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Enlightenment and Change

Scotland 1746-1832

Bruce Lenman

Edition: 2


The period from the Jacobite rebellion (1745) to the Scottish Reform Act (1832) saw the rise of some of the most influential thinkers of the contemporary world. Bruce Lenman provides a compact survey of developments in Enlightenment Scotland. The Reform Act spelled the end of political and social systems that had presided over industrial and agricultural revolutions turning Scotland from a rural society to one of the most urbanised and industrialised of European nations. Scotland also moved from being simply an active participant in the cultural life of western Europe to being a leader in a new, more expansive, Atlantic and European world where the ideas of its great Enlightenment thinkers circulated from Moscow to Philadelphia.

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1: Scotland on the Eve of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions
2: The Age of Islay 1746 - 1761
3: Integration and Expansion 1760 - 1775
4: Scotland and The American Revolution 1775 - 1784
5: The First Phase of The Dundas Ascendancy 1784 - 1793
6: The Melvilles and Their System Under the Pressures of War 1793 - 1815
7: Change: The Underlying Timebomb 1790 - 1815
8: The Last Hurrahs of the Old Regime 1815 - 1827
9: Meltdown and Reconfiguration 1827 - 1832
Conclusion: Enlightened Change?
Selected Further Reading
Appendix: Chronological Table

About the Author

Bruce P. Lenman is Emeritus Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews and an Honorary Professor at the University of Dundee.


The book bristles with facts, which pour out at a breathless pace, along withLenman’s assessments and insights.
- Christopher A. Whatley, History: The Journal of the Historical Association
Fascinating and relevant.
- Scottish Review of Books

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