CONDITION OF SCOTLAND FROM THE FOURTEENTH TO THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY — H.T. Buckle

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English historian Henry Thomas Buckle’s (1821–62) plan was to write a fourteen-volume history of civilisation, putting historiography on a more scientific basis, comparing and contrasting the intellectual, political, religious and social histories of certain nations. Unfortunately, his death at the age of 41 meant only three volumes were completed: I — a General Introduction as to his methodology and philosophical premises; II — France and Spain, and III — Scotland . The present eBook consists of the first part of Vol. III; the second part of which, ‘An Examination of Scotch Intellect in the 17th and 18th Centuries’, will follow shortly.
Buckle’s entertainingly informative and highly original libertarian account of Scottish history focuses largely on the vice-like grip of the misanthropic pre- and post-Reformation Presbyterian/Calvinist clergy, and the profound and paradoxical effect they and the Kirk had on national consciousness and the Scottish character: politically liberal, enlightened, rebellious, King-hating, Bishop-stabbing and egalitarian, yet at the same time hell-fearing, ascetic, sectarian and obsequiously deferential to the ‘meenister’ and clan chieftans. As blogger and Buckle aficionado Ken MacLeod writes: “He [Buckle] trawled every hell-fire sermon, every seditious screed, every tormenting self-tormented twisting of the conscience of the elect, every relevant Act of the Parliament of Scotland, every witch trial and heresy hunt and ludicrous hagiography and miracle-mongering memoir, and came up with the goods.”

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English historian Henry Thomas Buckle’s (1821–62) plan was to write a fourteen-volume history of civilisation, putting historiography on a more scientific basis, comparing and contrasting the intellectual, political, religious and social histories of certain nations. Unfortunately, his death at the age of 41 meant only three volumes were completed: I — a General Introduction as to his methodology and philosophical premises; II — France and Spain, and III — Scotland . The present eBook consists of the first part of Vol. III; the second part of which, ‘An Examination of Scotch Intellect in the 17th and 18th Centuries’, will follow shortly. Buckle’s entertainingly informative and highly original libertarian account of Scottish history focuses largely on the vice-like grip of the misanthropic pre- and post-Reformation Presbyterian/Calvinist clergy, and the profound and paradoxical effect they and the Kirk had on national consciousness and the Scottish character: politically liberal, enlightened, rebellious, King-hating, Bishop-stabbing and egalitarian, yet at the same time hell-fearing, ascetic, sectarian and obsequiously deferential to the ‘meenister’ and clan chieftans. As blogger and Buckle aficionado Ken MacLeod writes: “He [Buckle] trawled every hell-fire sermon, every seditious screed, every tormenting self-tormented twisting of the conscience of the elect, every relevant Act of the Parliament of Scotland, every witch trial and heresy hunt and ludicrous hagiography and miracle-mongering memoir, and came up with the goods.”