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Title: An alliance ended? Franco-Scottish commercial relations, 1560-1713
Authors: Talbott, Siobhan
Supervisors: Murdoch, Steve
Keywords: Commerce
Issue Date: 23-Jun-2011
Abstract: This thesis explores the commercial links between Scotland and France in the long seventeenth century, with a focus on the Scottish mercantile presence in France’s Atlantic ports, particularly during periods of domestic and international upheaval. This study questions long-held assumptions regarding this relationship, asserting that the ‘Auld Alliance’ continued throughout the period, despite the widely held belief that it ended in 1560. Such assumptions have led scholars largely to ignore the continuing commercial relationship between Scotland and France in the long seventeenth century, focusing instead on the ‘golden age’ of the Auld Alliance or the British relationship with France in the eighteenth century. Such assumptions have been fostered by the methodological approaches used in the study of economic history to date. While I acknowledge the relevance of traditional quantitative approaches to economic history, such as those pioneered by T. C. Smout and which continue to be followed by historians such as Philipp Rössner, I follow alternative methods that have been recently employed by scholars such as Henriette de Bruyn Kops, Sheryllynne Haggerty, Xavier Lamikiz, Allan Macinnes and Steve Murdoch. These scholars have pioneered methodologies that prioritise private sources, allowing us to delve into the motivations and actions of the individuals who actually effected trade, be they merchants, factors, skippers or manufacturers. The core of my research has therefore entailed the discovery and use of previously untapped archival material including account books, letter books and correspondence, which illuminate the participation of these individuals in international trade. Such a study, while filling a specific gap in our understanding of Scotland’s overseas relations, applies a more social methodology to this topic, suggesting that scholars’ approaches need to be fundamentally altered if we are truly to understand the whole picture of Scotland’s, or indeed any nation’s, commercial relationships or wider economic position.
Type: Thesis
Publisher: University of St Andrews
Appears in Collections:Scottish History Theses

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