Presbyterian moral economy: The Covenanting tradition and popular protest in lowland Scotland, 1707-c.1746

Valerie Wallace*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper explores the religious dimension to popular protest in the early eighteenth century, highlighting in particular the continued influence of what has been called the Covenanting tradition - the defence of Presbyterian church government, popular sovereignty and the resistance of Anglican imperialism - in southwest and west central Scotland. Religiously inspired ideas of equality and economic equity in God's world, combined with the desire to resist the encroachment of Anglican hierarchy, drove ordinary Presbyterians to rebel. There is evidence to suggest that the reaction of some protesters to socioeconomic conditions was coloured by their theological worldview. The phenomenon at work in southwest Scotland might best be described as 'Presbyterian moral economy'. The paper suggests that lowland Presbyterian culture coloured popular protest to a degree not hitherto recognised. Presbyterian moral economy was a robust and continuous - but unduly neglected - strand in the history of Scottish radicalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-72
Number of pages19
JournalScottish Historical Review
Volume89
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Presbyterian moral economy: The Covenanting tradition and popular protest in lowland Scotland, 1707-c.1746'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this