Citation Mann A (2013) James VII as unionist and nationalist: a monarch's view of the Scottish Parliament as revealed through his writings, Parliaments, Estates and Representation, 33 (2), pp. 101-119.
Abstract It is the common opinion of Whig historians, and not a few recent revisionists, that James VII and II undermined the parliamentary cultures of England and Scotland before the revolution of 1688-89. At the extreme end of this approach he is declared to have usurped parliamentary authority in a drive for absolute power. Some of this is now seen as rhetorical exaggeration but James certainly developed a particular understanding of the power of parliaments in relation to monarchy. In some respects this was a return to a late medieval Stewart and Tudor outlook, that of James V of Scotland and Henry VIII of England, which saw parliaments as the personal vehicles of royal authority. The difficulty for James, of course, was that the Scottish and English Parliaments had become ‘modernized' over the seventeenth century, growing a strong sense of independence and legitimacy as representative institutions. In this essay both the practical engagement James had with Scottish affairs and his philosophical opinions as revealed in his own writings will be explored in an attempt to better define this monarch's view of the Scottish Parliament and its workings. Through this, his reactions to the notions of unionism and nationalism will become more apparent.
Journal Parliaments, Estates and Representation: Volume 33, Issue 2