Chapter

Debating the Clearances

Eric Richards

in Debating the Highland Clearances

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780748621828
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672141 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621828.003.0001
Debating the Clearances

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The Highland Clearances caused the displacement and dispersion of many thousands of common people from the glens and straths of the Highlands and Islands in the north of Scotland. Mainly these events took place in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and mostly they affected small occupiers, the peasantry of the region. The Clearances were also connected with the parallel decline of Gaelic culture and with an enduring sense of loss, grievance and desolation. This experience is widely regarded as great historical ‘tragedy’ and it has generated a long debate about who or what was to be blamed. These questions still matter greatly to Scots at home and abroad. This book is a critical guide to the arguments that swirl and recirculate within the debate, and it is also about the essential historical documentation upon which it all eventually depends.

Keywords: Debate; Highlands and Islands; Gaelic; culture

Chapter.  8212 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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