Positive economic impact


There were immediate boosts to Scottish trade, with merchant shipping benefiting through increased links with Baltic nations and the Caribbean.

Scottish merchants travelled to English colonies in the West Indies to make their fortunes in cotton, tobacco, rum and sugar via the slave trade. Colonies in India gave them positions in the East India Company, developing interests in the tea and spice trades.

At home, Highland farmers who bred black cattle became wealthy through access to English markets.


Scottish landowners improved their land and production methods after learning modern English farming techniques - there was an increase in the number of tenant farmers enclosing their land.

Industrialisation and infrastructure

Due to increased trade, towns developed - Crieff and Falkirk are examples of towns which thrived as popular markets or places where merchants stopped on their way elsewhere.

Increased government investment led to the creation of institutions such as the Royal Bank of Scotland and organisations to improve industrial, agricultural and fisheries practice. A new professional class emerged, with lawyers, bankers and merchants making vast incomes.