Economic impact

Brain drain

Many educated, skilled and professional workers left Scotland to make their fortunes in the colonies. This meant that Scotland lost many people with valuable skills.

Low labour costs

There were an increased number of labourers immigrating to Scotland. As a result of this, production increased and Britain became an industrial powerhouse.


Foreign trade greatly increased as Scots set up businesses abroad and established trade links with their country of origin.

Political impact

The Labour party

Many Irish people were involved in campaigning for improved working and living conditions. For example, they played a significant role in setting up Trade Unions and forming the Labour Party.

John Wheatley was a leading figure in the Red Clydeside era. He set up the Catholic Socialist Society and became a Minister in the first Labour Government.

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