In his erudite book, Conquests and Cultures, Thomas Sowell discusses the success of many Scottish emigres and people of Scottish ancestry in the 1700s and 1800s. Among the most interesting points along these lines are the following:
- Nine men of Scottish ancestry were generals under George Washington, constituting more than one-third of all of his brigadiers. Nearly one-fifth of the members of Congress that adopted the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish extraction, as were two-thirds of the governors of the original thirteen states. Over time, more than a hundred men of Scottish ancestry became governors of American states and 30% of all U.S. Supreme Court Justices from 1789 to 1882 were of Scottish ancestry.
- As early as the sixteenth century, a Scottish military man was made governor of Kiev, and in the eighteenth century another Scot became governor of Kronstadt, while yet another became governor of the Ukraine. There were also Scottish generals in Prussia and in the Hapsburg Empire. In the Western Hemisphere, there was a Scottish vice-Admiral in the Chilean navy in the nineteenth century and Venezuela's battle for independence was aided by a Scottish officer.
- Half of the board of directors of the first bank established in Canada were Scotsmen.
- During the Meiji Empire in Japan, many ships for the Japanese navy were built in Scotland.