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What Scotland Can Learn From Texas Independence

Flickr user Barney Moss,
The European Union, Scottish and Union Jack flags fly in this 2009 photo. On September 18, Scottish voters will decide their fate: whether to remain part of the United Kingdom, or to move toward independence.

On September 18, Scottish voters will decide on the future of their country – whether Scotland should be an independent country, or remain part of the United Kingdom.  If a simple majority of votes is cast in favor of independence, then a process of negotiations would begin to grant full independence to Scotland.

Here in Texas, we’ve got some experience with declarations of independence from major nations – so we should have some advice to offer to our Caledonian friends.

The Texas Standard’s David Brown speaks with Dr. Stephen Hardin, a professor of Texas history at McMurray University in Abilene.

So, could the Scots take any cautionary lessons from our experience? “What I would tell them is that our experience with independence was not a happy one,” Hardin says. Here's some more interview highlights:

On Texas' issues after independence:

"After the Battle of San Jacinto, the Texans learned that the Americans simply didn't want them. 'Here we’ve declared independence, what do we do now?' For 10 years we struggled, and when in 1846 we finally did join the union, the collective sigh of relief was almost palatable."

On differences in approach to independence:

“I think the Scots, unlike the Texans, have been very deliberative. I am a big fan of the way that the Scottish media has really examined… the issues and said, 'Here are the pros and cons, now pick a side.'"

On Texans and secession:

"I would tell people to be very careful. … I think a lot of people who advocate independence for Texas look back at that 10-year period when we were a sovereign nation as somehow the 'Golden Period' of Texas – it was anything but. It was a real struggle."

David entered radio journalism thanks to a love of storytelling, an obsession with news, and a desire to keep his hair long and play in rock bands. An inveterate political junkie with a passion for pop culture and the romance of radio, David has reported from bases in Washington, London, Los Angeles, and Boston for Monitor Radio and for NPR, and has anchored in-depth public radio documentaries from India, Brazil, and points across the United States and Europe. He is, perhaps, known most widely for his work as host of public radio's Marketplace. Fulfilling a lifelong dream of moving to Texas full-time in 2005, Brown joined the staff of KUT, launching the award-winning cultural journalism unit "Texas Music Matters."
Emily Donahue is a former grants writer for KUT. She previously served as news director and helped launch KUT’s news department in 2001.
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