Pro-Empire Sentiment in Twentieth-Century Scotland Before Decolonisation
Focusing on the cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, this chapter discusses evidence of Scottish support for empire before decolonisation. Case studies of ‘empire societies’, promotion of empire trade and civic celebrations of empire indicate that this was not simply propagandist. Friendship and hospitality were important dimensions of associational life, as was education for citizenship within ‘the British Commonwealth of Nations’. Empire trade was unevenly promoted, depending on local interests or Scottish economic imperatives. Civic celebrations of empire symbolised public recognition of wartime alliances, and economic and cultural links. The white dominions were privileged in discourses of empire, but the post-war multiracial Commonwealth also attracted the interest of some organisations. Scottish enthusiasm for empire was thus differentiated geographically, between organisations, and over time.