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The Transformation of Scotland

The Economy since 1700

Tom M. Devine

Hardback (Order Now – Reprinting)

This is the first comprehensive history of the Scottish economy over the last three centuries to appear in a generation. Written by leading scholars in the field, it presents ‘state of the art’ research in an accessible style to all those interested in understanding the historical context of modern Scotland. Fresh interpretations are revealed on such key and controversial issues as the impact of the Union of 1707, the Clearances, the rise and fall of Scottish heavy industry and the recent transformation of the modern economy. The distinctive features of the Scottish economic system are stressed but these are also analysed within a British and international context. The focus of the volume is both broad and detailed with full treatment of agriculture, finance, industry and the service sector as well as the impact of momentous economic changes on the lives of the people and the massive new role in the twentieth century of the state in economic affairs. At a time of intense debate on the present and future condition of Scotland under a devolved parliament and executive, this book provides the essential background and the long-run perspectives on the challenges and opportunities facing the nation.


Introduction: The Scottish Economy in Historical Context (G.C. Peden)

Part I: 1700-1914
Chapter 1 The Modern Economy: Scotland and the Act of Union (T.M. Devine)
Chapter 2 Industrialisation (T.M. Devine)
Chapter 3 The Transformation of Agriculture: Cultivation and Clearance
(T.M. Devine)
Chapter 4 The Establishment of the Financial Network (C.H. Lee)
Chapter 5 Economic Progress: Wealth and Poverty (C.H. Lee)

Part II: 1914-2000
Chapter 6 The Regional Economies of Scotland (David Newlands)
Chapter 7 The Modernisation of Scottish Agriculture (Ewen A. Cameron)
Chapter 8 Unbalanced Growth: Prosperity and Deprivation (C.H. Lee)
Chapter 9 The Managed Economy: Scotland 1919-2000 (G.C. Peden)

Conclusion: The Legacy of the Past and Future Prospects (G.C. Peden).

About the Author

T. M. Devine is Sir William Fraser Professor Emeritus of Scottish History and Palaeography at the University of Edinburgh. Author and editor of many books on Scottish history and related subjects, he is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy. In 2014 he was knighted for services to the study of Scottish history and he is the only historian to have been awarded the Royal Gold Medal, Scotland's supreme academic accolade, by the HM The Queen on the recommendation of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


Readable, accessible and welcome…This is a good, brave and stimulating book, one for the policy-makers to digest.
- T. C. Smout
A welcome addition to the historical literature on modern Scotland … this is a useful book, which takes the study of economic history in Scotland into some new territory, and will be essential introductory reading on undergraduate courses in the subject.