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Smokes, Slaves, and Sugar

When Glasgow ran the World

“Sophisticated Glasgow”. No, this isn’t another sarcastic dig by the Conservative Ruth Davidson; it’s a perfect description of the financial dealings of a group of lowland Scots traders of the 1700s, who would grow the small town, by fair means and foul, into a city of international commercial importance.

The Navigation Acts of 1661-3, laws by which England had monopolised colonial trading, commandeered a huge booty. This prohibition of Scottish colonial commerce led her to attempt to open up her own trading routes via the Darien Scheme in the late 1690s; a brave venture which was thwarted as much by England’s perfidious gamesmanship as by tragic ill-luck. Even with her population and wealth more than decimated by Darien, Scotland was dragged unwillingly into the 1707 Act of Union. Yet by the 1740s, those same Acts were to make the city of Glasgow the economic rival of London, with not a drop of the “black gold” yet in sight.

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About iScot Magazine

November Edition 2016 issue Number 23 The one with Nicola and Saltire 2020 Vision A bumper 116 pages choc full of the best of Scottish writers today. Robbie Dinwoodie - Ben Thomson - The Legacy Alyn Smith MEP - A conference update - Focused David Bowman Interview - Les Huckfield - ex Labour MP "It's Labour for me... but not in Scotland" David James Hood - A perfect storm Jason Michael Mc Cann - The Alex Salmond Interview Will McLeod - How disasters look good ...on paper Wee Ginger Dug - They're all so pretty vacant Derek Bateman - Doing Middle Class Tom Morton - Sticky Aberdeen - the New Birmingham? Dr Steve McCabe - Fit to Lead? Tom Morton - Scotch and Spirit Jennifer Harper Feature - Simon Community Scotland Mary Edward - Short Story - The Gift Grouse Beater - Investigating Gorbal's boy Alan Pinkerton PI Rachel Gillon - Food for thought Zoe Weir - Glasgow Tobacco Barons Peter A Bell - Forget Darien, this is the bigee - The Madness of Men David McVey - Short Story - A Nation Decides Major Bloodnok - Agony Aunt - He knows, you know