Voltaire once said ‘We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation’. Scotland has given the world so much of what it takes for granted. Its discoveries and inventions have created the modern world we inhabit. From the television, to the telephone through to the steam engine and from the pneumatic tyre to the modern bicycle. The story of Scotland is the story of the modern world. The driving force of this was the Scottish Enlightenment which influenced how the modern world thinks and philosophises. David Hume gave us ‘The Treatise of Human Nature’. Adam Smith created modern economics with ‘The Wealth of Nations’. And the Encyclopædia Britannica was published in Edinburgh. The ‘Scottish Miracle’ advanced not only philosophy but economics, architecture, law, medicine, politics, agriculture and so on and so forth advancing almost all aspects of life.

Before this miracle Scotland was a mainly rural country from the highlands to the lowlands. But after it the country rose to one of the most influential countries in the world especially with the Sottish diaspora taking these ideas to the four corners of the planet (if you can have corners on a sphere).

Glasgow was the 'second city of the empire' having a major impact on every industry imaginable, from its famous ship building industry, to producing locomotives to pottery, leatherwork and textiles.  Edinburgh the ‘Hotbed of genius’ on the other hand was less industrial, concentrating on banking, publishing and financial services. Other parts of Scotland have played their part in the transformation; Aberdeen was the city of paper mills and granite and Dundee famously had the 3 J’s – Jam, jute and journalism. And across the beautiful landscape the famous whisky distilleries sprang up to power Scotland to a global brand in its own right.

Scotland, it really is made of girders.