Scots urged to face 'slave past'

Historians in the News

A leading historian has said Scotland must face up to"darker sides" of its history as well as celebrating its achievements.

Prof Tom Devine will deliver a talk in Inverness on Saturday entitled Did Slavery Make Scotland Great?

He told BBC Radio Scotland's Highland Cafe that the use of slaves by Scots plantation owners may have aided the country's economic growth in the past.

Prof Devine's lecture is a feature of Scotland's Global Impact Conference.

Speaking to the Highland Cafe, he said it was his duty as a scholar to deal with all evidence from the past and what Scotland did for both good and bad.

He said the title of his talk was provocative, but asked the question about slavery's role in accelerating a poor country to better fortunes during the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Prof Devine, of the University of Edinburgh and one of Scotland's most prominent historians, said:"By great, I essentially mean not in a political, or cultural, or religious sense, I mean great in material development."

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