A Lecture by Alvin Jackson on The Survival of the United Kingdom Between 1707 and 2017

I attended the lecture by Alvin Jackson on the survival of the United Kingdom between 1707 and 2017. Prof Alvin argued that unionization and colonization had both positive and negative impacts on the United Kingdom. First, Prof Alvin talked about the Scottish union with England in 1707 how that benefited both of the countries. The UK was able to use the fertile lands in Scotland to expand some of their companies for agriculture, oil, and gas. At the same time, Scotland benefited from England since resources from the rich cities in England were sent to the poor areas in Scotland. In addition, many Scottish moved to England for investment. Religion was not an issue since Scotland had a Protestant monarchy, which was convenient with the Protestant church in England. Furthermore, the union between Scotland and England allowed for economic growth. For example, social welfare, such as health, was provided to the Scottish people. This allowed for more taxation. In addition, the union with Scotland allowed Queen Victoria to visit Scotland annually and made Scotland more known internationally. In other words, the union between Scotland and England showed globalization by spreading healthcare systems and industrial companies to Scotland. This was beneficial for both countries.


For the second part of the lecture, Prof Alvin argued that unionization and colonization do not always bring the best outcomes. For example, the act of union between the Irish and the British was not as successful as the one with the Scottish. For example, even though forty-two percent of the British army was Irish, Ireland did not receive as many resources as Scotland did. In fact, Prof Alvin believed that “Scotland did embrace unitism but Ireland failed” for many reasons. First, the UK was “charachterized for being morally deficient” since they did not have an Independence Day or Bastille Day.” That does not make the Irish feel a sense of union. The second problem was the idea of “flexibility, since there was no specific institutions in Ireland to encourage patriotism like in Scotland.” The third problem was the issue of religion. The Catholic Church did not get along with the Protestant Church in England which never made the Irish people feel united. Also, Prof Alvin briefly mentioned the English invasion of Iraq also failed to embrace a true unionization because of religion. Therefore, England failed to have a continuous globalization with these countries. Overall, this lecture taught me that the concept of globalization is very complicated. Globalization can happen through unionization between two countries but will require a lot of effort to make it successfully continue for a long period of time and not fail like the ones in Ireland and Iraq because of religion and political reasons.