Scottish Immigration to America Timeline
The Romans built the 73 mile Hadrian's Wall as a physical barrier between the Picts in Scotland and England, so beginning the separation of the English and the Scots.
Scotland was first ruled by their own kings but this changed when an English noble named John Balliol was crowned King of Scotland.
The famous Scottish rebel William Wallace fought against the English rule was defeated at the Battle of Falkirk and executed in London
Scotland regained their independence from England when Robert the Bruce defeated the English at the Battle of Bannockburn
The Scots invaded England but were defeated by the English at the Battle of Flodden
The son of Mary Queen of Scots, King James succeeded to the English throne and the two kingdoms of Scotland and England were joined under one monarch.
The "Ulster Plantation" was established by King James I who confiscated over half a million acres of lands in Ireland to be colonized by English-speaking, Protestant rent-paying tenants. Presbyterians from the lowlands of Scotland, emigrated to Ireland and become known as the Scots-Irish.
The Mayflower Pilgrims landed in America who established the Plymouth Colony. One of the pilgrims was a Scot called Robert Sproat who emigrated from Scotland and worked to pay for his passage on the historic voyage.
Scots who adhered to the Protestant faith were welcome in America and small groups of Presbyterian Scots made their homes across the American colonies.
The 1689 Revolution when the House of Stuart was deposed resulting in a series of Catholic Jacobite rebellions supported by the Scots highlanders.
A succession of failed harvests, referred to as the "Ill Years' of the 1690s" brought famine and disease to Scotland killing 15% of the population. Many Scots, from both the Highlands and lowlands of Scotland, chose to escape to America as indentured servants.
The Act of Union was passed and Scotland was formally united with England to form Great Britain
The 1717 Transportation Act resulted in Scottish criminals and Jacobite rebels being transported to America.
In 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie, supported by the Catholic Jacobites, attempted to claim the British throne but was defeated at the Battle of Culloden. The failure of the rebellion resulted in more than 1,500 Jacobite prisoners being transported to the American Plantations in chains sentenced to a 14-year convict bond service.
Many angry Scots, following defeat by the English at the Battle of Culloden, made the decision to immigrate to the American colonies. The majority settled in South Carolina and Virginia where strong trade links had already been established between the city of Glasgow and Virginia colony, trading in tobacco. Some of the Scots immigrants gained passage on the tobacco trade ships.
Many of the Scots settlers fought against British tyranny in the American War of Independence (1775–1783)
The Declaration of Independence included signers of Scots descent such as Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, James Buchanan, James Monroe, John K. Polk and William Drummond
The Highland Potato Famine of the 1840's hit Scotland first striking the Scottish Highlands and Hebrides Islands and then spreading to the Lowlands. The famine was followed by a Cholera epidemic and the number of immigrants to the US showed a significant increase.
The Panic of 1873 led to the 6 year period called the 'Long Depression' that led to civil unrest and strikes and an increase in Anti-immigrant sentiments.
Migration to the United States exploded in the 1880's and the US began to pass laws to restrict immigration. Between 1881 - 1890 5,246,613 immigrants gained entry to the United States.
The 1891 Immigration Act provided for the inspection and deportation of immigrants
The Ellis Island immigration center was opened (1892 - 1954) where migrants from Europe were required to undertake to medical and legal inspections. The Ellis Island immigration center was a frightening ordeal for Scots although less than 2% of immigrants from Scotland were turned away.
The 1907 Immigration Act was a reform law that was passed to restrict the number of immigrants. The Act also established the Dillingham Commission whose report led to further stringent and specific immigration restrictions.
The 1924 Immigration Law restricted the number of immigrants from a given country to 2% of the number of residents from that same country living in the US. 87% of permits went to immigrants from Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia
The number of immigrants decreased from Scotland but their descendents constitute a large number of the American population
Scottish Immigration to America Timeline
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