Scots and Africa : a nation of empire-builders in the era of decolonization
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The rise and fall of the British Empire profoundly shaped the history of modern Scotland and the identity of its people. From the Act of Union in 1707 to the dramatic fall of the British Empire following the Second World War, Scotland's involvement in commerce, missionary activity, cultural dissemination, emigration, and political action cannot be dissociated from British overseas endeavors. In fact, Scottish national pride and identity were closely associated with the benefits bestowed on this small nation through access to the British Empire. Given the close connection between Scotland and the British Empire, this dissertation explores Scottish attitudes towards the empire between 1945 and 1965: the era of decolonization. By examining the opinions of Scots towards the empire from numerous professional and personal backgrounds, Scotland emerges as a nation inextricably linked to the British Empire. Whether Scots categorized themselves as proponents, opponents, or victims of empire, one conclusion is clear: they maintained an abiding interest in the empire even as it rapidly disintegrated.