Initiatives, impediments and identities
Scottish emigration in the twentieth century
in Scotland, empire and decolonisation in the twentieth century
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During the nineteenth century Scotland had come to occupy third place in a European league table of people-exporting countries. Scottish enthusiasm for emigration revived after the war, although throughout the twentieth century statistical precision remained elusive in the face of patchy and ambiguous data, frequent changes in classification criteria, and the absorption of separate Scottish returns into UK figures. Most emigrants were oblivious to political arguments, and only partially aware of government strategies. In the same era, much of Scotland spectated as unprecedented immigration from the New Commonwealth fuelled overt discrimination and the politicisation of race relations in England. There is no evidence that Scots favoured the dominions because they believed there was any psychological or cultural benefit to be gained by remaining within the fold of the imperial family.


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