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‘Party Principles’ in Scottish Political Culture: Roxburghshire, 1832–1847

Hutchison, Gary D.

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Gary D. Hutchison


In this article it is argued that everyday processes and rituals entrenched political identities in post-reform political culture. The intensification of formal party allegiances—that is, deep and enduring loyalties towards factions within the established partisan structure—was not solely a result of ideology. Allegiances were also strengthened by the local activities of parties and by the infrastructure enhanced (and to an extent imported) by the Scottish Reform Act. These two factors reinforced each other, encouraging a vibrant, and at times violent, set of election rituals. From particular analysis of the constituency of Roxburghshire, it is clear that local party organisations were more autonomous, flexible and deeply rooted in broader society than might be assumed. Moreover, the rituals and processes of electioneering were very closely linked to formal parties and party allegiance. Indeed, the phenomenon of electoral violence, thus far assumed to be practically non-existent in Scotland, was closely related to election rituals and parties. This all suggests that formal partisan identities were more developed, and at an earlier stage, in Scotland than elsewhere in the U.K. These identities would go on to play a notable role in shaping the development of mid- and late Victorian Scottish society.


Hutchison, G. D. (2019). ‘Party Principles’ in Scottish Political Culture: Roxburghshire, 1832–1847. The Scottish Historical Review, 98(Issue Supplement), 390-409.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 11, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 30, 2019
Publication Date Oct 1, 2019
Deposit Date Jul 29, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jul 30, 2019
Journal Scottish Historical Review
Print ISSN 0036-9241
Electronic ISSN 1750-0222
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 98
Issue Issue Supplement
Pages 390-409
Publisher URL


Accepted Journal Article (540 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Edinburgh University Press in The Scottish Historical Review. The Version of Record is available online at:

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