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Scotland and Arbroath 1320 – 2020

700 Years of Fighting for Freedom, Sovereignty, and Independence


Edited By Klaus Peter Müller

700 years of people in Scotland, England, Europe, and the world fighting for freedom, sovereignty, independence and justice are investigated in the essential periods and cultures since the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath: the Middle Ages, the Reformation and Early Modern Age, the English Revolution, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Cultural, media, political, and social studies, history, the law, art, philosophy, and literature are used for an analysis of the evolution of human rights, democracy, freedom, individual as well as national independence and justice in connection with past and present threats to them. Threats from politics, the economy, digitalisation, artificial intelligence, people's ignorance.


With contributions by Alasdair Allan MSP, Christopher J. Berry, Neil Blain, Alexander Broadie FRSE, Dauvit Broun, Mark P. Bruce, Ewen A. Cameron, Robert Crawford, Ian Duncan, Richard J. Finlay, David Forrest, Edouard Gaudot, Marjory Harper, Sarah Longlands, Ben McConville, David McCrone, Aileen McHarg, John Morrison, Klaus Peter Müller, Hugh O’Donnell, Murray Pittock, Anthony Salamone, David R. Sorensen, Silke Stroh, Christopher A. Whatley and Ben Wray.

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Arbroath 1320 to 2020: 700 Years of Fighting for Freedom, Sovereignty, and Independence in Scotland, England, Europe and the World (Klaus Peter Müller (Mainz))


Klaus Peter Müller (Mainz)

Arbroath 1320 to 2020: 700 Years of Fighting for Freedom, Sovereignty, and Independence in Scotland, England, Europe and the World

Abstract: This introduction gives information on the contributors to this book and the topics they will deal with. The cultural contexts that provide the backdrop to all problems discussed will be presented in connection with a short history of the concepts of freedom, sovereignty, and independence in essential cultures since Arbroath, ending with the current threats to these values. Big tech, digitalisation, politics, surveillance capitalism, and people’s ignorance appear as key challenges.

Keywords: History; Arbroath; freedom; sovereignty; independence; threats; Middle Ages; Reformation; Revolution; Enlightenment; 19th, 20th, 21st centuries; industry; business; politics; digitalisationartificial intelligencebig tech; capitalism; ignorance; knowledge; learning; citizens' movements; nation; individuality; Brexit

1 The Evolution of Freedom, Sovereignty, and Independence from Arbroath to Today

At the beginning it is always useful to briefly define the three key words of the title, which instantly also represent essential values. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) (Salazar 1919) is for me the authoritative and usually best source. It basically equates the two words ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’, which people sometimes try to distinguish, seeing ‘freedom’ as the more general term and ‘liberty’ as describing more specific, often political freedoms. Cowen’s (2008, 37) historical distinction is also worth recalling: “It is of note that freedom is an Old English word whereas liberty appears to be a late medieval Latinate acquisition...

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