The impact of mercantilism and war on the Scottish marine 1661-1791
This thesis seeks to answer the question - 'To what extent did Scotland's membership that trading system, later dubbed 'mercantilism', dictate the course and direction of her maritime institutions and shipping industry? ' Its resolution sets four primary objectives. Firstly, to set Scottish maritime affairs in context with the evolving political, economic and administrative aspects of the system. Secondly, to evaluate the impact of the Union and the imposition of the English customs model on the emerging Scottish shipping industry. Thirdly, to analyse the role played by the endemic warfare and smuggling inherent to the sytem contributed, in the growth rate and shift in the regional distribution of the components of the Scottish marine - 'foreign', coastal' and fisheries'. Fourly, to review the influence of the system on the regional development of navigational aids, port facilities and shipbuilding. The unresolved status of Scotland as an independent trading nation resulted in retaliatory Navigation Acts and aggressive acts that dispelled the prospect of a peaceful co-existence with England. The Union resolved this impasse granting full access rights to Scottish shippers re-registering under the British Navigation Acts. By the 1730s the nucleus of expertise and hulls had been accumulated to exploit the Scottish ports' locational advantage in the Atlantic economy. After 1750 the bounty system nurtured the Scottish herring and whaling industries. The American War of Independence breached the Navigation Acts while stimulating the shipbuilding industry. The subsequent Act of Registry (1786) set new standards in maritime administration. The following Consolidation Act (1787) removed many of the disincentives from the existing fiscal regime. The mode of operation of the Scottish shipping industry was significantly altered thereafter.