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Scottish republicanism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scottish republicanism (Scottish Gaelic: Poblachdas na h-Alba) is an ideology based on the belief that Scotland should be a republic, as opposed to being under the monarchy of the United Kingdom. Usually, this proposal takes the form of Scottish nationalism and activism for independence, but it is also occasionally found in discussions of changing the system of government of the United Kingdom as a whole in such a manner as to replace Queen Elizabeth II with an elected official as head of state.


Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun is one of the most prominent pre-Union advocates of a Scottish republic, based on agrarian and patriarchal principles.[1] He was a major inspiration to Scottish Enlightenment philosopher Adam Ferguson, whose republican ideals were penned down in An Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767).[1]

One of the foremost documentations of modern Scottish republicanism is the Declaration of Calton Hill, proclaimed on 9 October 2004, the same day that Queen Elizabeth II opened the new Scottish Parliament Building at Holyrood.[2]

In the run-up to the 2014 independence referendum, the Radical Independence Campaign advocated an independent Scottish republic with an elected head of state,[3] instead of the continued union of crowns established with the English monarchy, predating the Acts of Union.

Republicanism within the independence movement

Many people who advocate Scotland becoming a republic do so through their support for Scottish independence. This would entail Scotland becoming independent from the United Kingdom and instead of continuing the Union of the Crowns that predate the political union, a republic would be formed, with an elected Head of State assuming the role of the deposed monarch.

Most of the major political parties and organisations that advocate Scottish independence also advocate Scotland becoming an independent republic. These include:

Scotland's largest pro-independence party, the Scottish National Party, favours retaining the monarchy as a Commonwealth realm similar to the situation in other crown countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand. However, the party has a number of prominent republican members, including Roseanna Cunningham, Christine Grahame, Chris Stephens and Rob Gibson.

The Scottish National Party proposes that in the event of independence, the presiding officer's post be replaced with that of chancellor of Scotland. In addition to presiding over the Scottish Parliament, the chancellor would possess additional constitutional powers during the absence of the monarch from Scotland; chiefly, the chancellor should act in a role similar to a governor-general in the other Commonwealth realms.[5]

British republicanism

Another concept for Scotland becoming a republic is through reform of the United Kingdom's constitutional status from a constitutional monarchy to a republican constitution. There is not an explicit link with British unionism, as this tends to advocate the Union of Crowns. This is a form of British republicanism which is supported by English politicians such as Dennis Skinner and Jeremy Corbyn, and advocacy groups such as Republic. There is not mainstream support for this concept in any Scottish political parties, and it remains a personal position, unlike support for an independent Scottish republic which does have party support. Adam Tomkins is an example of a republican who supports a reformed Britain without monarchy,[6] however his opinion shifted after being elected for the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party who are ardent supporters of the monarchy.[7] Another example is Scottish Labour MSPs Katy Clark and Mercedes Villalba who advocate for abolishing the Monarchy across the UK as well as radical constitutional reform.

Scottish opinion polling

Table of Public Opinion in Scotland on the "British Monarchy"
Date conducted Pollster Support monarchy Support elected head of state Undecided/Ambivalent Lead
30–31 May 2022 Omnisis[8][9][10] 56% 44% - 12%
15 May 2022 British future[11][12] 45% 36% 19% 9%
February 2022 Omnisis[13] 53% 47% - 6%
2021 Panelbase[14] 47% 35% 18% 12%
2018 DeltaPoll[15] 41% 28% 31% 13%

See also


  1. ^ a b van Gelderen, Martin; Skinner, Quentin (2005). Republicanism: A Shared European Heritage. Volume 2: The Values of Republicanism in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 197. ISBN 9780521672344. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  2. ^ Lorna Martin (10 October 2004). "Holyrood survives birth pains". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Radicals' new dawn with independence". The Herald. 25 November 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Principles of the Constitution Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, at (.pdf file)
  6. ^ "Republic: Supporters". Republic. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  7. ^ "From Roundhead to Cavalier: how Tory Scottish Secretary's advisor wanted to axe the Royal family". The Herald.
  8. ^ Times <> (, Byline (2022-06-01). "A Nation Split on the Monarchy". Byline Times. Retrieved 2022-06-03. {{cite web}}: External link in |last= (help)
  9. ^ "Support for elected head of state highest in Wales and Scotland, poll suggests". Nation.Cymru. 2022-06-03. Retrieved 2022-06-03.
  10. ^ Ltd, Omnisis. "Jubilee". Retrieved 2022-06-03.
  11. ^ "Scottish support for monarchy falls to 45%, poll reveals". the Guardian. 2022-05-15. Retrieved 2022-05-23.
  12. ^ "Jubilee can help bridge divides – but monarchy needs to broaden its appeal". British Future. 2022-05-14. Retrieved 2022-06-03.
  13. ^ Times <> (, Byline (2022-06-01). "A Nation Split on the Monarchy". Byline Times. Retrieved 2022-06-03. {{cite web}}: External link in |last= (help)
  14. ^ "Scottish support for monarchy falls to 45%, poll reveals". the Guardian. 2022-05-15. Retrieved 2022-05-23.
  15. ^ "Poll reveals scale of gap in support for the monarchy". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 2022-05-23.
This page was last edited on 23 July 2022, at 11:42
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