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Enlightenment's Frontier
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Enlightenment's Frontier: The Scottish Highlands and the Origins of Environmentalism

Fredrik Albritton Jonsson


This book investigates the environmental roots of the Scottish Enlightenment. What was the place of the natural world in Adam Smith's famous defense of free trade? The author recovers the forgotten networks of improvers and natural historians that sought to transform the soil, plants, and climate of Scotland in the eighteenth century. The Highlands offered a vast outdoor laboratory for rival liberal and conservative views of nature and society. But when the improvement schemes foundered toward the end of the century, northern Scotland instead became a crucible for anxieties about overpopulatio ... More

Keywords: Scottish Enlightenment, free trade, Adam Smith, natural historians, Highlands, nature, overpopulation, resource exhaustion, economic growth, environmentalism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780300162547
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300162547.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, author