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Synopsis

This is an introduction to Scottish history in the 18th which is completely up-to-date and gives equal emphasis to politics and religion. Once a small and isolated country with an unenviable reputation for poverty and instability, by 1800 Scotland it was emerging as an economic powerhouse, a major colonial power and an internationally acclaimed center of European philosophy, science and literature. This thematic investigation explores the experiences and responses of a people whose world was being fundamentally reconfigured and offers some topical and thought-provoking lessons from a dramatic period when, willingly or with great reluctance, the Scots adapted themselves to rapidly changing circumstances. Starting with the threshold of the Act of Union (1707) and running through to 1800 and the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars, This book covers the impact of the Enlightenment on Scotland and Scotland's own very significant contribution to this via Adam Smith, David Hume and their circle. Setting social, cultural and economic analyses within a firm political framework, Scotland's internal story is placed in the wider context of Britain, Europe and Empire, and her role and identity within the newly united Britain assessed.

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