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Landmarks of Scottish Industrial Revolution in 1790 to the 1800s

admin October 23, 2018

Scotland: An unlikely place for a very brief, beautiful Caledonian love story that emerges through smoke and fire

Scotland

Returning to one’s ancestral roots and sustaining and maintaining its tradition even in a foreign land is a worthwhile endeavor. In putting together information, one can mine a story within the context of a historical event, precious in its illustration of the triumph of love.

 

On June 1, 1812, President James Madison sent a message to Congress recounting American grievances against Great Britain. Consequently, from June 18, 1812 to February 17, 1815, conflict fought between the United States and Great Britain over British violations of US maritime rights took place. It ended with the Treaty of Ghent.

 

A confederacy officer’s love story took place within the context of the Civil War in America in the years 1861–1865. The Scots were on the side of the Confederacy, but the outcome was in favor of the Union, under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln. While the Caledonian fate in American soil was full of strife and defeat, yet contributed to the emergence of a superpower in the 19th and 20th century, Scotland experienced breakthroughs from the agricultural to the industrial during this age.

 

Meanwhile, it could be inferred from the accounts of Scotland’s history, as told by Dr. Peter N. Williams (author of A Brief History of Scotland), that in 1790 to the 1800s, the Scots rose to world prominence in trading because of these several breakthroughs. Dr. Williams talks about these aspects:

 

Scientific and technological breakthroughs

 

In 1793 the famous engineer Thomas Telford worked with the Ellesmere Canal Company and built roads and bridges in Scotland and Europe. In 1801, botanist Robert Brown’s voyage to Australia on the Investigator resulted in his great work on plant fertilization, contributing greater understanding of the world of nature.

 

In 1804, John Leslie’s “An Experimental Inquiry into the Nature and Propagation of Heat” shows that artificial ice could be created in the laboratory. Six years later, Leslie froze water successfully. In 1806, at Paisley, a cotton thread as strong and smooth as silk was developed by Patrick Clark, and cotton rapidly replaced linen for use as thread. These are just few of the many scientific and technological advancements made in Scotland in those times.

 

Publication and fine arts

 

In 1801, a Gaelic version of the Bible was made available. In 1802, Archibald Constable became the publisher of the influential Edinburgh Review, making Walter Scott’s works available to the reading public and creating one of Great Britain’s leading literary magazines.

 

In 1817, The Edinburgh Monthly Magazine, later known as Blackwood’s Magazine, became the first periodical to introduce stories, poems, and serialized novels. In the same year, The Scotsman began publication as a weekly Edinburgh paper and made daily in 1855. It’s safe to say Scotland was a growing hub for culture and arts.

 

Maritime breakthroughs

 

In 1793, fur trader Alexander MacKenzie reached the Pacific Ocean after completing the first crossing of the North American continent. In 1802, William Symington built the Charlotte Dundas, the first steam-powered tugboat in the world, that pulled two 70-ton barges on the Forth and Clyde Canal. This showed that even the largest ships could be safely towed in and out of harbor. In the same year, construction began on Telford’s Caledonian Canal, which will cross Scotland to link the North Sea with the Atlantic Ocean.

 

In 1810, Hugh Allan built shipping lines and railways, developed seaports, and brought many Scottish immigrants to Canada, contributing to Canada’s commercial success in the 19th century. In 1812, Henry Bell’s Comet used steam power on an experimental run on the River Clyde, becoming Europe’s first successful commercial steamship. In 1827, the screw propeller for ships was co-invented by Robert Wilson of Scotland. Scotland was not only a navigator but one of the world’s seafaring trailblazers at this time.

 

Societal developments

 

In 1792, a James Hadfield’s successful defense spearheaded by Scot Thomas Erskine on a plea of insanity led to the passage of the Libel Act of 1792, a landmark in British legal history. Erskine had earlier defended Thomas Paine against a charge of treason for publishing Rights of Man. In 1818 Andrew Duncan, the Elder, founded the Royal Public Dispensary in Edinburgh. As president of the Edinburgh College of Physicians, his endeavors enhanced his city’s reputation as one of the world’s leading medical centers in the early part of the century.

 

Needless to say, Scotland emerged as a powerful player during this period almost in all aspects of life. Apparently, the Caledonians not part of the abundance and prosperity during this period were those who left Scotland in their desire to exercise religious freedom or for greener pastures. For those who were bound to be in prison or execution—as political prisoners or rebels, paupers, petty thieves, and criminals—going to the New World was a chance to make something of their lives.

 

Unlike the growth in Scotland, the Scots in America faced challenging times. But there emerged a beautiful love story, illustrating the triumph of will, in Caledonia Lost: the fall of the Confederacy, available online at www.williamdmceachernbooks.com. Feel free to leave a comment below. You may also share them through Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

References

 

Akins, Steven.  2012. “Scots Emigration/Immigration to the US.” Silicon Glen Blog, June 19. Accessed July 5, 2018. https://www.siliconglen.scot/Scotland/11_24.html.

 

Williams, Peter N. 1996.”A Brief History of Scotland: Chapter 10–13.” Britannia’s Guide to Scotland. Accessed July 4, 2018. http://www.britannia.com/celtic/scotland/scot14a.html.

Zebrowski, Carl. 1999. “Why the South Lost the Civil War.” American History Magazine, August 19. Accesses July 4, 2018. http://www.historynet.com/why-the-south-lost-the-civil-war-cover-page-february-99-american-history-feature.htm.

 

 

References

 

Akins, Steven.  2012. “Scots Emigration/Immigration to the US.” Silicon Glen Blog, June 19. Accessed July 5, 2018. https://www.siliconglen.scot/Scotland/11_24.html.

Williams, Peter N. 1996.”A Brief History of Scotland: Chapter 10–13.” Britannia’s Guide to Scotland. Accessed July 4, 2018. http://www.britannia.com/celtic/scotland/scot14a.html.

Zebrowski, Carl. 1999. “Why the South Lost the Civil War.” American History Magazine, August 19. Accesses July 4, 2018. http://www.historynet.com/why-the-south-lost-the-civil-war-cover-page-february-99-american-history-feature.htm.

 

 

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William D. McEachern

William D. McEachern earned his bachelor of arts degree from Duke University, ma . . .

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