Attainment Target E2.1
Scottish Patriotism -
Many Scottish people look at the Declaration of Arbroath with pride, and can quote parts of it (especially when they have had a drink!). Scottish patriots refer to the Declaration of Arbroath as the first written example of Scottish patriotism. But how much does it have in common with modern Scottish patriotism? There are some things which are the same, and some things which are different.
For example, these people who wrote the Declaration of Arbroath obviously loved Scotland. That has not changed, since modern Scottish patriots love Scotland too.
However, they looked on it as normal that they would have to fight and maybe die for Scotland. How many modern Scottish patriots would die for Scotland? And anyway, there is not much chance of England attacking us.
That brings me to my next point. Scotland and England were enemies in 1319. These days we are both part of the United Kingdom, and although some Scottish people are anti-English, thousands of Scottish people live in England.
Another point is that the Declaration of Arbroath was a nobleman's document. It was not for ordinary Scottish people. None of them could read or write. The Declaration of Arbroath was probably written out by a monk in Latin; nowadays it would be in English, written by a civil servant, and put out in newspapers, the internet and discussed on TV and on radio phone-ins. In those days, hardly anybody would know about it.
Another difference is that the Declaration of Arbroath was written as a message to the Pope. He was the most powerful person in Europe. Nowadays, the Scottish people would not send a message like this to the Pope. They might send it to the European Commission, or the United Nations, so in a way, that is the same thing.
In conclusion, I would say that there are some things about the Declaration of Arbroath which would be different now, but some things which are the same.