The Scottish Enlightenment and Scottish Independence



As the 2014 referendum on whether Scotland should become an independent country approaches, there is increasing debate about the nature and advantages of the relationship between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. This paper seeks to examine the views on the Union between Scotland and England that are found in the writings of the main figures of the eighteenth century Scottish Enlightenment. It examines the arguments that Scotland's most famous social and political thinkers, such as David Hume and Adam Smith, put forward in favour of union with England and uses them to inform the contemporary debate.