1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
-Ian McKay

even blamed Scotland for not being devout enough, claiming the famine was a punishment from God.20

Many of the fears over chronic economic crisis were probably unwarranted, for a famine in a country where eighty to ninety percent of the people work in agriculture is bound to cause major problems in even the most capably run state.21 On the other hand the famine was detrimental to the nation's sense of pride because it meant they were failing at what Scots at the time called the, "worthy, noble, and excellent employment," that is, agriculture.22 Regardless, it was not only the 1690's that sent some Scots to bitterly eye the English success, but centuries of poverty. Still, despite the worries such an economic downturn would bring to a nation, the Scots at the time seem to have been remarkably defiant. Common sense dictates that all these problems must have created a sense of self-doubt, and many scholars have noted this as a major cause of Scottish acceptance of union. But the primary sources of this era give evidence to continued defiance on the part of most Scots. Very little was written by Scots at the time that points to an abandonment of Scottish identity.

Just as Scotland was suffering its worst economic plight in history, its saving grace came in the form of a scheme that might somehow give it the economic security the Scots had always dreamed of. At the same time it would give them the power to finally return to complete independence from the meddling English. Their dream came in the form of a risky scheme to create a Scottish colony in the Americas.

20. A Call to Scotland for Threatening Famine, (Edinburgh, 1698).
21. T.C. Smoot, The Economic History Review, 331.
22. John Hamilton Belhave,The Country-mans Rudiments, or, an Advice to the Farmers of East Lothian, how to labour and improve their Ground, (Edinburgh, 1697).