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The Declaration of Arbroath led the Pope to prompt Scotland and England to start peace talks. Although the talks failed, the document remains important as it was the first to mention the responsibility a monarch had to the people. The letter also suggests that Bruce held the Independence of Scotland as of greater lasting importance than the reign of himself or his family.
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First broadcast:
3 October 2008

Classroom Ideas

This clip could be used in the classroom to show how the story of Robert the Bruce has shaped Scottish society today. Students could discuss how the events of the past have an impact on their lives. Pupils could be asked why a letter sent to the Pope in 1320 is still important today. Why was the letter written? By whom? What did it achieve? It tried to make peace between England and Scotland and failed, so why is it still regarded as so important? What does it tell us about the relationship between kings and their people, or between kings and the Pope? Pupils could research the life of Robert the Bruce and cross-check the claims made in the clip, and decide for themselves if they think the Declaration of Arbroath is as important today as the clip tries to make out. Are there other documents they think are (a) as important, (b) more important than the Declaration of Arbroath?

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