Scottish moral philosophy influenced the Founding fathers.
Scottish enlightenment figures contributed to the American national character, constitution and democracy.- such as David Hume and Adam Smith.
Francis Hutchison – 1740 argued for the right of colonial resistance to tyranny. – and Thomas Reid.
Recently I was inspired to hear Professor Tom Devine on Radio Scotland speak of Scotland’s great influence on the establishment of American democracy and constitution.
“John Witherspoon (1723 – 1794) was a Presbyterian cleric from Paisley Scotland, who was the greatest force towards developing the national character and a signatory on the Declaration of independence. Princeton was the seminary of statesmen from President to the Supreme court.”
“In the 18th century the Atlantic highway from Europe to America was a highway of ideas – of philosophers, clerics, physicians, and a great influence on the American first constitution. Scotland’s philosophical influence is mainly forgotten today – and sadly the image of Scotland is one of Brigadoon, whisky, bonny glens and hills. “
“American scholarship emanated from Scotland with the influence of the Scottish Enlightenment. Late 18th century Scots laid the foundations of the first USA universities – Columbia and in particular the College of New Jersey, now know as Princeton and its first president Scot John Witherspoon. “Scots were Founding Fathers and through John Witherspoon had a profound influence on the American constitution.”
What a relief to see Biden as American President along with the first woman Vice President! He spoke of humility, unity and healing and celebrating diversity. About the importance of our fragile democracies and how we must protect them.
Scots Americans were some of American's Founding Fathers and profoundly important to the American Constitution - such as the Scottish Enlightenment figures, Scottish Moral Philosophy and Scot John Witherspoon who founded Princeton. I was amazed to learn!! It seems to me there has been a deliberate suppression of our histories:
I lived 10 years in America and I had no idea of the significance of Scots to American history - except I did see many Scots graves in a small heritage village in the Smoky mountains. Now I can feel proud because the pillars for the transfer of power are so important. "We can only build dreams together." Many place names in America are Scottish.
"Americans built their world around the principles of Adam Smith and Thomas Reid of individual interest governed by common sense and a limited need for government.'
Historian Arthur L Herman
**During King James Stuart VI expeditions set up the first British trading settlement called Jamestown was named after the Scot. Scots trade to Virginia and religious prisoners from the War of the Three Kingdoms arrived 1670s. Glasgow did the main trade of tobacco, in defiance of English restrictions of colonial trade. In return the colony received Scottish manufactured goods, emigrants and ideas.
In 1670s and 1680s, Covenanters or Presbyterian dissenters fled prosecutions by the Royalist privy council under Charles I - to settle in south Carolina and New Jersey.
The Scots Darien project failed, partly due to England blocking trade. After the Act of Union 1707 - Scots emigrated because of the commercialization of agriculture and the Highland Clearances. 50K Scots settled in the 13 colonies 1700s.
The Covenanters, who had ruled Scotland for 80 years (1581 – 1651), many left for America after being persecuted under Charles II.
John Witherspoon – Presbyterian college of New Jersey at Princeton. Emigrated 1758. Scottish common sense school of philosophy and his thought son American liberty 1770s. signed of declaration of independence. He was concerned at the interference of the London government on previously devolved issues.
*Scots Americans came in 3 Main Groups - The Highlander Scots, Lowlander Scots and the Scotch Irish
Highlander Scots - 1700s the Jacobites and the breaking up of the clans, the Highland Clearances. Highlanders often maintained their culture of the clans, such as Gaelic language and their music: they moved to Georgia, Mohawk Valley, Upstate New York, Cape Fear river, mostly loyalists. Many Highlanders left fro Canada.
Lowlander Scots – 18th century to New York and New Jersey, were well educated – clerics, lawyers, merchants, medics - professionals with commercial ties to the crown. They tended to be loyalists. Many were prosecuted Covenanters.
Ulster Scots or Scotch Irish, from the Lowlands of Scotland who under Henry VIII colonized province of Ulster to pacify the threat of Catholic Ireland 17th century Plantations. They left for America to the Appalachian mountains. They owned tobacco plantations, in Virginia and Carolina. Their indebtedness was an incentive for separation and had commercial ties to the old country. Scots-Irish settled in Tennessee and were drawn into the rebellion. Music Border ballads. They were mostly Patriots. Scots fought on both sides of the War of Independence
Devine said that in 2021 it is tragic that a Scots descendent has had such a wicked influence on American democracy today. Rednecks also came from Scotland.
James Addison – Tutored by Scots minister. Princeton.
Thomas Jefferson - Taught by Scots Presbyterian minster.
John Adams – Harvard Boston.
John Jay – Columbia university
Benjamin Franklin – English
George Washington – Military career.
*Alexander Hamilton - Attended Colombia University, Scots father and orphaned Caribbean.
He joined and trained Patriot volunteers, senior aid Washington. Founder American financial system, US coastguard and New York Post newspaper. Today there is a population musical 'Hamilotn'
*Alexander McDougall – a friend of Alexander Hamilton. He organised the evacuation by boat, after the Patriots defeat at the battle of long island. The Sons of Liberty Reformers and New York Patriots. Alexander McDougall and John Jay were captains New York provincial artillery 1776.
*John Mercer – fought alongside George Washington. He had fought at Culloden and he was a martyr for the Patriot army. . seven years war.
*John Wilson – lawyer. Consideration of the extent of the legislature .
that power derives from the people. A framer of American constitution: he was also a justice of the supreme court.
*George Buchanan (1506 - 1582) – The great scholar George Buchanan, who based his writings on the Scottish clan system and he was the father of democracy. He wrote that all political power resides in the people, and it must reside in the people: and that it is lawful and necessary to resist kings (or queens) or (we might say all rulers) if they become tyrants. There were many attempts to suppress his work by James VI and he foresaw where stupid Stewart vanity would lead.
Scottish school of common sense 18th century
Philosophers David Hume and Adam Smith, Dugald Stewart, Thomas Reid, William Hamilton,
The Scottish moral philosophy had a considerable influence on American constitution. They argued against scepticism – inherent in the acquisition of knowledge and to develop philosophical wisdom.