Background to union: the Scottish economy 1660 to 1707 reconsidered
LcshEconomics - Scotland - History
Scotland - History - 17th century
Scotland - History - 18th century
Scotland - History - Union
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AbstractIt is widely accepted that the Union of 1707 was an "economic necessity" for Scotland, and that the failure of the Darien Scheme was the final proof of this. Detailed examination of both new research on individual components of the economy, and older research which has been largely ignored, suggests that this interpretation is unsound. The agricultural sector was performing well enough to feed the people and export a modest surplus. This in itself was enough to ensure the economic survival of the nation until improvements in industry, manufacture, and trade began to pay off. There was a small but powerful merchant community, investment in new industries was high, and illicit trade with England's colonies was very profitable. The Scottish attempt to found a colony at Darien was an imaginative and reasonably well planned venture, financed by a relatively small group of Scottish investors, which failed because of the opposition of the English merchants backed by the King. Whatever the reasons for the Union, it appears that the economy was performing adequately.
Bibliography: p. 147-154.