A.J.G.Cummings explores Scotland's links with Europe from 1600-1800.
Although situated in the remote north-western comer of Europe, Scotland's links with its continental neighbours have always been strong. Since the Middle Ages, merchants from the east coast ports had been trading to continental Europe and these links were to be strengthened in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and were increasingly to involve the west coast ports. Scottish monarchs regularly looked to Europe for their brides. James VI married Anne of Denmark, Charles I, Henrietta Maria of France and Charles II, the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza. Education and the law also showed strong European influences. Whereas England developed her own highly individual universities and legal system, those of Scotland drew very much on continental models and for much of the period many Scots were still educated abroad. But above all, Scotland has always been noted for its export of manpower. Whether as traders, soldiers or as scholars, Scots have left their native land and often made a considerable impact on their adopted homes.