Glasgow and Slavery

Glasgow, the West of Scotland and the Caribbean

3. Trade and Manufacture

Trade: Sugar, Tobacco and Cotton

Manufacture: Cotton Mill

The improvers made money from external markets. Port Glasgow was founded in 1668 as Glasgow's deepwater port. Many young Scots went out to the Caribbean, bringing back wealth and experience of intensive cultivation. Some of the earliest big improvers were sugar planters. By the 1750s various Caribbean islands became dominated by Scots.

From the 1770s cotton was also needed by big water powered mills which spread across the country, then moved to the city as steam power matured. By the 1811 census, Glasgow was Second largest City of the Empire, a generation before heavy industry took over.

Markets were exploited well outside the region, supporting much quicker acquisition of wealth. Quality cotton textiles made for the London market, or much further afield, colonial markets created enormous wealth which funded all aspects of development.