Much of what has been written about Scotland’s relations with America has been concerned with uncritical ethnic chauvinism. Like many other ethnic groups in America, Scottish-Americans claim a significant importance for themselves in helping to make America, and Scots naturally focus on this when thinking about their country’s exchanges with America, neglecting the very considerable impact of America in making modern Scotland. This book is a survey of what we know about this complex subject to date, excluding the entirely unexplored history of cultural exchange between Scotland and America in the twentieth century. Most work has been carried out on the eighteenth century, when Scotland redefined itself as part of the European Enlightenment and made an important contribution to the creation of modern Britain and its empire. My own research has been focused on that period, and the content of this book reflects that. By the end of that century the United States had emerged as a modern republic, in European eyes the first American nation, but this is not a book about Scotland and the United States. It seeks to consider both countries in the broader context of the Atlantic world that transformed modern history in the eighteenth century and began the process of globalization that is such an important part of modern world history.
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