Large-scale emigration from Scotland began in the 18th century. The main reason for this was the destruction of the clan system after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. This resulted in a rapid increase in the cost of renting land and an increasing number of Scottish farmers decided to cross the Atlantic and settle in America.
Agricultural problems became even more acute in the first part of the 19th century. The spread of large-scale sheep rearing resulted in the Highland clearances where thousands of crofters were evicted from their land. Most Scots emigrated to Canada but there were also large numbers who went to the United States. During the 19th century Scotland lost a much higher percentage of her people than either England or Wales. By 1890 there were over 250,000 people born in Scotland living in the United States.