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Rethinking the Scottish RevolutionCovenanted Scotland, 1637-1651$
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Laura A. M. Stewart

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198718444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718444.001.0001

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Print, Petitioning, and Public Debate

Print, Petitioning, and Public Debate

The Engagement Crisis of 1648

(p.256) 6 Print, Petitioning, and Public Debate
Rethinking the Scottish Revolution

Laura A. M. Stewart

Oxford University Press

How did public politics develop in Covenanted Scotland? This chapter uses a new assessment of the 1648 Engagement crisis (an agreement to provide Charles I with Scottish military assistance) to show that a confessional state was never entirely capable of containing public debate. Rather than see the Engagement crisis as a competition between ‘radical’ and ‘conservative’ factions for control of government, this chapter suggests that rival interpretations of authority within the Covenanted state generated more ambiguous and complex responses. As well as considering the political significance of crowd actions and petitioning, this chapter shows how anti-Engagers exploited their connections in London to circumvent restrictions on domestic publishing. However, Scotland was more than a component of a metropolitan print culture. The Engagement crisis demonstrates that the Covenant continued to frame the distinctive nature of Scottish public politics up to the moment of the English invasion.

Keywords:   Engagement crisis, print, petitions, crowds, presbyteries, London, kirk commission, general assembly, Mauchline Muir, drinking healths

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