Esther Breitenbach

in Empire and Scottish Society

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780748636204
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653485 | DOI:

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This chapter discusses the impact of the British Empire in Scotland. It opines that British imperialism influenced intellectual developments that encompassed history, geography, sociology, anthropology, philology, medicine, botany, and zoology. It notes that both ‘imperial actors’ and Scots contributed to new forms of knowledge. It further notes that from the Enlightenment onwards Scots contributed to intellectual debates generated by imperial expansion. It notes that Scots were engineers and builders of infrastructures and railways, and they ‘largely carried all the new disciplines of tropical medicine, microbiology, entomology and veterinary science to a global state from the late nineteenth century’. It further shows that missionaries, too, actively applied their scientific knowledge in the field, contributing to the expansion of knowledge in botany, medicine, zoology, and geology.

Keywords: British Empire; Scotland; imperialism; intellectual developments; global state; missionaries; scientific knowledge

Chapter.  1983 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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