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The Government of Scotland 1560-1625$
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Julian Goodare

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243549

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243549.001.0001

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A Stewart Revolution in Government?

A Stewart Revolution in Government?

(p.276) CHAPTER TWELVE A Stewart Revolution in Government?
The Government of Scotland 1560-1625

Julian Goodare (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the question: was there a ‘Stewart revolution in government’? This chapter argues that there was, but looks at certain modifications of the ‘revolution in government’ hypothesis that are necessary in order to apply it to Scotland. The key development, linked to numerous others, was the establishment of an executive privy council as a corporate decision-making body, rather than having a king advised by ‘lords of council’, usually individually. Below the privy council came more active administrative departments, notably the late 16th-century exchequer and then the early 17th-century treasury. Both bureaucracy and centralisation grew, with more of the governing that local elites did being subject to national standards (statute law, and the practice of the court of session) rather than local custom. Taxation, both direct and indirect, also grew. The state now drew its revenues from the propertied classes rather than having its own separate property. There was also a transformed role for parliament.

Keywords:   Stewart revolution, government, taxation, revenues, parliament, privy council, centralisation, administrative departments, bureaucracy

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