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Scotland and the Union 1707-2007$
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Tom Devine

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635412

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635412.001.0001

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The Spoils of Empire

The Spoils of Empire

(p.91) 6 The Spoils of Empire
Scotland and the Union 1707-2007
T.M. Devine
Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explains the effect which the spoils of British Empire had on Scotland. It is also argued that one prime source of the new wealth was the profits of Empire gained through trade with the Americas, the Caribbean and India, together with the impact of ‘sojourners’ returning with fortunes made in merchanting, plantation ownership, the professions and colonial administration, some of which found its way into large-scale productive investment. Atlantic trade dominated the Scottish overseas commerce. The Caribbean became even more important after the American War. The Scots par excellence were to the fore in the exploitation of the new imperial bounty. It is noted that the success in the Empire became the solid political foundation of the Anglo-Scottish union by the later eighteenth century, but it was also a crucial source of capital.

Keywords:   spoils, British Empire, Scotland, Atlantic trade, Caribbean, India, Scottish overseas commerce, Anglo-Scottish union, capital

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