The 18th Century Scottish Enlightenment

The act of Union of 1707 that made England and Scotland part of a United Kingdom created a period of political stability. In turn, there was an outpouring of intellectual advances in Scotland. England was far more advanced economically than Scotland or Wales at this time but this was the case largely because of extractive means with a small number of gentry and merchants controlling the majority of the wealth. 

Amongst the intellectual advances made during this period were those in economics, sociology, anthropology, science, medicine, mathematics, literature and education. Britain was already unique in that The Glorious Revolution had moved political authority from the autocratic to the plutocratic. These new advances would set the stage for changes in the political and economic institutions of the UK that would move them toward the fully democratic. A large series of emigrations to the New World would soon spread these ideas to the North American colonies and into the Indian subcontinent. 

Key Figures during this period were Adam Smith, Robert Burns, David Hume and Francis Hutcheson.  

You may also be interested to read about the Scottish Wars of Independence 

 

Connections to Places

Dalhousie Castle

Dalhousie Castle - Home of Mary Queen of Scots transformed into a majestic spa hotel. Edinburgh, Scotland.

Home of Mary Queen of Scots transformed into a majestic spa hotel. Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Glenapp Castle

Glenapp Castle - Ayrshire, Scotland. A truly spectacular Michelin starred Scottish Baronial castle with service that is second to none.

Ayrshire, Scotland. A truly spectacular Michelin starred Scottish Baronial castle with service that is second to none.

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Blairquhan Castle

Blairquhan Castle - Ayrshire, Scotland. Home to some of Scotland's most influential families and nestled in a wooded estate in 'Burns' country'

Ayrshire, Scotland. Home to some of Scotland's most influential families and nestled in a wooded estate in 'Burns' country'

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Connections to People

Robert Burns

Robert Burns - Highly acclaimed Scottish poet and writer

Highly acclaimed Scottish poet and writer

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