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Modern Scotland: 1914-2000 by Richard Finlay

By Richard Finlay

This heritage of recent Scotland considers the entire significant topics of the century—whether working-class militancy or the increase of Scottish nationalism, poverty or social reconstruction, the Scottish cultural renaissance or pop culture. in addition, it exhibits how those topics have been performed out in person groups and affected the lives of Scotland’s humans. From the ladies who labored in munitions factories to the kids within the institution playgrounds, the cinema-goers of Nineteen Thirties Aberdeen to the crofters of Knoydart who lately succeeded in purchasing their land, Richard Finlay bargains a bright photo of up to date Scotland and the folks who've formed it.

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With increasing independence came greater confidence. Work provided many women with a new experience and a greater sense of responsibility. Also, the comradeship and the work environment opened up a new world to them, which many enjoyed. Before 1914, men and women did not spend much time together in Scotland. Men tended to spend most of their time in work and at the pub in the company of other men, with the home reserved for sleep and dinner. The war increased the amount of social, if not sexual, intercourse between the sexes.

His lack of moderation – and some might say a martyr complex – meant that he would spend half of his time after the war in jail for inflammatory speeches. His inability to compromise meant that he could find no real allies on the mainstream left, and his forthright views that the hungry and unemployed should just take food, on the grounds that it would be a legitimate revolutionary act, embarrassed moderate Labour leaders. His isolation was demonstrated by the fact that, although he was in jail for inflammatory speeches, Labour leaders were prepared to appeal for leniency on the grounds that he was more of an eccentric than a real revolutionary threat.

Arguably, in terms of the numbers it affected, the war was the single most traumatic event experienced by Scottish men in the twentieth century. Even before the fighting, it entailed a mass mobilisation and movement of men, most of whom had been confined for most of their lives to a narrow geographic locality. As mentioned before, it meant that society for the first time experienced an absence of adult males. Even before the bulk of the volunteers had made their way to France, tragedy struck on 22 May 1915 when over 200 young men of the 7th Battalion of the Royal Scots en route to the Gallipoli campaign died in a high-speed rail crash at Gretna.

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