Emigration offered prosperity for Scots.


Land was plentiful. In the American West and Canada land was offered on a loan basis. This attracted experienced farmers and labourers.

In Australia and New Zealand, cattle and sheep farming was a prosperous industry, so the possibility to make your fortune attracted many.

Gold rushes

Two men prospecting for gold in California
Two men prospecting for gold in California

Discovery of gold led to gold rushes:

  • Discovered in California in 1849.
  • Discovered in Australia in 1851.
  • Discovered in South Africa in 1855.
  • Gold rush begins in New Zealand in 1861.


New settlements needed new infrastructure, road networks, administration centres, schools and churches - this created much employment. Wages were higher in the New World and living conditions were much improved.