Scotland experienced an extraordinary intellectual flowering during the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. To understand this flowering, it is necessary to comprehend the background, the Scottish connections with Europe, and the distinctive character of its educational system. Scottish intellectuals became natural migrants and were to be found in many European countries. With the expansion of the British empire, such intellectual migrants were to be found in highly influential positions in the thirteen colonies as well as in India and later the ‘dominions’, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and also South Africa. Throughout the empire they were very significant in the founding and staffing of universities and many other institutions and educational establishments, often dominating key disciplines, such as philosophy.
|Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series