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Empire and Scottish SocietyThe Impact of Foreign Missions at Home, c. 1790 to c. 1914$
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Esther Breitenbach

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748636204

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748636204.001.0001

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Empire and National Identity

Empire and National Identity

Chapter:
(p.6) 2 Empire and National Identity
Source:
Empire and Scottish Society
Author(s):

Esther Breitenbach

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748636204.003.0002

This chapter discusses the opportunities for careers for Scots in the empire which began to grow in the mid-eighteenth century, in the colonial service, the army, and commerce, while missionary careers became a possibility from the early nineteenth century. It notes that in the eighteenth century ‘Scots swarmed eagerly into the wide-open world’. It further notes that in the West Indies, Scots turned their attention to plantations, and by the late eighteenth century had acquired about a quarter of all taxable land in Jamaica. It observes that the opportunities offered to Scots to demonstrate their military prowess has been interpreted as a major reason for the failure of Scottish nationalism to emerge as a significant force in the nineteenth century, since Scots were able ‘to re-invent their national identity in ways which accommodated themselves to the British state and Empire’.

Keywords:   empire, colonial service, army, commerce, missionary careers, Scots, nationalism, national identity, British state

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