful mormaers, the Celtic earls who had been the backbone of the indigenous aristocracy in Alba, were brought into feudal relationship with the king. This happened with a element of compromise between the old order and the new. Many of the earls were not required to render the conventional 'knight-service' for the feudal host because by earlier Celtic tradition they already had the duty of calling out a tribal host of their kin and followers in time of war - a duty based in their case not upon homage for the land they occupied but on traditional respect for the blood of the Alban monarch whom they served. Their survival in areas of traditional influence, exercising some of their old functions in the old way, helped the survival of the old Celtic tie of kinship: and as the native aristocrats quickly began to inter-marry with Norman families, respect for this spread to the entire ruling class. As Miss Grant put it-'into the purely feudal relationship had crept something of the greater warmth and fervour of the simpler and more ancient bond of union of the clan".
Smout Ibid; p. 26.
Nonetheless, even now a full erosion of tribal society proved impossible. Right up to the Battle of Culloden in 1715, where the Jacobite (followers of James Stuart; Jacobites- a term derived from the Latin: Jacobus for James) pretenders were finally defeated by the English Duke of Cumberland, the tribal society resisted in the form of the Highland clans. The resistance was not ‘nationalism’, but a tribal resistance. It was this that helped to create a new and very long lasting division – between the Lowlands and the Highlands:

"Different as English speaking Scotland was from its southern neighbor, it actually contained a much greater internal differentiation within is own historical frontiers… Across the highland Line there lay a social formation distinct in language and customs, and at a completely different stage of social evolution. Gaelic Scotland had remained predominately pre-feudal while the Lowlands had evolved into a bourgeois society";
Nairn Tom; "The Break-Up of Britain"; London 1977; p.147.

"The kings were not always unopposed in their innovations though opposition to them was fragmentary and disjointed, based on appeal to various traditions but not upon nationalism since nothing that could be called Scotland yet existed on which to base national feeling. There were however elements among the Celts, especially in Moray and Galloway, who rebelled repeatedly against the outsider and his newfangled ideas, and even after their suppression (often with the help of less conservative Gaelic nobles) the mature forms of Norman feudalism remained largely excluded from the fastnesses of the western Highlands, despite the fact that some charters, such as those of Alexander II purported to grant land in feudal form to chieftains in the west. The truth of the matter was that even knights and castles, the effective teeth of feudalism, could do no more than grip the fringe of this fierce country for the king. Feudalism, therefore, with the Anglo-Norman families that came with it, helped more than anything obliterate old distinctions in the low country between Angle, Briton, Scotti, and Pict – but because geography checked its penetration into the high north-western third of Scotland, it also helped to create a distinction between Lowlander and Highlander that had hardly existed before";
Smout Ibid; pp 26-27.

"The discontents of the two Scotland’s were too distinctive: trade and religion in the Lowlands; clan conflict and subsistence for the thirds of the population, which lived beyond the highland line. The latter erupted periodically in Jacobite revolts, a doomed aristocratic localism. After the failure of the last of these in 1745-6, Lowland Scotland accelerated the ‘improvement’ which by 1800 brought it abreast of its southern neighbor in economic performance and ahead in "Enlightenment" , accelerating the denationalisation that Cumberland’s guns began on Culloden Moor";
Harvie, Christopher: "Scotland & Nationalism. Scottish Society and Politics 1707 to the present"; London; 1998; p.13.
iv) Civic Society Developments - Ecclesiastic Church Reform and the Burgh<

King David I of Scotland, also ensured early church reform organised across the state. Abbeys were built on Cistercian monastic lines, many becoming economic pioneers. Linkages with French monasteries ensured a "European" intellectual environment in Scotland. This fostered Duns Scotus [John Duns of Maxton (1266-1308)], the famous scholar and philosopher, and others. In fact the Church formulated a ‘resistance’ to English rule, in countering the Archbishoprics of York and Canterbury who tried to absorb Scotland’s churches governance. In 1192-1225, in a series of rulings the Pope conferred special rights upon the Scottish Church:
"Conferring a distinctive and separate national existence";
Smout Ibid; pp.29-30.
This enabled teh Scot church - Kirk - to play a role together with Robert Bruce in a proto-nationalism. In 1310, the Church gave its oath of fealty to Bruce, but in 1320 it proclaimed the Declaration of Arbroath, which stated famously:
"As long as there shall be but one hundred of us remain alive we will never consent to subject ourselves to the dominion of the English. For it is not glory, it is not riches, neither is it honour, but it is liberty alone that we fight and contend for, which no honest man will lose but with his life".
Cited by Smout: Ibid; p. 30.
It was at this time – after David I introduced Norman feudal standards, that the towns – or burghs – arose in Scotland to any marked extent. Burghs were copied direct from England:
"Towns and trade had existed before the 12th century, but burghs, in the sense of communities in which merchants and tradesmen were granted specific rights of internal self-government to support their purpose of internal and external trade were quite new… The intensification of trade at all levels… made them a doorway to the European world and the home of a small commercial class of urban men….. they were individually self-governing, and by the end of the 13th century were beginning to hold a separate assembly, the Convention of the Royal burghs, to decide on matters of burgal law common to all of them… the burgesses obtained monopolistic rights over commerce within the .. burghs and … drew together very diverse hinterlands into common commercial practice ... the people within the burghs were never predominantly Celtic or Gaelic-speaking. . . their main tongue was a dialect of English.."
Smout Ibid; pp. 30-31.
v) The Wars of Independence 1286-1371 – William Wallace and Robert Bruce

When King Alexander III died in 1286, the Throne fell vacant in Scotland. The only heir- was Margaret ("The Maid of Norway"), herself the daughter of Eric II of Norway and Margaret, the daughter of King Alexander II. All parties – Scotland, England and Norway – agreed to the marriage of Margaret to the first Prince of Wales – heir to the English throne. This would have united the thrones then. However in 1290, the Maid died in Orkney, en route to her marriage. Edward I of England now tried to force a recognition of his suzerainty upon Scottish rulers.

As thirteen men contested the Scottish succession, Edward I was asked to adjudicate. This request implicitly acknowledged the English Crown’s rights to suzerainty. The leading contenders for the Scottish crown were John Balliol of the House of Canmore, and Robert Bruce the elder, the senior male descendent of King David I. There had already been a civil war between followers of one or the other.

Edward demanded fealty from all contenders. He then summoned his Northern Tenants from England to arms, and he took control ["seisin"] of Scotland and its castles. He then appointed Balliol King of Scotland as he was the weakest and unlikely to withstand England. In meeting Edwards’ heavy demands for money and arms and men, Balliol provoked a mutiny. Several bishops, earls, and barons concluded in council, that they would sign an alliance with France. This was the first formal expression of the so-called "Auld Alliance".

Edward launched a military campaign, and crushed opposition as far North as Elgin. He seized the Stone of Destiny of Scone. It was upon this stone, that traditionally Scotland’s rulers had claimed their right to rule. Edward convened a Parliament at Berwick where he enforced a government of Scotland similar to that of Wales. Balliol was exiled to France.
Thus began a long period of battles for independence, some taking the character of a massive and popular revolt. William Wallace son of a knight led the first and most popular of these. This revolt alarmed the barons who fell into irresolution and division. Wallace’s initial success, led to the final battle at Falkirk in 1298, where English archery won the day. Wallace fled but he was captured and hung.

But Robert Bruce the younger (grand-son of the elder) now crowned himself King of Scotland at Scone – the traditional site. Despite a weak alliance, and against horrific brutality of the English, Bruce eventually won a series of battles. Edward I of England ("The Hammer of the Scots") died en route to battle in Burgh-upon-the Sands in 1307, and his son Edward II retreated. When Edward II did face battle, a much stronger host crushed the English, at the Battle of Bannockburn of 1314.

The French King had secretly recognised Bruce in 1310. This French backing of Scottish leaders, staved off for a considerable period the English embrace. This was known as the "Auld Alliance" against England. It was during this time that the Abbot of Arbroath sounded the famous Arbroath Declaration. A truce with the English held for 12 years. Further wars, led to the Treaty of Northampton whereby Bruce was formally recognised as King of an independent realm, and his son betrothed to Edward’s sister Joan.

However Bruce’s death led to the five-year old King David II ascending the Scot throne. The son of John Balliol now launched an attack as a pretender to the throne and then paid homage to Edward II. In the interim, the Scots turned to the French, and King David was brought up in France under the shelter of Philip VI.

Upon David’s return to Scotland he launched war on England, prompted by French advice. He was defeated easily and imprisoned. After an enormous ransom, he returned to Scotland and found a ravaged country. Smout expresses the net effects of this period:
"Wars of this bitterness over so long a period had many side-effects on Scottish society, but its first and most lasting result was to fuse the Lowlanders into a single society".
Smout p. 36.
The broader significance of this warfare, was that it hindered the overall development of from feudalism into capitalism:
"A permanent irregular war took ... place which reduced a great area on both sides of the border to a wilderness, put an end to the early development of Scottish trade and industry and kept Scotland feudal at a time when feudalism in England was rapidly declining."
Morton Ibid; p. 108.
Nonetheless, Scottish capitalist development was taking place, as an inevitable rise in trading led to a new class, which wished to exert itself. They developed in the burghs:

"A development of great importance: namely, the entry of the royal burghs into low national politics. There is good reason to suppose that they were in parliament in 1340 and 1341. The records are not complete; but they were certainly present in the General Council Of 1357 and in the Parliament Of 1366, both of which were concerned with taxation. Thereafter, though they may not have attended regularly, their place in parliament was assured. Moreover, the very end of the reign saw the beginning of what was to be a notable feature of the Scottish Constitution, namely the devolution of the authority of parliament, as regards both general business and justice, to small committees or commissions vested with the full power of the present assembly. In 1367 and 1369, commissions were entrusted to finish the work which parliament had begun. In 1370, authority was delegated to two bodies which were directed to report. What may be called the 'business committee' was the parent of the later Lords of the Articles; the judicial committee was the parent of the later Court of Session. The judicial function of parliament was extremely important - as late as 1399 the reason for holding an annual parliament was that the King's subjects might be 'servit' of the law."
Mackie Ibid; p.83.

Normally considered as the refuge of parliamentary democracy, "parliament" was not equivalent north and south of the border. In Scotland it bore the character of a "law court".
"Parliament had always been a law court: the auditares who first appear in 1341 are identical with the 'triers' and 'tenninours' of England and the maitres de requites of France."
Mackie Ibid; p.83.
The equivalent ‘standard-bearer’ of democracy in Scotland, was paradoxically the Church – or the Kirk:
"Scotland had no Parliament in the English sense and [King] James I had learnt to regard its one democratic institution , the Kirk as the chief enemy of royal power."
Morton Ibid; p. 211-212.
However, two significant developments now took place. Firstly, town development exerted an independence from the central feudal authority – the King.
"As they prospered the burghs shook off the direct control of the financial officers of the Crown. Even before the Wars of Independence they had begun to ease the burghal revenues from the Chamberlain paying him a fixed annual sum in compensation";
Mackie Ibid; p, 85.
Secondly, while this was occurring, the feudal barons were also exerting themselves against the Monarchy:
"For more than a century the leitmotiv in Scottish history, as in the history of all western European countries at this time, was the struggle between the Crown and the Baronage, which the Monarchy as it developed, had endowed with much of its power.
In Scotland, the struggle was prolonged and bitter. The country was difficult; England was ready to exploit the over-mighty subject; the "Auld Alliance" with France… drew the energies of the kings away from their business of establishing a strong state."
Mackie ibid; p. 88.
Moreover, the kings of Scotland between 1311 (Start of the reign of Robert II) and 1542 (The end of the reign of James V) had not been able to subdue the Tribal Chieftains of the Highlands. Even by the time of the Battle of Flodden against the English in 1513, the chieftains refused to endure any feudal allegiance to the King:
"In the Highlands and Islands.. disorder was rampant when [James IV] ascended the throne [1488]…. The attempt to treat Highland chiefs as Lowland Barons had little success and in 1498 the king reveled all the charters recently given….. he used the Gordons and the Campbells as government policemen".
Mackie Ibid; p. 115.
Throughout, the English had become integrated into a single state. The Wars of the Roses in England, had sealed the rise of the bourgeoisie. In this battle, the progressive small-capitalists found that their feudal opponents had enlisted the Highlanders:
"Supporting the Lancastrians were the wild nobles of the Scottish and Welsh borders, the most backward and feudal elements surviving in the country. The Yorkists drew most to their support from the progressive South, East Anglia and from London…. The ultimate victory of the Yorkists was therefore a victory of the most economically advanced areas and appeared the ground for the Tudor monarchy of the next century with its bourgeois backing".
Morton Ibid; p. 150-151.
During the subsequent rise of the Tudor house, the bourgeoisie took a "back-seat" control of the state:
"The Tudor monarchy rested on the fact that the bourgeoisie-merchant classes of the towns and the more progressive of the lesser gentry in the country was strong enough in the 16th Century to keep in power any Government that promised them the elbow room to grow rich , but not yet strong enough to desire political power as they did in the 17th." Morton Ibid; p.175.
The Parliament was:
"accumulating reserves of strength for the great struggles of the English Revolution".
Morton, Ibid p. 179.
The English Tudor monarchy however, ended with no heir apparent after the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603. In the midst of this succession issue, was the Reformation. With the battle between Catholicism and Protestantism, rose and fell the fortunes of great heirs.

Mary Queen of Scots was the half sister of Elizabeth I of England. But as a part of the "Auld Alliance" had been allied to the Catholic French Dauphin, by marriage in 1558, decreed by the Scottish lords. During this marriage, Mary signed several deeds ceding Scotland to France if she were to die heirless. While she was in France, Scotland was under the Regency (1543-1560) of Mary Guise – the Queen mother. Throughout all this, the Reformation was sweeping Europe.
Mary Guise took Scotland into French dominion. After the death of the Dauphin, Mary returned from France as Queen of Scots in 1561, into a Calvinist Scotland. Her colours were already painted for her, in the great rivalry being fought out in Europe for mastery. For Mary Queen of Scots came to represent Catholicism in Scotland. But this was in other words, a proxy for the power of Spain and France. Elizabeth I naturally took the place of Protestantism – and English supremacy. It was forgone that Mary would be imprisoned and then disposed of.

Mary was executed in 1587, having left her claim to the English throne to Philip of Spain. Since Elizabeth then died heirless in 1603, a succession vacuum developed, into which swept the King of both Scotland and England – James Steuert. He was the great-nephew to King Henry VIII of England, and became James IV of Scotland and James I of England. He had been brought up knowing he owed this to the support by Elizabeth I of England. During the long imprisonment of his mother Mary Queen of Scots, she had connived with Spain to deprive her son of the Scottish throne.

vi) The Calvinist Reformation In Scotland
Synopsis: The Reformation was an essential part of the transition in European societies from feudalism to capitalism. The Roman Catholic Church was a major landholder and supporter of feudalism. It obstructed capitalist changes such as money lending (usury) and scientific investigations. The bourgeoisie therefore opposed it. In some countries the Reformation became an incomplete attack on absolutism, such as the Lutheran Reformation in Germany. In Scotland it adopted a more thorough going change under a Calvinist guise.

Behind the "religious" wars of the Reformation, lay more fundamental societal battles. The Papacy was a key force in European society in the Middle Ages. It posed an alternative power to any absolute monarchy, by virtue of being the greatest landowner. To any centrist state power, as European monarchies were becoming, the Catholic church was a threat:

"With the coming of centralized nations States, it was bound to lead to a general and open conflict, for the breaking of the papal monopoly was a necessary step in the creation of the absolute monarchies."
Morton; Ibid; P. 182.

Engels examined the origins of the English Revolution in a new preface to the 1892 edition of "Socialism Utopian and Scientific". This was a mature and considered view of English development. Engels traces the rise of the middle classes, and its battle with feudalism. He explicitly links its struggle to the struggle against the Roman Catholic Church. The Papacy obstructed forward scientific movements. The Church as a pre-eminent landowner was interested to preserve feudalism, so it was an oppressive landowner. Naturally, the struggle of the middle classes to open the world to science – obstructed by the Church, soon became allied to the oppressed peasantry. Engels points out this struggle was most acute in Scotland. He first outlined the general themes of the reformation:
"When Europe emerged from the Middle Ages, the rising middle-class of the towns constituted its revolutionary element. It had conquered a recognized position within mediaeval feudal organization, but this position, also, had become too narrow for its expansive power. The development of the middle-class, the bourgeoisie, became incompatible with the maintenance of the feudal system; the feudal system, therefore, had to fall.
But the great international centre of feudalism was the Roman Catholic Church. It united the whole of feudalized Western Europe, in spite of all internal wars, into one grand political system, …It had organized its own hierarchy on the feudal model, and, lastly, it was itself by far the most powerful feudal lord, holding, as it did, fully 1/3rd of the soil of the Catholic world. Before profane feudalism could be successfully attacked in each country and in detail, this, its sacred central organization, had to be destroyed.
Moreover, parallel with the rise of the middle-class went on the great revival of science; astronomy, mechanics, physics, anatomy, physiology were again cultivated. And the bourgeoisie, for the development of its industrial production, required a science which ascertained the physical properties of natural objects and the modes of action of the forces of Nature. Now up to then science had but been the humble handmaid of the Church, had not been allowed to overlap the limits set by faith, and for that reason had been no science at all. Science rebelled against the Church; the bourgeoisie could not do without science, and, therefore, had to join in the rebellion.
The above, though touching but two of the points where the rising middle-class was bound to come into collision with the established religion, will be sufficient to show, first, that the class most directly interested in the struggle against the pretensions of the Roman Church was the bourgeoisie; and second, that every struggle against feudalism, at that time, had to take on a religious disguise, had to be directed against the Church in the first instance. But if the universities and the traders of the cities started the cry, it was sure to find, and did find, a strong echo in the masses of the country people, the peasants, who everywhere had to struggle for their very existence with their feudal lords, spiritual and temporal.
The long fight of the bourgeoisie against feudalism culminated in three great, decisive battles. "
Engels, Frederick; 1892; London: "Socialism: Utopian and Scientific"; 1892 English Edition Introduction. [History (the role of Religion) in the English middle-class]; Volume 27; Moscow; 1990; p289-290; or at: ... t-hist.htm
In the bourgeois democratic revolutions that were to come, Engels described three as central battles - the Protestant Reformation of Germany, the Calvinist Revolution in Britain, and finally the French Revolution. Engels explains that the bitter Peasants’ War of 1525 in Germany was defeated because of the spinelessness of the German bourgeoisie. In Germany this resulted in a religion that favored an absolute monarchy – Lutheranism. But this was in sharp contrast to the equivalent process in England and Scotland. There the process erupted into Calvinist reforms. This, "especially in Scotland", assisted a new liberty:
"The .. Protestant Reformation in Germany. The war cry raised against the Church, by Luther, was responded to by two insurrections of a political nature; first, that of the lower nobility under Franz von Sickingen (1523), then the great Peasants' War, 1525. Both were defeated, chiefly in consequence of the indecision of the parties most interested, the burghers of the towns — an indecision into the causes of which we cannot here enter. From that moment, the struggle degenerated into a fight between the local princes and the central power, and ended by blotting out Germany, for 200 years, from the politically active nations of Europe. The Lutheran Reformation produced a new creed indeed, a religion adapted to absolute monarchy. No sooner were the peasant of North-East Germany converted to Lutheranism than they were from freemen reduced to serfs.
But where Luther failed, Calvin (Editors’ emphasis) won the day. Calvin's creed was one fit for the oldest of the bourgeoisie of his time. His predestination doctrine was the religious expression of the fact that in the commercial world of competition success or failure does not depend upon a man's activity or cleverness, but upon circumstances uncontrollable by him. It is not of him that willeth or of him that runneth, but of the mercy of unknown superior economic powers; and this was especially true at a period of economic revolution, when all old commercial routes and centres were replaced by new ones, when India and America were opened to the world, and when even the most sacred economic articles of faith — the value of gold and silver — began to totter and to break down. Calvin's church constitution of God was republicanized, could the kingdoms of this world remain subject to monarchs, bishops, and lords? While German Lutheranism became a willing tool in the hands of princes, Calvinism founded a republic in Holland, and active republican parties in England, and, above all, Scotland."
Fredrick Engels; 1892; London: "Socialism: Utopian and Scientific"; 1892 English Edition Introduction. [History (the role of Religion) in the English middle-class]; Volume 27; Moscow; 1990; p290-292. ... t-hist.htm
John Knox was a priest who served in England, and then traveled throughout Europe, ending in Geneva as the Minster of the English congregation. He returned to Scotland in 1559, and led the Scottish reformation into Calvinist lines.

The Reformation in Scotland was more thorough going than even that in England. This was partly because it was directed against an even more oppressive church system than in England:
"The Reformation in Scotland took a different course. There the Church was even more corrupt and discredited than in England and the movement against it was of a broader character. It triumphed when it was it was able to ally itself with national sentiment and to assume some characteristics of a national liberation. In England the Reformation subordinated the Church to the State: in Scotland there were moments when the State seems likely to be altogether subordinated to the Church. Scottish Protestantism drew its inspiration from Geneva, where Calvin did for a time set up a dictatorship of the righteous. The Scottish Kirk was always democratically organised and it was indeed only inside the Kirk that democratic ideas took root in Scotland."
Morton Ibid; p, 193.
vii) The Covenant

In a key development, large sections of the nobility and landed gentry – the lairds – allied themselves to the rising capitalists. The Auld Alliance had led the Queen Regent, Mary Guise – to appoint a largely French court and elite. This alienated the Scottish lower lairds. They were also enraged at the tithes they were forced to pay to the Church. The lairds therefore became allied to the town – burgh merchants:
"The success of Protestantism …. (lay in - Editor) taking the right bastions in society. First of all it succeeded in the burghs, where as Knox put it, the work of the preachers was enormously helped by the merchants and mariners ‘who frequenting other countries heard the true doctrine affirmed and the vanity of the papistical religion openly rebuked.’… merchant guilds, cooperation between the burgesses of different towns … made towns the ideal environment to sustain a secret and cellular church organization………..the lairds and magnates……Firstly… (had) economic resentment particularly strong amongst the lesser lairds such as in Angus or in Ayrshire and other parts of the south-west who … detested having to pay heavy tithes to churchmen ostentatiously wealthy in a poor country……..Secondly there was a significant group of the nobility led by the Earls of Argyll, Morton and Arran, who felt they had been neglected in the affairs of state by the Queen regent since … 1554.. Thirdly and most general of all – there was the feeling that the Regent had betrayed Scotland to make it a French province. … since 1554 Mary of Guise had … filled high offices with Frenchmen, sending the ancient crown of Scotland to crown the Dauphin when the married the adolescent Mary queen of Scots in 1558…"
Smout; Ibid; pp-.60-61.
The Lairds then signed the first formal "Covenant" in 1556:
"Binding the ‘Congregation of Christ’ to resist the ‘Congregation of Satan’….. the Covenant was by and large an assertion of religious freedom";
Mackie Ibid; p.152.
A later larger "National Covenant" in 1638 united the nobility, the burgesses and lay ministers in reiterating changes in worship not sanctioned by either parliament or the free assemblies. It went on to abolish the episcopacy (i.e. the bishopric) [Smout Ibid; pp 66-67).

Under religious slogans, the Scottish reformationists engaged the French troops of the Queen Regent Mother (Mary Guise) and were about to be defeated, when the English navy provided relief. This led to the expulsion of French influence from Scotland, and correspondingly the rise of English influence. It was formalized into the Treaty of Leith 1560.

Engels explicitly noted the progressive role of Calvinism in Scotland as regards the English bourgeois revolution:
"While the Lutheran Reformation in Germany degenerated and reduced the country to rack and ruin, the Calvinist Reformation served as a banner for the republicans in Geneva, in Holland, and in Scotland, freed Holland from Spain and from the German Empire, and provided the ideological costume for the second act of the bourgeois revolution, which was taking place in England. Here, Calvinism stood the test as the true religious disguise of the interests of the contemporary bourgeoisie and on this account did not attain full recognition when the revolution ended in 1689 in a compromise between part of the nobility and the bourgeoisie. The English state Church was re-established; but not in its earlier form as a Catholicism with the king for its pope, being, instead, strongly Calvinized. The old state Church had celebrated the merry Catholic Sunday and had fought against the dull Calvinist one. The new, bourgeois Church introduced the latter, which adorns England to this day."
Engels, Frederick: Ludwig Feuerbach And The End Of Classical German Philosophy"; Part 4 "Marx"; Volume 26; Moscow 1990; pp.395-396; a version is at:
viii) The English Revolution, and Its Effects Upon Scotland
Engels traces this ‘religious’ step forward to the victory of Cromwell and the English revolution:
"In Calvinism, the second great bourgeois upheaval found its doctrine ready cut and dried. This upheaval took place in England. The middle-class of the towns brought it on, and the yeomanry of the country districts fought it out. Curiously enough, in all the three great bourgeois risings, the peasantry furnishes the army that has to do the fighting; and the peasantry is just the class that, the victory once gained, is most surely ruined by the economic consequences of that victory. A hundred years after Cromwell, the yeomanry of England had almost disappeared. Anyhow, had it not been for that yeomanry and for the plebian element in the towns, the bourgeoisie alone would never have fought the matter out to the bitter end, and would never have brought Charles I to the scaffold. In order to secure even those conquests of the bourgeoisie that were ripe for gathering at the time, the revolution had to be carried considerably further — exactly as in 1793 in France and 1848 in Germany. This seems, in fact, to be one of the laws of evolution of bourgeois society."
Engels, Ferderick; 1892; London: "Socialism: Utopian and Scientific"; 1892 English Edition Introduction. [History (the role of Religion) in the English middle-class]; Volume 27; Moscow; 1990; p290-292. ... t-hist.htm
The significance of the Calvinist revolution in Scotland was immense. In England a half-hearted compromise took place whereby the worst features of the Roman Catholic Church were either removed or often, simply modified or ‘reformed’. In Scotland on the contrary, there was a real popular involvement. Indeed there as the Church had been even "more corrupt and discredited than in England", its overturn took on the "the characteristics of a movement of national liberation", according to A.L.Morton:
"Both in organisation and doctrine the Church of England claimed to be 'Catholic', that is, to maintain the tradition of the universal Church, but also 'reformed', that is, to have shed a number of corrupt practices and beliefs that had crept in during the Middle Ages. So far as possible the formulation of doctrine was kept vague, and, as in 1549, the services of the Church were carefully drawn up so as to be capable of alternative interpretations.
"The Church of England as by law established" owed its form to the political needs of the time. It was regarded by many as a temporary arrangement, few were enthusiastically in its favour. But even fewer found it so repugnant that they were prepared to take up arms against an otherwise popular government to bring about its destruction. In the Elizabethan settlement Protestantism assumed the form most compatible with the monarchy and with the system of local government created by the Tudors. The parson in the villages became the close ally of the squire d almost as much a part of the State machine as the Justice of the Peace.
The Reformation in Scotland took a different course. There the Church was even more corrupt and discredited in England and the movement against it was of a broader character. It triumphed when it was able to ally with national sentiment and to assume some characteristics of a movement of national liberation. In England formation subordinated the Church to the State: in d there were moments when the State seemed be altogether subordinated to the Church. Scottish Protestanistism drew its inspiration from Geneva, where Calvin did for a time set up a dictatorship of the righteous. The Scottish Kirk was always democratically organised, indeed only inside the Kirk that democratic root in Scotland. "
Morton A.L.: "People's History of England"; London 1974; p.193
The Protestant James had at least, formally by now, united the two kingdoms. But James saw a threat from the Calvinist reform in Scotland to the absolute monarchy, and he insisted that the Kirk re-establish the bishops. But he did not succeed, as the Parliament rejected this (Mackie Ibid; p. 195). James needed to rein in dissent in religion, seeing this as a prelude to dissent in state affairs:
"The reason for James’ opposition to Puritanism became plain; it was not theological- James himself was a Calvinist - but political. "A Scottish Presbytery agreeth as well with monarchy as God and the Devil," and "No bishop no King," was his crystallization of the issue…. The Scottish Kirk organised from the bottom through a series of representative bodies , rising to an Assembly composed of ministers and delegates from congregations, was indeed the logical embodiment of the democratic spirit inherent in Puritanism".
Morton Ibid; p. 222.
James’ drive to weld the Church to the Monarchy was partially successful in England, led by Archbishop Laud. But they failed in Scotland, leaving further inevitable struggles. These had some consequences for the great English revolution, under the reign of James IV’s son, Charles I. Since Charles was determined to uphold Absolute Sovereignty of the Crown over Parliament and Church – conflict with the National Covenant [See above] was inevitable. The Convenanters now demanded " a free assembly" of the Kirk and a "free Parliament" (Mackie Ibid; p. 205).The ensuing war was won by the Scottish Covenanters led by Alexander Leslie.

The successful Scots war, led to two consequences.
Firstly, a continued hold on democratic values in the Scottish kingdom, and the constitutional ratification of the Covenant in Scotland.
Secondly, the fueling of anti-Monarch sentiment in England, with the Long Parliament of 1640 which swept away feudalism.
"The English revolution may be said to begin in November 1640 with the impeachment of Strafford"; [ Sir Thomas Wentworth, later Earl of Strafford, the most capable minister of Charles I; impeached for high treason].
Morton; Ibid; p. 224.

"A minor revolution had been accomplished when the Long Parliament absolved the Star Chamber, the Court of high Commission and the other perogative courts. All that was intended was to destroy bodies that had become instruments of royal tyranny. Yet what was done was to cut the main artery of the Old State apparatus. Crown, Council, Prerogative Courts Justice of the Peace had formed a living chain. Now the link between the central organ and the extremities was removed… A new State apparatus had to be created, not around a Council responsible to the King, but around a Cabinet responsible to the bourgeoisie in Parliament."
Morton; Ibid; p. 228.
Both King Charles I and the Parliament of England, asked the Scots for help, as the English Civil War now broke out. The Scottish general Assembly signed a treaty [‘The Solemn League and Covenant" of 1642] with the English Parliament. But differences in doctrine between the English and Scottish versions of ‘Presbyterianism’ [a loose Church indeed] left to division. The Scots aided in the defeat of the King, and delivered the King as a prisoner to the English parliament. But now they demanded his release, and marched on England under Hamilton (Mackie Ibid; p. 219).

Oliver Cromwell easily defeated them, and events moved inexorably to the execution of Charles I by the English Parliament.
ix) The Restoration Monarchy of the Stuarts and "The Glorious Revolution" of William of Orange
When Charles II, the heir to Charles I, signed the Scottish Covenant he agreed to bide by democratic norms, becoming then a "Covenanted King", or a limited monarch. Therefore the Scottish nobles recognised him as their legitimate monarch. But this provoked the English Parliamentarians, who led by Cromwell invaded Scotland.
Cromwell now began a forcible colonisation of Scotland, and by 1652 all Scotland had fallen. By that time, the English parliament "declared" One Commonwealth:
"Burghs and shire were to elect representatives to give assent to the Union and a tax was imposed on every county for the payment of the English army….. in Barebones' Parliament [1653] an Act for Union was read twice… Then Cromwell took office as Lord protector under the "Instrument of Government’, a document which gave Scotland thirty members out of 460 and ordinance of Union was produced by the Council in April 1645."
Mackie Ibid; p. 225.
The effect of this first declared union between Scotland and England, was simply to expose Scottish trade into competition with the stronger English commerce:
"Prosperity did revive after 21650, but it was not spread evenly over the country…. The free trade granted by the Declaration of union brought Scotland into competition with the far stronger English commerce and the greater English shipping";
Mackie Ibid; p,. 229.
Upon Cromwell’s death however, compromise was accepted in England as well. Charles II became King of Scotland, after agreeing to abide by Parliament there. But inevitably, as Charles II led the Restoration, he tried to reverse the gains of the revolutionary forces. In Scotland, he again tried to restore the Bishoprics. But again despite intimidation, 270 ministers refused to be ordained by a bishop (Mackie Ibid p. 234).

Finally, the continued erosions of the position of the English and Scottish capitalists and the new land-holders who had benefited from the destruction of the landed Church, forced an invitation to William of Orange to take the Throne away from the Stuart dynasty.
Marx and Engels commented on the Restoration monarchy and the extent to which the Stuarts had endangered the English State:
"Guizot can say only the most trivial commonplaces about the overthrow of the English Restoration monarchy. He does not even cite the most immediate causes: the fear on the part of the great new landowners, who had acquired property before the restoration of Catholicism -- property robbed from the church -- which they would have to change hands; the aversion of the commercial and industrial bourgeoisie to Catholicism, a religion in now way suitable for its commerce; the nonchalance with which the Stuarts, for their own and their courtier's benefit, sold all of England's industry and commerce to the French government, that is, to the only country then in a position to offer England dangerous and often successful competition, etc. " Marx Marx, Karl & Engels, Frederick 1850: "Review of: Guizot, Pourquoi La Revolution D’Angleterre a-t-elle Reussi? Discours sur l’histoire de la Revolution D’Angleterre;"Collected Works; Volume 10; Moscow 1978; pp.252, 254-255; A Version is to be found at: ... /index.htm
The Restoration – a counter-Revolution - had been opposed by the new alliance of tthe Whig Party – composed of merchants, rising finance capitalists and sections of the most powerful landowners. They succeeded in the elections of 1679. Initially they failed to prevent the brother of Charles – James Stuart coming to the throne. As the Royalists, organised into the Tory party, they attacked the corporate merchant towns. The Charter of the City of London was revoked, and similar actions occurred around the country.

In reply, the Whigs encouraged a coup led by the Duke of Monmouth [illegitimate son of Charles], who roused jacquerie peasant rebellion in Lyme Regis. Seeing the enthusiasm for this, the Whigs drew back and Monmouth was defeated. When James tried to take this opportunity to push for further Catholicisation of the Church and his courts, he turned the Tory party against him. Now the Whigs and Tories united to invite William of Orange – married to the Protestant Mary, daughter of Catholic James, to the Throne.

This allowed the "Glorious Revolution" to be glorious – so-called - because it excluded any mass revolts. The new king enabled the vast expropriation of lands, by the new "bankocracy", as named by Marx:
"The "glorious Revolution" brought into power, along with William of Orange, the landlord and capitalist appropriators of surplus-value. They inaugurated the new era by practising on a colossal scale thefts of state lands, thefts that had been hitherto managed more modestly. These estates were given away, sold at a ridiculous figure, or even annexed to private estates by direct seizure. All this happened without the slightest observation of legal etiquette. The Crown lands thus fraudulently appropriated, together with the robbery of the Church estates, as far as these had not been lost again during the republican revolution, form the basis of the today princely domains of the English oligarchy. The bourgeois capitalists favoured the operation with the view, among others, to promoting free trade in land, to extending the domain of modern agriculture on the large farm-system, and to increasing their supply of the free agricultural proletarians ready to hand. Besides, the new landed aristocracy was the natural ally of the new bankocracy, of the newly-hatched haute finance, and of the large manufacturers, then depending on protective duties."
Marx, Karl; Capital Volume One :"Part VIII: Primitive Accumulation: Chapter Twenty-Seven: Expropriation Of The Agricultural Population From The Land". CW; Volume 35; New York; 1996; pp.713-714; ... 1/ch27.htm
The English revolution resulted in a state power that assisted the development of the capitalist class. But this was in reality a class alliance between the landed aristocracy and the finance bourgeoisie. Marx and Engels, pointed out that the commercial eminence of the English state was due to the domination of the bourgeoisie that was achieved under the reign of William III:

"M. Guizot does not think it worth mentioning … that under William III the domination of the finance bourgeoisie received its first sanction by the establishment of the Bank (of England-Ed), and the introduction of the public debt, and that the manufacturing bourgeoisie was given a new impetus by the consistent application of the system of protective tariffs. …… Under the Hanoverian dynasty, England was already so far advanced that it could wage trade war against France in its modern form. England itself fought France only in America and the East Indies; on the Continent it confined itself to hiring foreign princes, like Frederick II, to fight against France……..The riddle of the conservatism.. of the English Revolution…… is the persisting alliance of the bourgeoisie with the majority of the big landowners, an alliance that distinguishes the English Revolution essentially from the French, which eliminated big landed property by parcellation. This class of big landowners, allied with the bourgeoisie -- which, incidentally, arose as early as under Henry VIII -- found itself not in contradiction with tthe conditions of existence of the bourgeois as did French landed property in 1789, but, on the contrary in perfect harmony with them. In actual fact, their landed estates were not feudal but bourgeois property. On the one hand, the landed proprietors provided the industrial bourgeoisie with the labour power necessary to operate its manufactories and, on the other, were in a position to develop agriculture in accordance with the level of industry and trade. Hence their common interests with the bourgeoisie, hence their alliance with it."
Marx, Karl & Engels, Frederick 1850: "Review of: Guizot, Pourquoi La Revolution D’Angleterre a-t-elle Reussi? Discours sur l’histoire de la Revolution D’Angleterre;" Collected Works; Volume 10; Moscow 1978; pp.252, 254-255; A Version is to be found at: ... /index.htm

By the time that the so called "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 took place, a symbiosis between England and Scotland’s trade had been a fact for some time. In the main, the Scottish did not challenge this Anti-Stuart take over of the monarchy, excepting for the Jacobite Rebellions (See below). The cause of the Jacobites for the people, was not so much a claim for the Stuarts, as one of an anti-English sentiment:
"Jacobitism was politically dead in England after 1715….. In Scotland it had greater political importance , especially in the Highlands where it had deep social roots in the struggle of the clans to preserve their tribal organizations and culture against the bourgeois and partly English culture of the Lowlands. It was also kept alive by the feud between the dominating Campbell clan and the clans which resented its supremacy. Since the Campbells had long been Covenanting and Whig, their opponents naturally adopted Jacobitism. The rest of Scotland was not Jacobite in the real sense but a long-standing hatred of England and things English weighed against Covenanting memories of Stuart persecution to produce a rough neutrality."
A.L.Morton Ibid; p. 300.
William was responsible for foul attempts to subdue the Highlands. He demanded a new Oath of Fealty known as the "Assurance", which when it was delayed in the case of the Macdonald Clan in Glencoe, was met with the ‘Massacre of Glencoe’ (Mackie Ibid p. 252).
x) The "Act of Union 1657" to "The Anglo-Scottish Union" of 1707
The world’s first fully bourgeois nation, would inevitably influence its northern neighbor even more profoundly than previous English states had. The period of great colonial rape was arising, and every bourgeois was falling over it trying to keep up with the English.

In this drive for colonial profits, the Scottish bourgeoisie for the burghs – were not successful despite serious attempts. First was Nova Scotia, a venture that got bailed out into English hands. Then came the "Darien Scheme". Although the Navigation Acts of England seriously limited the ability of other nations to make profits (See Alliance Number 22, JULY 1996: The Formation Of The USA; also at ) the Scots did manage to establish small settlements. An Act of the Scottish parliament in 1693, enabled companies to trade overseas. A Company was established, that in fact received considerable support from [Pounds sterling 300,000] the City of London to break the monopoly of the East India Company. The Isthmus of Darien was the target situated in the Panama Straits.

Darien was however claimed by Spain also. As English money pledged to the Darien scheme, was pressurized by sectional English interests, to leave the venture, the "entire value of the coinage of Scotland" was put at this scheme by Scottish interests (Mackie Ibid; p. 255). From 1698 to 1700 attempts were made to secure this colony, but Spanish pressure forced it to close, losing 2,000 men and monies.

This undoubtedly forced many Scottish merchants and rising bourgeoisie to realize that their own economic interest demanded partnership with the English. Perhaps the key clauses of the Act of Union related to opening of the English market:
"Several clauses of the Act of Union were devoted to economic matters, but Articles IV and V were the two of most importance. Article IV provided for Scottish entry without payment of custom duty to the English domestic and colonial markets while Article V stated that all Scottish-owned vessels would now rank as ships of Great Britain, so affording the Scots the privilege and protection of inclusion within the Navigation Acts. The union created the biggest free-trade zone in Europe at that time, and gave Scottish merchants the liberty to trade legally in such profitable American commodities as tobacco, sugar, indigo and rum (a privilege not granted to the Irish) and, at the same time, it afforded them the protection of the Royal Navy."
Devine T.M. "The Scottish nation. 1700-2000"; London; 1999; p. 54
From the English perspective, closing a strategic hole –Scotland – to its’ European enemy, the French was a major motivation for Union. William of Orange, had a week before his death, recommended to the English Parliament that complete union was necessary to ensure solidity against the French – the main imperial threat to England on the Continent. Unquestionably, the Union was not a ‘free choice’ on the part of the Scottish nation. The English passed an "Aliens Act" that seriously impeded Scottish trade with England, unless Scotland recognised the Hanoverian (ie William’s heir – Queen Anne) succession :
"Nothing illustrates the anti-English feeling in Scotland better than the events leading up to the Act of Union, secured by the Whigs in 1707 as a piece of military and party strategy. In 1703 the Scottish Parliament passed an Act of Security, aimed against the Hanoverian succession. The Whigs were thus faced, in time of war, with the possibility of a complete break with Scotland and of a regime that might be actively hostile. The English Parliament countered in 1704 with an Aliens Act banning all imports from Scotland till the Hanoverian settlement had been accepted. This robbed the Scottish cattle breeders of their chief market Troops were moved north to the border and war seemed possible. The corruption of the Scottish lords and Parliament proved more effective and the Act of Union was passed amid rioting and the drilling of irregulars. Scotland gained the right to trade with English colonies: on the other hand her undeveloped industries suffered from English competition. Politically, as has been said, Scotland became "one vast rotten borough" which was controlled by the Duke of Argyle, the head of the Campbells."
Morton Ibid; p. 300.
Therefore, by no means was Union unacceptable to all of the Scottish people. Industry and capital had everything to gain and indeed did so:
"Economic interest was one strand among many, but not the least important. Many Scots saw as a panacea for Scotland’s poverty the creation of a British common market: … Daniel Defoe… dwelt upon the opportunities in such a common market for Scottish cattle and linen cloth sold in London with the tariff barrier down… it was an argument that went down well, since for nearly 20 years Scottish trade to Europe had been in decay while Scotland’s exports to England had gained in importance throughout the 20th century….. Linen cloth, Scotland’s premier industry output rose 3 fold in volume and four fold in value between the years 1736-40 and 1768-72.. Imports of tobacco from Chesapeake Bay in America increased still more-from eight million pounds in 1741 to forty-seven million pounds in 1771: the Scottish share of the British tobacco trade similarly rose from 10% in 1738 to 52% in 1769…. Nearly all tobacco that came in was re-exported, thereby providing Scotland with something to sell to the continent and rejuvenating her old European commercial connections. A new branch of this was the trade from Russia to import flax for the linen industry…… Between 1775 and 1771 the official value of imports rose by two and half times, and of exports (including re-exports) by three and a half times: at the same time the share of Scotland in British foreign trade rose from less than 5 % to about 10% of the total…… Simultaneously with the rise in overseas trade, there was the growth of a strong banking system consisting of the Bank of Scotland (from 1695), The Royal Ban of Scotland (from 1727) the British Linen Company (from 1746…) and a number of uncharted joint-stock banks and partnerships. There were both a sign of an assistance to economic development: it has been calculated that the total assets of Scottish banks rose from around pounds sterling 600,000 in 1750 to around 3,700,000 in 1770."
Smout Ibid .p., 243; 244-245.

"Whatever the merits of otherwise of the 1707 Act of Union, there is little doubt that in the long-term the Union meant that Scotland sacrificed political independence in the pursuit of economic gain…..the effect of the Union was to strengthen those interests who had a stake in transforming Scotland into a progressive capitalist society."
Dickson T (Editor); "Scotland & The First British Empire 1707-1770’s: The confirmation of Client Status"; In Editor Dickson, T; "Scottish Capitalism. Class States And Nations From before the Union to the Present"; London; 1980; p. 89.

"The ‘golden age’ of the Glasgow tobacco trade dates from the 1740’s and, astonishingly by 1758 Scottish tobacco imports were greater than those of London and all the English outports combined…. Glasgow became the tobacco metropolis of western Europe, and in the west of Scotland the profits of the trade fed into a very wide range of industries, founded banks, and financed agricultural improvement through merchant investment. The transatlantic trades played a key role in the development of the Glasgow area, the region that was to become the engine of the Scottish industrialization";
Devine T.M. Ibid; p. 59.
The English Public Debt, the Bank of England had all combined into an enormous force as outlined by Marx and Engels in their review of Guizot. This pulled the Scottish merchants into their wake. Marx elsewhere, points out that for the Scotch, clear progressive goals were attained in the Union between England and Scotland:
"It is a fact that in Scotland landed property acquired a new value by the development of English industry. This industry opened up new outlets for wool. In order to produce wool on a large scale, arable land had to be transformed into pasturage. To effect this transformation, the estates had to be concentrated. To concentrate the estates, small holdings had first to be abolished, thousands of tenants had to be driven from their native soil and a few shepherds in charge of millions of sheep to be installed in their place. Thus, by successive transformations, landed property in Scotland has resulted in the driving out of men by sheep. Now say that the providential aim of the institution of landed property in Scotland was to have men driven out by sheep, and you will have made providential history.
Marx, Karl :"The Poverty of Philosophy; Chapter Two: The Metaphysics of Political Economy The Method"; In CW: Volume 6; Moscow; 1976; p. 173; Or at: ... l/ch02.htm
Elsewhere Marx also points out the progressive guarantee of religious freedoms, that the Union gave the Scottish people, being a victory of ‘the republican form of Church government – (Presbyterian Calvinism). Marx’s support is apparent in his comment. This Union was ratified by a Scottish parliamentary vote:
"Scotland & England parts of the same island. But the population differed from that in England. In Scotland at that time there was peace at home and abroad. There were only 3,000 troops in Scotland (Defoe D: The history of the Union of Great Britain, Edinburgh, 1709; quoted from G.Ensor "Anti-Union. Ireland As She Ought to Be"; Newry; 1831; pp.56). Again when the Parliament of Scotland was to be elected, the electors were appraised that they were to depute members to decide respecting the Union of the 2 countries. When Union [was] first proposed in the Scotch Parliament, 64 majority for Union. Scotland by the Union secured for itself the republican form of Church government. Presbyterianism became thus by law the religion of the State. By the Irish Union the religion of 1/10 of the people was declared to be the State religion. Act of Union declares this to be the law for ever. Yet the Repeal of the Scotch Union in the English House of Commons in 1713 [was] rejected by a majority of 4 voices."
Marx, Karl; 1869: "Ireland From the American Revolution to the Union of 1801". In Collected Works; Volume 21; pp. 269-270.
As even a proponent of Scottish nationalism concedes:
"There is little doubt that in the long-term the Union meant that Scotland sacrificed political independence in the pursuit of economic gain….the effect of the Union was to strengthen those interests who had a stake in transforming Scotland into a progressive capitalist society." "Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980;p.89.
However these latter authors, make the point that the types of industry and capital developed in Scotland were not in direct competition with the English ones, thereby trying to paint Scottish industry as somehow being put into an 'unfair' position:
"In relation to Britain as a whole, what were to emerge in Scotland were complementary rather than competitive forms of capitalism, their inter-dependence being regularised under the political domination of Westminster."
Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.90.
However true this was, the further claim that this represents ‘dependent’ or client status’ is very tenuous:
"Such were the roots of the dependent or client status of the Scottish bourgeoisie"; Dickson T (editor):
"Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.90.
The fact is that there was a complete acceptance of the financial wisdom of the unity of the two states, as far as the interests of the capitalists were concerned:
"It is misleading to conceive of the political relations between England and Scotland during the 18th century in terms of one-sided domination. On the contrary, what made the terms of the Union tolerable if not positively acceptable was the way in which the indigenous ruling class was involved in the exercise of political power, not only in Scotland itself but in Britain as a whole and later the Empire overseas. This involvement developed piecemeal as Scotland was assimilated within the structure of the politics prevailing in England during the 18 th century. .. The incorporation of members of the Scottish ruling class… served to justify the reality of dependence inherent in the terms of the Act of Union since it guaranteed the survival of distinctively "Scottish" forms of political and social as well as economic domination".
Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.102.
These Scottish distinctions included a separate legal system:
"Statutes were enacted affecting both countries, the distinctiveness of Scotland’s legal system survived in several important respects. Thus is no sense were English forms of law and order imposed upon Scotland. In fact the continuation of the country’s own legal tradition was not only a significant factor contributing to the comparative quietude of Scottish social life in the 18th century, but acted more positively to hasten the spread of capitalist social relations";
Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.90.
And a guaranteed status of a National Church for the Kirk (Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.117); an educational system of social control that was distinct from England’s. All this culminated in a period of intellectual progress known as the Scottish Enlightenment, characterised by thinkers such as David Hume and Adam Smith. In the words of Dickson and co-author Burgess K:
"Taken together uniquely Scottish forms of political decision making, legal disciplines and religious and educational control were allowed to flourish under the terms of the Act of Union. These constituted what Gramsci would have called the structure of Scottish ‘civil society’, …. It was the fact that these forms of social control were made by Scots themselves and were so adapted so readily to the needs of a developing British capitalism, which made them so effective in reconciling the leaders of Scottish society to their client or dependent status in relation to England…";
Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.24.
It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the ruling classes of Scotland made an alliance with the English ruling class to develop capital together, in tandem. This cannot be characterised as a colonial relationship.
xi) The Unity of the Scottish and English Capitalist Classes Accompanied by Working class Unity
There is little doubt that the unity of Capital extended over the border. Marx and Engels recognised in their practical work in working class politics of their day. Thus the attempts of the capitalists repeatedly to divide the workers of Scotland from the workers of England. This was firmly resisted by Marx and Engels in order to extend the unity of the Working Class over the border. When the tailors of London organised, scabs were to be brought in from Europe. Once frustrated, the London capitalists tried to use Scotland to circumvent the problem. But the International Working Men’s Association pointed out that this would lead to undermining the London workers positions:
"Some time ago the London journeymen tailors formed a general association to uphold their demands against the London master tailors, who are mostly big capitalists. It was a question not only of bringing wages into line with the increased prices of means of subsistence, but also of putting an end to the exceedingly harsh treatment of the workers in this branch of industry. The masters sought to frustrate this plan by recruiting journeymen tailors, chiefly in Belgium, France and Switzerland. Thereupon the secretaries of the Central Council of the International Working Men's Association published in Belgian, French and Swiss newspapers a warning which was a complete success. The London masters' maneuver was foiled; they had to surrender and meet their workers' just demands.
Defeated in England, the masters are now trying to take counter-measures, starting in Scotland. The fact is that, as a result of the London events, they had to agree, initially, to a 15 per cent wage rise in Edinburgh as well. But secretly they sent agents to Germany to recruit journeymen tailors, particularly in the Hanover and Mecklenburg areas, for importation to Edinburgh. The first group has already been shipped off. The purpose of this importation is the same as that of the importation of Indian COOLlES to Jamaica, namely, perpetuation of slavery. If the Edinburgh masters succeeded, through the import of German labour, in nullifying the concessions they had already made, it would inevitably lead to repercussions in England. No one would suffer more than the German workers themselves, who constitute in Great Britain a larger number than the workers of all the other Continental nations. And the newly-imported workers, being completely helpless in a strange land, would soon sink to the level of pariahs.
Furthermore, it is a point of honour with the German workers to prove to other countries that they, like their brothers in France, Belgium and Switzerland, know how to defend the common interests of their class and will not become obedient mercenaries of capital in its struggle against labour."
Marx, Karl; "A Warning"; On behalf of the Central Council of the International Working Men's Association, London, May 4, 1866. The First International Working Men's Association: In CW: Volume 20; Moscow 1985; pp. 162-163. ... 1866-c.htm
A separate capitalist attempted maneuver to divide-and-rule-the-workers across the border, was described by Engels:
"The Newcastle Trade Union Congress is also a victory. The old unions, with the textile workers at their head, and the whole of the reactionary party among the workers, had exerted all their strength towards overthrowing the eight-hour decision of 1890. They came to grief and have only achieved a very small temporary concession. This is decisive. The confusion is still great, but the thing is in irresistible motion and the bourgeois papers recognise the defeat of the bourgeois labour parry completely and with terror, howling and gnashing of teeth. The Scottish Liberals especially, the most intelligent and the most classic bourgeoisie in the kingdom, are unanimous in their outcry at the great misfortune and hopeless wrong-headedness of the workers."
Engels Frederick. Letter to Sorge. Helensburgh, Scotland, September, 1891; ... _09_14.htm
xii) The Highland Clearances – Sweeping the Scottish People into Emigration and Industrialisation
We noted above, the divide in Scotland between the Highlands and the Lowlands. On the whole the ruling class of the lowlands, abutting onto England geographically, was anxious to embrace the new prospects of Union. One aspect was the commercialization of land, and the need for sheep grazing to accommodate the wool industry. Of course this had underlaid the grab for land in the English movement against feudal rights of the peasants, and the grab of previously communal land. This was known in England as the Enclosures.
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In Scotland, the same impetus lay behind the later Highland Clearances. The resistance of the Highlanders to the new capitalist order was dealt with cruelly by the Scottish capitalist landowners. Marx exposed these cruelties in articles on the Duchess of Sutherland, whom he dubbed "that female Mehmet Ali". Marx showed that the whole wealth of the Sutherlands was based on "the ruin and expropriation of the Scotch-Gaelic population":
"The history of the wealth of the Sutherland family is the history of the ruin and of the expropriation of the Scotch-Gaelic population from its native soil. As far back as the 10th century, the Danes had landed in Scotland, conquered the plains of Caithness, and driven back the aborigines into the mountains. Mhoir-Fhear-Chattaibh, as he was called in Gaelic, or the "Great Man of Sutherland", had always found his companions-in-arms ready to defend him at risk of their lives against all his enemies, Danes or Scots, foreigners or natives."
Marx, Karl; March 12 1853: "The Duchess Of Sutherland And Slavery"; In "On Britain"; pp. 372-376. Written March 1853.; or CW Volume 11; Moscow; 1979; pp. 486-494; or at:
The British in fact now used the clans of the feudal system in Scotland as one of the bases from which to develop a modern military:
"After the revolution which drove the Stuarts from Britain, private feuds among the petty chieftains of Scotland became less and less frequent, and the British Kings, in order to keep up at least a semblance of dominion in these remote districts, encouraged the levying of family regiments among the chieftains, a system by which these lairds were enabled to combine modern military establishments with the ancient clan system in such a manner as to support one by the other."
Karl Marx, March 12 1853: "The Duchess Of Sutherland And Slavery"; CW Volume 11; Moscow; 1979; pp. 486-494; or at :
Marx describes who the old tribal clan system was subverted by the new nexus between humans- money:
"The first usurpation took place, after the expulsion of the Stuarts, by the establishment of the family Regiments. From that moment, pay became the principal source of revenue of the Great Man, the Mhoir-Fhear-Chattaibh. Entangled in the dissipation of the Court of London, he tried to squeeze as much money as possible out of his officers, and they applied the same system of their inferiors. The ancient tribute was transformed into fixed money contracts. In one respect these contracts constituted a progress, by fixing the traditional imposts; in another respect they were a usurpation, inasmuch as the "great man" now took the position of landlord toward the "taksmen" who again took toward the peasantry that of farmers. And as the "great men" now required money no less than the "taksmen", a production not only for direct consumption but for export and exchange also became necessary; the system of national production had to be changed, the hands superseded by this change had to be got rid of. Population, therefore, decreased. But that it as yet was kept up in a certain manner, and that man, in the 18th century, was not yet openly sacrificed to net-revenue, we see from a passage in Steuart, a Scotch political economist, whose work was published 10 years before Adam Smith's, where it says (Vol.1, Chap.16): "The rent of these lands is very trifling compared to their extent, but compared to the number of mouths which a farm maintains, it will perhaps be found that a plot of land in the highlands of Scotland feeds ten times more people than a farm of the same extent in the richest provinces."
Karl Marx, March 12 1853: "The Duchess Of Sutherland And Slavery"; CW Volume 11; Moscow; 1979; pp. 486-494; or at:
The livlihood of the peasant remained predominantly as a payment in kind until 1811:
"The rental of the Kintradawell estate for 1811, from which it appears that up to then, every family was obliged to pay a yearly impost of a few shillings in money, a few fowls, and some days' work, at the highest. It was only after 1811 that the ultimate and real usurpation was enacted, the forcible transformation of clan-property into the private property, in the modern sense, of the Chief. The person who stood at the head of this economical revolution was a female Mehemet Ali, who had well digested her Malthus – the Countess of Sutherland, alias Marchioness of Stafford."
Karl Marx, March 12 1853: "The Duchess Of Sutherland And Slavery";CW Volume 11; Moscow; 1979; pp. 486-494; or at:
Marx is often passionate in his writing, but his eloquence against "my lady Countess" of Sutherland must be one of his most heart-felt identification with the poor:
"Let us first state that the ancestors of the Marchioness of Stafford were the "great men" of the most northern part of Scotland, of very near three-quarters of Sutherlandshire. This country is more extensive than many French Departments or small German Principalities. when the Countess of Sutherland inherited these estates, which she afterward brought to her husband, the Marquis of Stafford, afterward Duke of Sutherland, the population of them was already reduced to 15,000. My lady Countess resolved upon a radical economical reform, and determined upon transforming the whole tract of country into sheep-walks. From 1814 to 1820, these 15,000 inhabitants, about 3,000 families, were systematically expelled and exterminated. All their villages were demolished and burned down, and all their fields converted into pasturage. British soldiers were commanded for this execution, and came to blows with the natives. An old woman refusing to quit her hut was burned in the flames of it. Thus my lady Countess appropriated to herself 794,000 acres of land, which from time immemorial had belonged to the clan. In the exuberance of her generosity she allotted to the expelled natives about 6,000 acres -- two acres per family. These 6,000 acres had been lying waste until then, and brought no revenue to the proprietors. The Countess was generous enough to sell the acre at 2s 6d on an average, to the clan-men who for centuries past had shed their blood for her family. The whole of the unrightfully appropriated clan-land she divided into 29 large sheep farms, each of them inhabited by one single family, mostly English farm-laborers; and in 1821 the 15,000 Gaels had already been superseded by 131,000 sheep. A portion of the aborigines had been thrown upon the sea-shore, and attempted to live by fishing. They became amphibious, and, as an English author says, lived half on land and half on water, and after all did not live upon both. Sismondi, in his Etudes Sociales, observes with regard to this expropriation of the Gaels from Sutherlandshire -- an example, which, by-the-by, was imitated by other "great men" of Scotland:
"The large extent of seignorial domains is not a circumstance peculiar to Britain. In the whole Empire of Charlemagne, in the whole Occident, entire provinces were usurped by the warlike chiefs, who had them cultivated for their own account by the vanquished, and sometimes by their own companions-in-arms. During the 9th and 10th centuries the Counties of Maine, Anjou, Poitou were for the Counts of these provinces rather three large estates than principalities. Switzerland, which in so many respects resembles Scotland, was at that time divided among a small number of Seigneurs. If the Counts of Kyburg, of Lenzburg, of Habsburg, of Gruyeres had been protected by British laws, they would have been in the same position as the Earls of Sutherland; some of them would perhaps have had the same taste for improvement as the Marchioness of Stafford, and more than one republic might have disappeared from the Alps in order to make room for flocks of sheep. Not the most despotic monarch in Germany would be allowed to attempt anything of the sort." "
Karl Marx, March 12 1853: "The Duchess Of Sutherland And Slavery"; CW Volume 11; Moscow; 1979; pp. 486-494; or at:
Another version of the same is contained in Karl Marx; "‘Das Capital' Volume One"; Chapter Twenty-Seven: Expropriation Of The Agricultural Population From The Land Part VIII: Primitive Accumulation"; In CW; VOlume 35; New York; 1996; pp.718-723.

Marx saw the same process in Scotland, as that in England, but just a century or so behind. It was part and parcel of a forcible expropriation aimed at making sheep-walks, making deer parks, and contributed to the enormous emigration movement to the colonies of America and Australia. At the same time it was the basis for forming the proletariat, now being needed by the Scottish capitalists in the towns – not in the Highlands:

"The process of clearing estates, which, in Scotland, we have just now described, was carried out in England in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Thomas Morus already complains of it in the beginning of the 16th century. It was performed in Scotland in the beginning of the 19th, and in Ireland it is now in full progress. The noble Viscount Palmerston, too, some years ago cleared of men his property in Ireland, exactly in the manner described above. If of any property it ever was true that it was robbery, it is literally true of the property of the British aristocracy. Robbery of Church property, robbery of commons, fraudulent transformation, accompanied by murder, of feudal and patriarchal property into private property -- these are the titles of British aristocrats to their possessions. And what services in this latter process were performed by a servile class of lawyers, you may see from an English lawyer of the last century, Dalrymple, who, in his History of Feudal Property, very naively proves that every law or deed concerning property was interpreted by the lawyers, in England, when the middle class rose in wealth in favor of the middle class -- in Scotland, where the nobility enriched themselves, in favor of the nobility -- in either case it was interpreted in a ssense hostile to the people. The above Turkish reform by the Countess of Sutherland was justifiable, at least, from a Malthusian point of view. Other Scottish noblemen went further. Having superseded human beings by sheep, they superseded sheep by game, and the pasture grounds by forests. At the head of these was the Duke of Atholl.
"After the conquest, the Norman Kings afforested large portions of the soil of England, in much the same way as the landlords here are now doing with the Highlands.
(R. Somers, Letters on the Highlands, 1848)." As for a large number of the human beings expelled to make room for the game of the Duke of Atholl, and the sheep of the Countess of Sutherland, where did they fly to, where did they find a home? In the United States of America. The enemy of British Wage-Slavery has a right to condemn Negro-Slavery; a Duchess of Sutherland, a Duke of Atholl, a Manchester Cotton-lord -- never!"
Karl Marx, March 12 1853: "The Duchess Of Sutherland And Slavery"; CW Volume 11; Moscow; 1979; pp. 486-494; or at:

Summarising the whole process, Marx maintained it was part of the creation of a proletariat:
"The spoliation of the church's property, the fraudulent alienation of the State domains, the robbery of the common lands, the usurpation of feudal and clan property, and its transformation into modern private property under circumstances of reckless terrorism, were just so many idyllic methods of primitive accumulation. They conquered the field for capitalistic agriculture, made the soil part and parcel of capital, and created for the town industries the necessary supply of a "free" and outlawed proletariat."
Karl Marx Capital Volume One; Chapter Twenty-Seven: Expropriation Of The Agricultural Population From The Land Part VIII: Primitive Accumulation"; In CW: Vol 35 Ibid;

The failure of independent imperialist path had led the Scottish bourgeosie to throw their lot in with the English capitalists. Increasingly, the countries economic lives were intertwined, leading to a single nation.
Was there any change in this economic reality over the period to 2001?


- Devine T.M. "The Scottish nation. 1700-2000"; London; 1999;
- Dickson, T; "Scottish Capitalism. Class States And Nations From before the Union to the Present"; London; 1980;
- Engels, Frederick: "The Condition of the Working Class in England"; In "Collected Works"; Volume 4; Moscow 1975;
- Engels, Frederick : "Letter Engels to Karl Kautsky; Ryde September 4th 1892; In "Marx and Engels On Britain"; Moscow; 1953;
- Engels, Frederick: Ludwig Feuerbach And The End Of Classical German Philosophy"; Part 4 "Marx"; Volume 26; Moscow 1990; pp.395-396;
-Engels, Frederick; 1892; London: "Socialism: Utopian and Scientific"; 1892 English Edition Introduction. [History (the role of Religion) in the English middle-class]; Volume 27; Moscow; 1990;
- Engels, Frederick; "Plan of Chapter Two & Fragments for "The History of Ireland"; "Collected Works"; Volume 21; London 1985;
- Engels Frederick. Letter to Sorge. Helensburgh, Scotland, September, 1891;
- Harvie, Christopher: "Scotland & Nationalism. Scottish Society and Politics 1707 to the present"; London; 1998;
-Mackie JD: "A History of Scotland"; Suffolk; 1964;
Morton A.L.; "Peoples History of England"; London 1971; New York 1974;
-Marx, Karl & Engels, Frederick 1850: "Review of: Guizot, 'Pourquoi La Revolution D’Angleterre a-t-elle Reussi? Discours sur l’histoire de la Revolution D’Angleterre;'"Collected Works; Volume 10; Moscow 1978; pp.252, 254-255;
- Marx, Karl :"The Poverty of Philosophy; Chapter Two: The Metaphysics of Political Economy The Method"; In CW: Volume 6; Moscow; 1976; p. 173;
-Marx, Karl, March 12 1853: "The Duchess Of Sutherland And Slavery"; In Collected Works; Moscow 1979; Volume 11; p.486-494;
- Marx, Karl; "A Warning"; On behalf of the Central Council of the International Working Men's Association, London, May 4, 1866. The First International Working Men's Association: In CW: Volume 20; Moscow 1985; pp. 162-163.
- Marx, Karl; 1869: "Ireland From the American Revolution to the Union of 1801". In Collected Works; Volume 21; pp. 269-270.
- Marx, Karl; Capital Volume One: "Part VIII: Primitive Accumulation: Chapter Twenty-Seven: Expropriation Of The Agricultural Population From The Land". CW; Volume 35; New York; 1996; pp.713-714;
-Nairn Tom; "The Break-Up of Britain"; London 1977

-Smout T.C: "A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830"; London; 1969;
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i) Scottish Industry Inside the British State
Synopsis: After the 1707 Union with England, there was a rapid growth of Scottish commerce and industry. Scotland became the 'world's workshop' leading Britain in heavy industry, especially ship-building. All British industry became dominant in the world, up to the First World War, due to Britain's colonies.

Following the Union of 1707, there was a rapid increase in population. At first, the primary growth was in the rural areas where new farming techniques could be applied after the new landowners expropriated the communal land. But the industries soon grew as well:
"The increase in population in Scotland during the 18th century is closely related to the quickening of economic activity following the Act of Union. In contrast to the pre-1700 era… the record of the 18th century is one of almost continuous growth. The net gain recorded during the century was about 600,000 …… The major part of this increase in population was absorbed by the countryside, reflecting the impact of new forms of land use. There was also significant growth in the big towns."
Burgess, Keith: in Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.91.
Burgess argues that the terms under which Scottish capital became wealthy, were one of avoiding competition with English capital. It is his contention that this "complementary" rather than directly "competitive" means of production gave it a "client status". However, for capitalists it makes sense to avoid competition if the capitalist cannot directly wage competition. That Scottish entrepreneurs took newer technology and instituted heavy industrial patterns to avoid competition, does not constitute its status as a "dependent capital". It was admittedly a "shrewd capital". As Burgess himself points out:
"What was crucial to Scotland’s rapid rate of industrialization after 1830 was the singular abundance of opportunities for forms of economic activity that were complementary to developments in England, created not only by the growth of the British market as a whole but sustained by the opening up of markets abroad. This had significant implications for the product mix of Scottish industry, including its product cycle. After 1830, the Scottish economy became increasingly geared to the manufacture of a highly specialised and intricately related mix of heavy industry products…An examination of the phasing of Scotland’s industrial development shows a recurrent pattern of innovation, the rapid saturation of the domestic market, and rising export volumes: a pattern that typified consecutively, the textiles, pig iron and shipbuilding industries."
Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.90.
Ship-building in particular ‘relied on’ an expanding world trade that Britain as a whole was ideally placed to develop. Not only was the growth in Scotland purely an industrial growth. Indeed by 1850, Scotland had become a financial power as well:
"An important exporter of capital in its own right";
Burgess K; in Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p183.
The English and Scottish economy was becoming welded into one British whole:
"The growing commitment of Scots capital to heavy industry tied its fortunes very closely to the unique position of ascendancy enjoyed by British capitalism in relation to the world economy. Paradoxically therefore the increasing integration or assimilation of Scotland to a system of internal trading relation, controlled effectively by the City of London, served to intensify Scotland’s distinctiveness as a region of the British economy."
Burgess K; In Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.90.
Scottish capital had some advantages to English capital in the years up to 1900. Firstly, for the textile trade in the early 1800’s, the unemployment rate in Scotland was higher than in England:
"The combined effects of depopulation in the Highlands resulting from the Clearances…. And the beginnings of the waves of migration form Ireland swelled the labour supply ready to work at low wages in the cotton manufacture of the Glasgow –Paisley area…There is little doubt that it was the abundance of the ‘reserve army’ of the labour which enabled capitalists in the Scottish textile industries to obtain workers at a lower wage that was the case in England, and this helps explain hwy the domestic system survived relatively late in Scotland… lower money wages in Scotland were offset by lower living costs."
Burgess K; Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.185-186.
Secondly: Although early on in the pig-iron industry after 1830, there was a large deposit of iron ore in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire, this was inferior to Welsh and English pig-iron which relied on iron ore that was purer. However, James Beaumont Neilson, manger of Glasgow Gasworks, pioneered the injection of ‘hot blast’ air in the Clyde Ironworks. This "at one stroke":
"Overcame the problems caused by the Scottish iron industry’s high fuel costs with the result that the Scots iron-masters acquired an important cost-advantage over the their English and Welsh competitors… the hot blast was capital-saving, reducing capital costs in Scotland by as much as 25%… The Scots ironmasters also benefited from the earlier development of local joint-stock banking with the Western Bank of Scotland."
Burgess K; in Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.187-88.
Finally, this predominance led to an increased specialty in ship-building based on the Clyde River:
"The rise of Clydeside as the single most important ship-building centre in the UK……. The natural advantage of a river location opening up on the North Atlantic trade routes was combined with the abundance of cheap local iron that was fed form the furnaces of Lanarkshire to the Clyde by the Monklands Canal, Expertise in machine making, and especially the development of steam power had been [already] acquired…. Again the large reservoir or labour in the West of London in contrast to London".
Burgess K; in Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p191-192
By the 1870’s a finance-imperialist group of capitalists were established in Scotland, and they are "rentiers", who are exporting both commodities and capital:
"The innovations in shipbuilding created an integrated world market for commodities labour and above all capital. Thus by the 1870’s it is possible to discern a group of identifiably rentier Scots bourgeoisie, with holdings overseas in a diverse range of activities like US railroads, Australian land companies and Indian tea plantations."
Burgess K; in Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.93.
Lenin apparently agreed that the "rentier" class had taken hold of Scotland, and did not dispute its being part of a united Great Britain:

"The Creditor State is laying a deep imprint on some parts of Great Britain. Free trade or financial reform is, in a certain way, an issue of struggle between the industrial state and the creditor state, but, at the same item, it represents the contradictions the ‘surbubia’ of Southern England with its villas, where industry and agriculture have been forces into second place, and the productive factories regions of the North, Scotland, too, has been largely taken over by the rentier class and shaped to serve the need so the people who go there for 3 to 4 months in the year to play golf, travel in cars and yachts, shoot grouse and fish for salmon. Scotland is the world's most aristocratic ‘playground’. It has been said with some exaggeration… lives on its past."
Cited By Lenin from Hobson; See Notebook "Lambda"; in Volume 39; ‘Notebooks on Imperialism"; Moscow; 1968;p. 454.

"Between 1870 and 1900 Scottish capital exports amounted to approximately 10 percent of the net national product and was proportionately far greater than its English counterpart. Moreover it was in Scotland that exporters of capital pioneered a device to tap the savings of the petty bourgeois for foreign investment, the investment trust";
Dickson T: In Dickson T(Ed): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p. 249.

Still it is often heard that a Scottish capital was impeded as it was so "specialized". But this was consistent with the operation of the law of uneven development. This universal law dictates capitalist development and cannot be ignored in favour of a supposed ‘colonial relationship’ in Scotland’s industries.
By 1914-5, there had been an effective fusion of the economies of the two countries. But the special nature of its industry meant that Scotland would be vulnerable should there be a decline in Britain’s share of the world markets:
"The process of fusion between the economies of Scotland and England was already well advanced. Although Scottish capital had been very much the junior partner of English imperial power, Scotland in the 19th Century still constituted a distinct national economy. The Scottish economy probably had a greater economic autonomy at that time than have many industrializing countries today. Some companies had transferred their headquarters to London or had amalgamated with English concerns, but others notably Coats and Distillers were dominant in the British and world markets for their products. Nevertheless the changing international balance of economic power and the encroachment of English capital were beginning to make themselves felt on the Scottish economy. While the period up to 1914 can be characterized as a story of ‘success’ of Scottish capital, this success was laying the seeds of the problems which were later to mark the development of the Scottish economy,. The over-dependence on heavy industry and the massive flow of capital abroad meant that Scottish capital failed to move into the newer growth industries which were to become so important after the First World War."
Scott J and Hughes M. "The Anatomy of Scottish Capital"; London; 1980; pp.54-55.
Undoubtedly the depression following First World War was more heavily felt in Scotland, than in the rest of Great Britain. As British industry struggled to keep pace with the German and USA imperialist, it tried to re-tool and begin re-mechanisation. This led to the struggle over ‘dilution’ – the process where unskilled labour was allowed into the work-place alongside the previous skilled workers. Engels discusses this process as having been resisted by the old ‘aristocratic’ workers, and how it was challenged by the New Unions (See "May 4th in London" 1890; "Letter to F.A.Sorge April 19, 1890"; at: ).

At the end of the First World War, the whole of British industry was in decline and needed to catch up with ‘newer’ more modern imperialist states, as the Comintern recognised:
"29. The British Empire seems to be at the height of its' power. It has maintained its former possessions and gained new ones. But it is precisely now that the contradiction between England’s predominant position in the world and its real economic decline becomes apparent." Comintern; July 1921: "Theses on World Situation and the Tasks of the Comintern"; adopted Third Congress Comintern; Cited by Jane Degras; "The Communist International, Documents 1919-43"; London; Volume 1"; 1971; p. 235.
This struggle in part, led to the Scottish attempts in Clydeside to shore up the position of the skilled workers by a widespread strike movement. It was this movement that brought John MacLean to prominence, as Lenin gave him the title Honorary Consul for the Soviet Republic. Despite MacLean’s admiration of both Lenin and the CPSU(B), he turned his back upon Lenin’s explicit advice both to himself and to William Gallacher, to help build the Communist Party Great Britain (CPGB). Gallacher joined the CPGB, but MacLean set up the Scottish Workers Republican Party, which advocated separation from England because of a strategic possibility of spoiling England’s later war with the USA:
"Britain may soon be in a war with the USA, and it will be worse than the last….. The preparations to use the Scottish coast and Scottish lads in John Bull’s fight with Uncle Sam forces us the policy of a complete political separation from England. Hence a Scottish Communist Party." John MacLean; Cited in McLean, Iain : "The Legend of red Clydeside"; Edinburgh; 1983; p. 150.
Again, Lenin did not counsel the CPGB to adopt a policy of separation. The decline was not unique in Scotland, and it was part of a more general crisis within British Capital. Stalin identified this readily, when discussing the causes of the great 1926 General Strike.
As Stalin recognised in 1926, the Scottish working class was only one part of the British working class, and he saw its actions in the General Strike of 1926 as a united single struggle. The causes of the strike were the same causes of the depression in the Scottish economy. Namely the decline of British imperialism:
"Britain formerly occupied a monopoly position among the capitalist states. Owning a number of huge colonies, and having what for those days was an exemplary industry, it was able to parade as the "workshop of the world" and to rake in vast super-profits. That was the period of "peace and prosperity" in Britain. Capital raked in super-profits, crumbs from those super-profits fell to the share of the top section of the British labour movement, the leaders of the British labour movement were gradually tamed by capital, and conflicts between labour and capital were usually settled by compromise.
But the further development of world capitalism, especially the development of Germany, America and, in part, of Japan, which entered the world market as competitors of Britain, radically undermined Britain's former monopoly position. The war and the post-war crisis dealt a further decisive blow to Britain's monopoly position. There were fewer super-profits, the crumbs which fell to the share of the British labour leaders began to dwindle away."
Stalin J. V. : "The British Strike & The Events In Poland"; Report Delivered at a Meeting of Workers of the Chief Railway Workshops in Tiflis, June 8, 1926"; In 'Works'; Volume 8; Moscow 1954; pp. 165; or at:
The situation for British capital got considerably worse post Second World War. The Scottish industrialists were loathe to move into new sectors where investments would have to be needed first. Instead they were complacent , made so by a previous dominance:
"Lack of overseas competition which distinguished the (shipbuilding) sector at this period encouraged obsolescence and complacency." Dickson T (Ed) "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p. 248.
This complacency was a general problem for British – ie English and Scottish capital. However Scottish capital was at this time, less resilient than English in switching gears to the new situation. The English capitalists developed previously small industries like food processing, domestic electrical goods, aircraft, motor vehicles:
"Overall industrial output in England actually expanded in the interwar period in spite of the depression, rising by 20 percent between 1907 and 1930. Orientated as they were to domestic rather than export markets these industries localizing themselves along the London-Birmingham axis, did not emerge in Scotland and that country’s industrial bourgeoisie did not renew itself by shifting its’ bases."
Dickson T "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.257.
In fact the problem was one of under-capitalising of the entire British industry, and this accelerated post-Second World War. The Brookings Institute noted that over the period of 1950 to 1963 the average:
"British worker is supported by an exceptionally small amount of capital";
Cited Dickson In Dickson T (Ed): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p. 291.

"By the 1930’s the two economies were greatly inter-dependent with English capital taking the dominant part. All these features were to become even more marked in the post-war period…. Functional and financial links , even less than in the earlier periods were no longer confined to other Scottish companies, as more and more companies became tied in directly to the Scottish economy."
Scott J & Hughes M. "The Anatomy of Scottish Capital"; London 1980; p. 108; 154.
It was in this climate that the British bourgeoisie adopted three primary Tactics to fix their decline:

1) Nationalisation

The 1947 Labour Government nationalized coal, and in 1948 the railways buses and electricity; and then coal and steel. In addition large segments of the cotton, shipbuilding and aircraft industries received governmental supervision. IN this process Scotland lost some of its ‘private’ heavy industrial base to a larger national group of capitalists. As Engels had pointed out, the motivation of capitalists to undergo nationalisation of an industry is to ensure that no sectional interest rakes in profits at the expense of the entire capitalist class, or to build up a new or failing essential industry that requires State financing. This is of course not equivalent to Socialism as Engels pointed out in relation to the railway development under Bismarck.
What effect did nationalisation have on Scotland?
The leading section of the Scottish heavy industrialists were essentially relived of their tasks:

"The dominant force in Scottish heavy industry in the 1930's was the Colville-Ltihgow-Nimmor group, but this dominance had been upset by the post-war nationalisation. The heavy industries to which the Scottish economy was heavily committed were those to which had been most affected by nationalisation";
Scott J & Hughes M. "The Anatomy of Scottish Capital"; London 1980; p. 138.

Despite the Tory re-privatisation of this sector, the industry never recovered. Besides, its subsequent re-nationalisation in 1967 led to the same phenomenon of a section of private capitalists whose interests were well compensated by state expropriation to be turned aside (Anatomy of Scottish Capital. p.202).
2) Second Tactic: Converting colonies into neo-colonies
We have previously detailed this aspect, in the case of India [See The Role of The Bourgeoisie In Colonial Type Countries: What is the Class Charactar of the Indian State? Changing The Line, Revisionists Distort Lenin and Stalin"; at
3) Third Tactic: Seeking External Financial Support
There was a turn, initially to both of the European Economic Community and to the USA. However, under Churchill a fundamental decision to align the British state with the USA was taken, which was maintained thereafter by both the Tory party and the Labour Party. This period was examined by Alliance in an earlier issue (Crises In Capital And Their Solution - Free
Trade & Protectionism In Developed Countries; Alliance 3 1993; See:
Countires , and is not re-examined here.
Suffice it to point out that the dominant factions in the British ruling class aligned themselves to the USA, and a major investment influx came from the USA into Britain. The resulting inflow of foreign capital was concentrated in Scotland – but it was not exclusive to Scotland. However it warped Scottish society more than society in the South:
"The increased role of foreign capitals in Scotland after 1945 was encouraged by the attraction of low wage levels, a relatively high level of unemployed workers as British capitalism failed to re-invest…. Of all American companies established in the United Kingdom after 1945 one-third were sited in Scotland. Between 1958 and 1968 overseas companies accounted for 30% of all new employment created by new enterprises in Scotland….. Together with investment controlled from England, this resulted in a situation where by 1975, only 41 percent of manufacturing employment in Scotland was controlled from within the country; by 1968 58% of total employment in the Central/Clydeside conurbation was in plants where ultimate control lay outside Scotland." Dickson T "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p. 295.
Just as in England, but more so in Scotland – a progressive de-industrialisation took place. Despite the militancy and trade union organisation of the workers, they could not prevent a determined onslaught. The last major militant stand taken was perhaps the 1971-2 battles of the Clydeside shipworkers. This was then followed by the great coal miners strike which was organized over the whole of Britain including Scotland. It was in this overall context that the Scottish National Party – the SNP – came to the fore.

ii) The Split In The Scottish Capitalist Class - The Scottish National Party

As both Alliance and the Communist League have previously discussed, the prior unity of the industrial wings and the financial wings of capital have been to some extent splintered in the period 1970 onwards, as the crisis of capital became increasingly more difficult to reconcile. The financial wing was represented in England by the Tory party and Mrs. Thatcher, and the Labour party was supported by the industrial wing. Neither could solve the problem of avoiding inflation while maintaining growth of industry [See Alliance 3 at ].

In Scotland a similar split between the two wings of capital occurred over this time. As heavy industrial capital waned in Scotland, given the post-war slump and the nationalisation of key industries, there was a rise in financial capitalist interests:
"During the 1960’s the movement of concentration in Scottish banking continued and this process led to a clarification of the relationship between the Scottish and the English banks….. By the beginning of the 1970’s the number of Scottish commercial banks had been reduced to three, all being subject to English ownership…… A notable feature of the 1960’s and 1970’s was the growth of merchant banking in Scotland, an area where the Scottish economy had always been weak…… The rising star was undoubtedly Noble Grossart which was formed in 1969 by Ian Nobel and Angus Grossart together with Sir Hugh Fraser… .
The economy itself became more bank-centred and more integrated with the English economy but the controlling directorate of the major companies was drawn from a long line of prominent [Scottish-editor] business families."
Scott J & Hughes M. "The Anatomy of Scottish Capital"; London 1980; p. 168; 171-172; 223.
"Nationalisation and the take-over of Scottish companies by outside interests have however, also opened up possibilities for Scottish capital by making available large sums of money to the former owners of the companies involved. By and large, it would seem that this wealth has not found its way back into the industrial sector; instead it had gone into the financial sector. Indeed the investment trusts had their origins in the 1870’s as a way of channeling the surplus funds of the jute industry into more profitable channels, and this process seems to have continued. And perhaps the one area where Scottish registration and Scottish identify have consistently been most important, and particularly in the most recent period, had been the financial sector".
Scott J & Hughes M. "The Anatomy of Scottish Capital"; London 1980; p.261.
The interests of the Scottish financiers were attracted to the Scottish National Party (SNP):
"The conversion of a section of Scottish finance capital to the SNP.... Thus Sir Hugh Fraser, followed by Ronald Macneil of Dalsuit Merchant Bank, Ian Noble of Seaforth Maritime Investments, Sir William Lithgow and Lord Cydesmuir all publicly backed the SNP as part of a strategy of developing new financial institution backed by a Scottish State which could utilize the oil revenue for foreign investment and so change a natural asset into a financial asset. This section was a minority group and faced the opposition of the dominant sections of Scottish capital who were better integrated into British capital and found the relationship sufficiently profitable. This dominant sections was itself somewhat divided over the attitude to take towards independence.’ Dickson T "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980; p.313.
The SNP has won its first parliamentary seat in 1945, but had all but disappeared over the next fifteen years, numbering in the 1950’ less than 1,000 (Devine TM. Ibid; p. 565). Other expressions of Scottish Nationalism, such as the Scottish Convention (led by John MacCormick) did take a lead in expressing a sentiment for "Home Rule". The new ‘national covenant' of 1949 collected 2 million signatures for Home Rule (Devine Ibid; p. 566). But this never translated into electoral significance. Fears that nationalisation would enable Westminster to control Scotland more, were fueled by the Conservative Party, and Sir Winston Churchill’s’ remarks that :

"labour centralisation threatened to absorb the Scottish nation in a ‘serfdom of socialism’ run form London, in conflict with the Treaty of Union of 1707";
Devine; Ibid; p. 568.

Over the following years, the call for Home Rule was raised several times, once by the Scottish miners in 1949. However it generally did ton find a reverberation. Until the discovery of oil in the Scottish highland off shore waters. Despite enormous subsidies from the British state, industry in Scotland had continued to decline. By the time of the 1967 general elections in Britain, the SNP had won back a place in elections. In that elections Winifred Ewing won her seat against Labour in Hamilton Lanarkshire with 46% of the vote.

Both Conservative party leaders such as Edward Heath in 1968 (Declaration of Perth) [See Devine Ibid; p., 575] and the Labour Party in 1974, began to accept devolution of powers to the Scottish parliament (Devine ibid; p. 575). Th Scottish Trade Union executive, having in 1950 rejected the call of the Scottish miners, now in 1974 overwhelmingly supported devolution. The decline in Scotland of the Conservative Party aided the SNP as it took over the positions of the anti-Labour vote:

"A basic cause of the growing prominence of the SNP in Scottish politics was the decline in the Tory Party as the most effective challenge to the hegemony of Labour in Scotland. The Conservatives had stood above all for Unionism…. Now the decay of the party gave Nationalism its chance. The vote against Labour, which earlier had gone overwhelmingly to the Unionists, now went to the SNP……[especially since] the Heath government of 1974 tried to mount a radical assault on the interventionist economic policies that had sustained both Labour and Tory parties alike since 1945…. [including previously] low rents in Scotland… More serious was the plight of Upper Clyde Shipbilders ……. Secondly the credibility of the government was undermined by economic crisis and industrial action. Heath’s Industrial Relations Act …. Swiftly unleashed an unprecedented wave of unrest in the workplace.."
Devine Ibid; pp 581, 584-585.

The SNP proposed that the an independent Scotland would take control of the resources of North Sea Oil. There had meanwhile been an inflation of oil prices. However when a referendum on the matter took place under the next Labour government in march 1979, the vote was:

‘Yes’ – 51.6%;
‘No’ – 48.4%.

Only 63 % of the electorate had voted, and the ‘yes’ vote was less than a prior stipulated 40% of the entire referendum vote. (See Devine Ibid; pp. 587-88].

When the SNP tabled a motion of no confidence in the Labour Government, a new general election was held. This led to a landslide Conservative government under Mrs.Thatcher. The SNP lost 9 of its 11 seats. As Mrs. Thatcher’s government wreaked the will of the Financial oligarchy-section of the ruling class, Scottish industry declined further. In 1992 the Ravenscraig Steel mill was closed in Lanarkshire Scotland, and triggered further closures. This precipated a "service" economy spurt::

"The number of workers in manufacturing agriculture fisheries fell by nearly a half between 1979 and 1994, while the total numbers of workers in financial and public sectors has expanded dramatically. By the 1990’s the service sector had become the most dynamic part of the economy and this is a development that Scotland shares with other advanced countries in western Europe and North America. ‘Services’ are complex and include hotels and catering, transport, tourism, business services, education and health.";
Devine Ibid; p. 595.

"In the private sector the jewel in the crown is financial. In terms of turnover, 10 of the 15 largest Scottish companies in 1993-4 were in finance and Scotland is reckoned to the fourth in Europe in the provision of financial services after London, Frankfurt, and Paris. In 1992, no fewer that 220,000 people were engaged in this area of employment."
Devine Ibid; pp. 596-6.

But new growth was emerging in industry in both the North Sea oil and gas industry and in electronics. Much of this was however owned not by English cpaital or by Scottish capital - but USA capital in partnership with Scottish capital:

"By the 1990’s Grampian region had emerged as on the most prosperous areas in the UK and Aberdeen became the oil capital of Europe… In addition Scotland was now as famous for electronics manufacture as it had been for shipbuilding earlier… ‘Silicon Glen’, stretching from Ayrshire to Dundee, now included one of the largest concentrations of high-technology industry outside the USA and by the early 1980’s Scotland was the recognised leader in Europe of semiconductor manufacture…. Overwhelmingly the new plants were the fruit of American, Japanese and then Asian inward investment, brought to Scotland by government aid, custom built-facilities, a favourable location to penetrate the European market, … labour cost that were around half the going rate in California in the later 1980’s";
Devine Ibid; pp. 596-596.

However, this was dynamic, and much of the financial sector became well able to compete with both English and American capital:

"Scottish capital in finance has been more dynamic than industrial capital and has not suffered so greatly from nationalisation, Anglicisation, or Americanisation, though the relationship between the English and Scottish banks has become very close. Scottish capital, had it might be argued, a relatively over-developed financial sector. While this may have been a sing of weakness in the past - with capital flowing abroad.. rather than being invested in local industry - it has proved something of a strength in relation to the recent challenge posed by North Sea Oil. the ability of Scottish capital to move into oil and compete with foreign capital derived from the expertise which the finance industry had developed over the course of the present century." Scott J and Hughes M. "The Anatomy of Scottish Capital"; London; 1980; p. 262.

By the late 1980-1990’s then the Scottish economy was faring better than many parts of England.
However a further series of disillusions took place with the Poll Tax (1987) of Mrs. Thatcher that was levied in Scotland before it was in England, and the Miners Strike of 1984. The conservatives threatened further harsh measures for Scotland, as Mr. Nigel Lawson then Chancellor said:

"Scottish life was ‘sheltered from market forces and exhibits a culture of dependency rather than that of enterprise’.
Cited Devine Ibid; p. 605.

The Conservative victory of 1987 led to resurgence in the Home Rule movement. This time led by a United Front of Labour, Liberal Democrats, and the SNP – called the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly (CSA).
It bore the nature of a revolt against Thatcherism. In the 1992 election, when Mr. John Major retained the seat of Prime Minister, the Scottish vote for home rule was supported by 75% of the Scottish electorate (Devine Ibid; p. 613).
Labour’s 1997electoral victory under Mr. Tony Blair led to the White Paper on devolution. Business was quietly supportive:
"Scottish business which had vociferously condemned devolution in 1979 was mainly silent….. major Scottish companies such as the insurance giants Standard Life and Scottish Widows, declared they were comfortable with the proposal."
Devine, Ibid; p. 616.
In a new referendum, 74.3 % of voters supported a Scottish parliament and 63.5% agreed that its should be able to vary and levee tax. The Scottish parliament hereafter would have:
"Power over all matters apart from foreign policy, defence, macro-economic policy, social security abortion and broadcasting. IT could rise or lower the basic rate of tax by 3 pence, or Pounds Sterling 450 million in total. Although Westminster would continue to have responsibility for relations with Europe, there would also be a Scottish representative office in Brussels and Scottish ministers could be expected to take part in the UK delegation to the EU Council of Ministers."
Devine Ibid; p. 617.
iii) The Marxist-Leninist Strategy to Be Advocated For Scotland now
The Marxist-Leninist movement in Britain has long urged that the proposed entry into the COmmon Market was adjacent the interests of the working class of Britain, as ceding their potential of control to an even more distant bureaucracy. It is therefore unsurprising that we should support the class for devoltuion. But this is not the same as calling for Separation as an independent nation. This latter we cannot support and believe it is incorrect. Our grounds are below:
Firstly we have argued in this essay, that economic integration has proceeded to the point where disentanglement is not viable. As

"Political Union between England and Scotland happened in 1707, but economic union is only now being completed... This .. has reinforced the tendency towards a progressive integration of the Scottish and English economies and has further narrowed the sphere of Scottish capital.....
While political union can be subject to a devolution of power, economic union cannot be so easily disentangled. Britain is part of an increasingly internationalised world economic system , and ti is difficult to envisage an unraveling of the chains of interedependence while the prevailing international relation of production remain unchanged."
Scott J and Hughes M. "The Anatomy of Scottish Capital"; London; 1980; p.260; 261.

This militates against Stalin's definition of a nation, of which Stalin says all must be present to achieve a national definition:

"A nation is a historically constituted, stable community of people and formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture."
J.V.Stalin; "Works"; Moscow; 1956; Vol 2; "Marxism and the National Question"; p. 307. or at:

Secondly, we believe that the movement towards Home Rule was fueled by a profound alienation of the working peoples of Scotland. One that took an especial character in Scotland due to the nature of the "remnants" (In Marx and Engels phrase). That especial character was that of a movement towards an impossible nationhood complete divorced from England. We believe this is at best un-wise, and at worst, a deliberate obfuscation of the urgent need for unity of the working class under one Red Banner.
At this time in its hisotry, the working classes of Scotland need their Workers Party built on Marxism-Leninism. Supporting the bourgeois nationalism of the capitalist and financiers who have come to an accomodation with the British capitalists and the EEC financiers - is not serving the interests of the Scotttish workers.
As Stalin cautions:

"Whether the proletariat rallies to the banner of bourgeois nationalism depends on the degree of development of class antagonsisms, on the class conciosuness and degree of organisation of the proletariat. The class-concious proletariat has its own tried banner, and has no need to rally to the banner of the bourgeoisie";
Stalin J.V.: 'Marxism & The National Question"; Volume 2; p. 317, or at

"The policy of nationalist persecution is dangerous to the cause of the proletariat .. It diverts the attention of large strata from social questions, questions of the class struggle, to national questions, questions 'common' to the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. And this creates a favourable soil for lying propaganda about 'harmony of interests', for glossing over the class interests of the proletariat and for the intellectual enslavement of the workers. This creates a serious obstacle to the cause of uniting the workers of all nationalities".
Stalin J.V.: 'Marxism & The National Question"; Volume 2; p.320-321.

"There is no need to mention the kind of "socialist principle of nationality" glorified by Bauer.... True such nationalism is not so transparent, for it is skillfully masked by socialist phrases, but it is all the more harmful to the proletariat for that reason... But this does not exhaust the harm caused by national autonomy, It prepares the ground not only for the segregation of nations, but also for breaking up the united labour movements. The idea of national autonomy creates the psychological conditions for the division of the united workers' party into separate parties built on
national lines. The break-up of the party is followed by the break-up of the trade unions and complete segregation is the result. In this way, the united class movement is broken up into separate national rivulets".
J.V.Stalin 'Works'; Moscow; 1956; Vol 2; 'Marxism and the
National Question'; p. 342-343.

Even if we are to assume that Scotland is truely a nation in its own right, that does not confer upon the Marxist-Leninist the duty to insist automatically on its independence.
Certainly it is true that the position, of Lenin and Stalin, was always that Nations - if a national status did in fact exist (by definitions provided by Stalin) should have the full Right to Self Determination:

"The right of self-determination means that a nation may arrange its life in the way it wishes. It has the right to arrange its life on the basis of autonomy. It has the right to enter into federal relations with other nations. It has the right to complete secession. Nations are sovereign, and all nations have equal rights."
Stalin; Ibid; p.321.

But even if there is a nation, NOT all claims to nationhood are strategically defensible from the workers perspective. For example the Marxist-Leninist will not necessarily support all claims to nationhood if they obstruct the working peoples. For instance, the resurrection of the influence of the beys and mullahs, in Transcaucasia, would not have been in the best interests of the toiling strata. The best answer for the workers and toilers, depends upon the precise historical situation. It must be carefully found by looking at the precise facts:

"A nation has the right to arrange its life on autonomous lines. It even the has the right to secede. But this does not mean that it should do so under all circumstances, that autonomy or separation, will everywhere and always be advantageous for a nation; ie. For its majority, ie for the toiling strata. The Transcacausian Tartars as a nation may assemble , let us say, in their Diet and succumbed to the influence of their beys and mullahs, decide to restore the old order of things and to secede from the state. According to the meaning of the clause on self-determination they are fully entitled to do so. But will this be in the interest of the toiling strata of the Tartar nation? Can Marxists look on indifferently when the beys and mullahs assume the leadership of the masses in the solution of the national question?.. Should not Marxists come forward with a definite plan for the solution of the question, a plan which would be most advantageous for the Tartar masses?.. But what solution would be most compatible with the interests of the toiling masses? Autonomy, federation or separation? All these are problems the solution of which will depend on the concrete historical conditions in which the given nation finds itself.. Conditions like everything else change, and a decision which is correct at one particular time may prove to be entirely unsuitable at another."
Stalin; Ibid; p.324; or at:

Those claiming that the process in Scotland of a penetration of modern industry, and merging with England of capital, have claimed that this was a "colonial process". One who fostered this call was C.M.Grieve – known also as Hugh McDiarmid:
"Scotland is unique among Scottish nations in its failure to develop a nationalist sentiment strong enough to be a vital factor in its affairs… no comprehensive enough agency has emerged; and the common-sense of our people has rejected one-sided expedients incapable of addressing the organic complexity of our national life";
C.M.Grieve, Albyn or Scotland and the Future (1927); Cited by Harvie C, "Scotland and Nationalism"; London; 1977; p. 34.
This has been echoed more recently by those academics who have inspired the Trotskyite wings. The prominent academic who is often cited is Michael Hecter:
"The movement of peripheral labour is determined largely by forces exogenous to the periphery…. Economic dependence is reinforced through juridical, political, and military measures, There is a relative lack of services, lower standard of living, and higher level of frustration…. [And] national discrimination on the basis of language, religion, or other cultural forms";
Michael Hecter; Cited by Harvie C, "Scotland and Nationalism"; London; 1977; p.43.
But as Harvie rebuts Hecter:
"Something like this certainly happened in the Highlands after 1746, but the internal colonisers were Scots."
Harvie Ibid; p.44.
Of course Marxist-Leninists do not support national movements on the grounds of "nationalist sentiment".
As has been shown, the ruling classes of Scotland as a whole joined this movement for Union and gained enormously from it. They cannot by any stretch of a Marxist-Leninist analysis – be termed a comprador bourgeoisie.
While Scottish [and Welsh] devolution is supported by Marxist-Leninists - this is a tactic to increase local working-class attempts to exert a control and accountability. It is not a national movement.
We will examine the question of the Welsh movement next.
For now, however we return to wehre we started, with a consideration of Marx and Engels. We are told by S.S.Prawer that one of Marx's favourite poets was Robert Burns, whose poem "For a' that and a' that" was rendered inot German by Ferdinand Freiligarth, which Marx "repeatedly referred to"[SS Prawer: "Marx and World Literature"; Oxford; 1975; p. 157]. It is fitting to end with Burn's song that praises the thought of international brotherhood.

"Is there for honest poverty
That hings his head , and a' that ?
The coward slave, we pass him by -
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, and a' that,
Our toils obscure and a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that. [gold]
What thought on hamely fare we dine, [homely]
Wear hodding grey and a' that? [coarse grey woolen]
Gie fools their silks and knaves their wine-
A man's a man for a' that.
Their tinsel show, an' a' that
For a' that, an a' that,
The honest man, tho' e'er sae porr,
Is king of men for a' that............

Then let us pray that come it may
(As come it will for a' that)
That Sense and Worth o'er the earth
Shall bear the gree and' a' that! [have the first place]
For a' that and' a that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That man to man the world o'er
Shall brithers be for a' that"; [brothers]

From "Scottish Songs Illustrated"; Published 1890; Adam & Gee, West Smithfiled, London; Cited by Andy M.Stewart "Songs of Robert Burns"; CD 1991; Edinburgh.

- Burgess, Keith: in Dickson T (editor): "Scottish Capitalism. Class, State and Nation from Before the Union to the Present"; London 1980;

- Comintern; July 1921: "Theses on World Situation and the Tasks of the Comintern"; adopted Third Congress Comintern; Cited by Jane Degras; "The Communist International, Documents 1919-43"; London; Volume 1"; 1971;
- Devine T.M.; "The Scottish Nation 1700-2000"; London 2000.
-Engels, Frederick: "May 4th in London" 1890;
- Engels, Frederick; "Letter to F.A.Sorge April 19, 1890";
- Harvie C, "Scotland and Nationalism"; London; 1977;
-Lenin V.I.; "Notebook "Lambda"; in Volume 39; ‘Notebooks on Imperialism"; Moscow; 1968;
- McLean, Iain : "The Legend of Red Clydeside"; Edinburgh; 1983;
- SS Prawer: "Marx and World Literature"; Oxford; 1975;
-Scott J and Hughes M. "The Anatomy of Scottish Capital"; London; 1980;
- Stalin J.S.; 'Marxism and the National Question'; 'Works'; Moscow; 1956; Vol 2;
- Stalin J. V. : "The British Strike & The Events In Poland"; Report Delivered at a Meeting of Workers of the Chief Railway Workshops in Tiflis, June 8, 1926"; In 'Works'; Volume 8; Moscow 1954; pp. 164-182.
- Stewart Andy M; "Songs of Robert Burns"; CD 1991; Edinburgh.
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Post by albabol »

Did you write this?
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Post by RedAlert »

albabol wrote: Fri Jun 02, 2023 10:05 pm Did you write this?
No this is Alliance-ML (short lived US party with links to Communist League in UK and Bill Bland) archival stuff
Their site died a while back so restoring from
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Post by JoeySteel »

This is a weird text. Seems to analyse Marx and Engels chauvinism with their advocation of elimination of Czech nation

However Part 3 and 4 are good
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