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Scottish republicanism (Scottish Gaelic : Poblachdas na h-Alba) is an ideology based on the belief that Scotland should be a republic, as opposed to being under the monarchy of the United Kingdom. This is usually proposed through either Scotland becoming an independent republic, or being part of a reformed Britain.
A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter”, not the private concern or property of the rulers. The primary positions of power within a republic are not inherited, but are attained through democracy, oligarchy or autocracy. It is a form of government under which the head of state is not a monarch.
The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, its dependencies and its overseas territories. The current monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952.
Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over the territory. The opposite of independence is the status of a dependent territory.
Although this is not explicitly part of the independence movement, support for a republic is most often through pro-independence organisations who advocate for Scotland to become an independent state with a democratically elected head of state, instead of the status quo in which the head of state is the British monarch.
Scottish independence is the political movement for Scotland to become a sovereign state independent from the United Kingdom.
A head of state is the public persona who officially represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system the head of state is the de jure leader of the nation, and there is a separate de facto leader, often with the title of prime minister. In contrast, a semi-presidential system has both heads of state and government as the leaders de facto of the nation.
Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun is one of the most prominent pre-Union advocates of a Scottish republic, based on agrarian and patriarchal principles.He was a major inspiration to Scottish Enlightenment philosopher Adam Ferguson, whose republican ideals were penned down in An Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767).
The Scottish Enlightenment was the period in 18th and early 19th century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments. By the eighteenth century, Scotland had a network of parish schools in the Lowlands and four universities. The Enlightenment culture was based on close readings of new books, and intense discussions took place daily at such intellectual gathering places in Edinburgh as The Select Society and, later, The Poker Club as well as within Scotland's ancient universities.
Adam Ferguson, FRSE, also known as Ferguson of Raith, was a Scottish philosopher and historian of the Scottish Enlightenment.
An Essay on the History of Civil Society is a book by the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher Adam Ferguson, first published in 1767. The Essay established Ferguson's reputation in Britain and throughout Europe.
One of the foremost documentations of modern Scottish republicanism is the Declaration of Calton Hill, proclaimed on 9 October 2004, the same day that queen Elizabeth II opened the new Scottish Parliament Building at Holyrood.
The Declaration of Calton Hill was a declaration calling for an independent Scottish Republic, created by the Scottish Socialist Party. It was declared on 9 October 2004, at Calton Hill in Edinburgh, at the same time that Queen Elizabeth II was officially opening the new Scottish Parliament Building at Holyrood.
Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.
The Scottish Parliament Building is the home of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, within the UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Edinburgh. Construction of the building commenced in June 1999 and the Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) held their first debate in the new building on 7 September 2004. The formal opening by Queen Elizabeth II took place on 9 October 2004. Enric Miralles, the Catalan architect who designed the building, died before its completion.
In the run-up to the 2014 independence referendum, the Radical Independence Campaign advocated an independent Scottish republic with an elected head of state,instead of the continued union of crowns established with the English monarchy, predating the Acts of Union.
The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) is a political campaign promoting Scottish independence and left-wing politics. It was established at the Radical Independence Conference 2012 and officially constituted on 28 March 2015, and has been described as a "[bringing together of] the Scottish Greens, the Scottish Socialists, some of the more militant trade unionists, nuclear-disarmament campaigners and republicans".
Many people who advocate Scotland becoming a republic do so through their support for Scottish independence. This would entail Scotland becoming independent from the United Kingdom and instead of continuing the Union of Crowns that predate the political union, a republic would be formed, with an elected president assuming the role of the deposited monarch.
The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
Most of the major political parties and organisations that advocate Scottish independence also advocate Scotland becoming an independent republic. These include:
Scotland's largest pro-independence party, the Scottish National Party, is not explicitly ideologically republican, though a large number of republican members exist, including Roseanna Cunningham, Christine Grahame, Rob Gibson and Natalie McGarry.
Another concept for Scotland becoming a republic is through reform of the United Kingdom's constitutional status from a constitutional monarchy to a republican constitution. There is not an explicit link with British unionism, as this tends to advocate the Union of Crowns. This is a form of British republicanism which is supported by English politicians such as Dennis Skinner and Jeremy Corbyn, and advocacy groups such as Republic. There is not mainstream support for this concept in any Scottish political parties, and remains a personal position, unlike support for an independent Scottish republic which does have party support. Adam Tomkins is an example of a republican who supports a reformed Britain without monarchy, however his opinion shifted after being elected for the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party who are ardent supporters of the monarchy.
Republicanism has had different definitions that vary significantly based on historical context and methodological approach.
Republican can refer to:
Republicanism in Australia is a movement to change Australia's system of government from a constitutional monarchy to a republic. Republicanism was first espoused in Australia before Federation in 1901. After a period of decline after Federation, the movement again became prominent at the end of the 20th century after successive legal and socio-cultural changes loosened Australia's ties with the United Kingdom.
A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of government, but not necessarily a particular monarch. Most often, the term royalist is applied to a supporter of a current regime or one that has been recently overthrown to form a republic.
The Scottish Republican Socialist Movement (SRSM) is a political organisation that was formed out of the now defunct Scottish Republican Socialist Party (SRSP), a political party that operated in Scotland.
Republicanism in the United Kingdom is the political movement that seeks to replace the United Kingdom's monarchy with a republic. For those who want a non-hereditary head of state, the method by which one should be chosen is not agreed upon, with some favouring an elected president, some an appointed head of state with little power. Others support something akin to the Swiss model, with a directorate functioning as a collective head of state.
Irish nationalism is a nationalist ideology which asserts that the Irish people are a nation and espouses the creation of a sovereign Irish nation-state on the island of Ireland. It grew more potent during the period in which the whole of Ireland was part of United Kingdom, which ultimately lead to most of the island seceding from the UK in 1921. Politically, Irish nationalism gave way to many factions which created conflict, often violent, throughout the island. The chief division affecting nationalism in Ireland was religious. The majority of the island's population was Roman Catholic, which is the part that seceded, but a portion of the northern part has a Protestant majority that elected to stay a part of the United Kingdom. Since the partition of Ireland, the term Irish nationalism often refers to support for the island's unification. Irish nationalists assert that foreign rule has been detrimental to Irish national interests. Irish nationalism also speaks to celebration of the culture of Ireland, especially the Irish language, literature, music and sports.
The Commonwealth of Britain Bill was a bill first introduced in 1991 by Tony Benn, then a Labour Member of Parliament in the House of Commons and was seconded by the future Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. It proposed abolishing the British monarchy, with the United Kingdom becoming a "democratic, federal and secular Commonwealth of Britain", or in effect a republic with a codified constitution. It was read in Parliament a number of times until Benn's retirement in 2001, but never achieved a second reading. Under the Bill:
Irish republicanism is an ideology based on the belief that all of Ireland should be an independent republic. The development of nationalist and democratic sentiment throughout Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was reflected in Ireland in the emergence of republicanism, in opposition to British rule. This followed hundreds of years of British conquest and Irish resistance through rebellion. Discrimination against Catholics and nonconformists, attempts by the British administration to suppress Irish culture, and the belief that Ireland was economically disadvantaged as a result of the Act of Union were among the specific factors leading to such opposition.
Republicanism in New Zealand is a political position that holds that New Zealand's system of government should be changed from a constitutional monarchy to a republic.
The term "Radical" during the late 18th-century and early 19th-century identified proponents of democratic reform, in what subsequently became the parliamentary Radical Movement.
Canadian monarchism is a movement among Canadian monarchists for raising awareness of the constitutional monarchy among the Canadian public, and advocating for its retention, countering republican and anti-monarchical reform as being generally revisionist, idealistic, and ultimately impracticable. Generally, Canadian monarchism runs counter to anti-monarchist republicanism, but not necessarily to the classical form of republicanism itself, as most monarchists in Canada support the constitutional variety of monarchy, sometimes referred to as a crowned republic. These beliefs can be expressed either individually—generally in academic circles—or through what are known as loyal societies, which include monarchist leagues, legions, historical groups, ethnic organizations, and sometimes police and scout bodies. Though there may be overlap, this concept should not be confused with royalism, the support of a particular monarch or dynasty; Canadian monarchists may appreciate the monarchy without thinking highly of the monarch. There have also been, from time to time, suggestions in favour of a wholly Canadian monarchy, either one headed by a descendant of the present monarch and resident in Canada or one based on a First Nations royal house.
Monarchy was the prevalent form of government in the history of Europe throughout the Middle Ages, only occasionally competing with communalism, notably in the case of the Maritime republics and the Swiss Confederacy.
Separatism in the United Kingdom may refer to the separation of any of the countries or historical regions.
The Alliance of European Republican Movements (AERM) is a grouping of republican movements from across Europe. It was established in Stockholm in June 2010, after the wedding of Swedish Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling. The aim of the AERM is to provide a network for cross-party republican movements in all the countries of Europe that have a monarch as their head of state, in order to share information, resources and ideas and provide mutual assistance. Each member organisation will retain their autonomous national campaigns however, in recognition of their particular political and constitutional circumstances.
Republicanism in Spain is a political position that holds that Spain's system of government should be changed from a constitutional monarchy to a republic.
A revolutionary republic is a form of government whose main tenets are popular sovereignty, rule of law, and representative democracy. It is based in part on the ideas of Whig and Enlightenment thinkers, and was favored by revolutionaries during the Age of Revolution. A revolutionary republic tends to arise from the formation of a provisional government after the overthrow of an existing state and political regime. It often takes the form of a revolutionary state, which represents the will of its constituents.
Republicanism in Jamaica is a position which advocates that Jamaica's system of government be changed from a constitutional monarchy to a republic. Both major political parties – the Jamaica Labour Party and the People's National Party – subscribe to the position, and the current Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, has announced that transitioning to a republic will be a priority of his government.
Labour for a Republic is the Labour Party's campaign for an elected head of state in the United Kingdom, and acts as a pressure group made up of members and supporters of the party. It advocates abolition of the monarchy in favour of a democratic republic.