Chapter

Scottish Élites and the Indian Empire, 1700–1815

T. M. Devine

in Anglo-Scottish Relations from 1603 to 1900

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263303
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734137 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263303.003.0011

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Scottish Élites and the Indian Empire, 1700–1815

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This chapter describes the ambitions of Scottish élites in India. The fears of English contemporaries about a growing Scottish presence in the East India Company (EIC) and the royal forces in India have been fully supported by modern research. Mortality rates among the Company's men were often horrendous. The assumption behind Linda Colley's thesis that India posts were not attractive to the sons of the metropolitan élites is unfounded for the post-1770 period. From modern researches, a powerful link can be established between British politics in the post-union period and the increasing preferment of Scots to posts at the periphery of empire. It was that East India postings became the foundation for bringing more political stability to Scotland and forging a stronger union.

Keywords: Indian Empire; East India Company; Linda Colley; British politics; political stability

Chapter.  7874 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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