- Introduction: The Study of Modern Scottish History
- Land and Sea: The Environment
- The Demographic Factor
- Mythical Scotland
- Religion and Society to <i>c</i>.1900
- The Literary Tradition
- The Clearances and the Transformation of the Scottish Countryside
- A Global Diaspora
- The Renaissance
- Reformed and Godly Scotland?
- The ‘Rise’ of the State?
- Reappraising the Early Modern Economy, 1500–1650
- Scotland restored and reshaped: Politics and Religion, <i>c</i>.1660–1712
- The Early Modern Family
- The Seventeenth-Century Irish Connection
- New Perspectives on Pre-union Scotland
- Migrant Destinations, 1500–1750
- Union Historiographies
- Scottish Jacobitism in its International Context
- The Rise (and fall?) of the Scottish Enlightenment
- The Barbarous North? Criminality in Early Modern Scotland
- Industrialization and the Scottish People
- Scotland and the Eighteenth-Century Empire
- The Challenge of Radicalism to 1832
- The Scottish Cities
- Identity within the Union State, 1800–1900
- The Scottish Diaspora since 1815
- The Impact of the Victorian Empire
- The Great War
- The Interwar Crisis: The Failure of Extremism
- The Religious Factor
- Gender and Nationhood in Modern Scottish Historiography
- The Stateless Nation and the British State since 1918
- Challenging the Union
- A New Scotland? The Economy
- A New Scotland? Society and Culture
Abstract and Keywords
Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century topographers spoke of the Scottish environment as though it were a given, a gift from a good, but often incomprehensible, God. The food of all life on earth rests ultimately on photosynthesis, the process by which vegetable growth is able to capture solar energy. Compared to other parts of the British Isles, Scotland suffered from two interlinked disadvantages in garnering photosynthetic energy. The first was altitude and slope, and the second was climate. The most critical developments in the environmental history of Scotland after 1750 related to energy supply. Two forces were at work: a change in the availability of food energy and a revolution in the application of thermal energy. Since 1950, there have been changes in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries; advances in pollution control; and the rise of an environmental movement. What happens on land is always better studied than what happens invisibly below the surface of the sea. Marine fisheries provide the example of the most profligate of all resource exploitations, not only in Scotland but throughout the globe.
T. C. Smout, FRSE, FBA, Professor Emeritus, School of History, University of St Andrews
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