Experience of Scots abroad, 1830s-1939

Experience of Scots Abroad, 1830s-1939

Scots in Canada

  • Large numbers of Scots emigrated to Canada, starting in the 1830s, with many settling in Nova Scotia (“New Scotland”).
  • Scots greatly contributed to the development of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
  • They were drawn to Canada due to the prospect of economic opportunities and the availability of land for farming.

Scots in the United States

  • Another popular destination was the United States, particularly the mid-western states, where Scots played a significant role in the development of the cattle industry.
  • Scots were influential in the founding and growth of many American cities, especially Chicago and New York.
  • They were attracted by opportunities for trade and commerce, opportunities for farming, and the pioneering spirit of the expanding American frontier.

Scots in the British Empire

  • Many Scots served in the British Empire, working as soldiers, administrators, or traders.
  • They were involved in the establishment and administration of colonial regions such as India and Africa.
  • This was driven by a desire for career opportunities, adventure, and the promise of higher living standards.

Scots in Australia and New Zealand

  • From the mid-19th century, Scots emigrated to Australia and New Zealand due to the gold rushes and opportunities to farm and rear sheep.
  • They made substantial impacts in sectors such as finance, education, and farming.
  • These emigrants were driven by economic opportunities, the lure of gold prospecting, and the promise of a better life.

Impacts of Scots Abroad

  • The Scottish diaspora contributed significantly to the economic, political, and social development of the countries they settled in.
  • They were often involved in key industries and economic activities, and many rose to positions of power and influence in their new homes.
  • The Scots abroad also brought their culture, traditions, and religious beliefs with them, helping to shape the cultural identity of their new homes.
  • This outflow of people from Scotland had significant impacts back home too, with money being sent back to support families and stimulate the economy.