English language texts had begun to become common in Scotland even when Scotland was still an independent state with its own monarch.
After the Union of Crowns in 1603 the amount of written and printed English became a deluge which almost wiped out the native Scots literary tradition, a development strongly reinforced by the political decision to adopt an English language bible.
The possibilities of social advancement now depended heavily on a good command of a written and spoken English which was acceptable to the English speaking establishment of the British state.
The fear grew that the Scots language was a millstone around the necks of Scots, preventing their development and improvement.
The educational system saw its goal as the promotion of English, and use of Scots became strongly stigmatised, marking its speakers out as uneducated, uncouth, and inarticulate.
Many Scots developed a terror of public speaking, since every time they opened their mouths they risked revealing themselves as provincial buffoons who would be looked down upon. Scottish English was now established as a widespread spoken language.
No attempts were made to count the number of speakers, but Scots remained the everyday spoken language of the rural population and the ordinary people of the larger towns and cities.
Speakers of the state language are not expected to learn the minoritised languages, and most often view them at best with patronising condescension, at worst with outright hostility.This accustomed Scots speakers to associating the standard English of England with the formal and dignified spheres of language.Scots was no longer regarded as a suitable medium for prose, especially prose texts dealing in complex or abstract topics.Approximately 300,000 people, just under 20% of the Scottish population, were monolingual Gaelic speakers who spoke no other tongue.No official counts were made of the number of Gaelic speakers who were bilingual in Gaelic and English or Gaelic and Scots, but they formed a large and substantial population.
It was the language Scots used on formal occasions, and when speaking to non-Scots and for communication between Scots of different language backgrounds.