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Today is the 265th anniversary of Blàr Chùil Lodair, the Battle of Culloden. The conflict and its aftermath are forever burned into minds of Scottish Highlanders and their descendants around the world.

The consequences of that battle echoed throughout American History. Hugh Mercer, a Revolutionary General and a personal friend of George Washington was at the Battle of Culloden, serving as an Assistant Surgeon. He and countless others found themselves fugitives in their own homeland, and fled to America, Canada, and Australia, leaving an indelible mark on the the lands to which they were exiled.

The Consequences of the Battle have made an equally indelible mark on Scotland, and the Scottish People Worldwide.

At the northern tip of the great glen that cuts Scotland in half is a town called Drumossie. It was a few miles from there, on April 16th, 1746, that the last military battle on British soil took place.  On one side stood a Frenchman of Scottish heritage and Catholic faith, on the other side stood a German whose Protestant family sat on the British throne. On either side stood with them English, Scots and Irish, and a few French with the Frenchman. The battle was a Spectacular defeat for the Jacobites under Charles Edward Stewart. It was the third such military defeat for Scotland. In 1689, 1715, and 1745, Scotland rebelled against the German monarchy, and attempted either to restore a Scottish one, or break away. Those Scots who fought for self determination were defeated just as they were in 1689 when they opposed the ascension of William of Orange. They were defeated in the mass democratic opposition to a fraudulent act of union in 1707. They were defeated in a military uprising in 1715, led by a former supporter of the union. Finally, in 1746, the hope for an independent Scotland in the near term died with the last Stuart Loyalists in the boggy marsh called Culloden.

Before going further, I must mention that this idea that the '45 was about Scottish independence is still hotly disputed. Some refer to it as a religious conflict. Certainly, the majority of Highlanders were Episcopalian, with a minority of Catholics, while the English, Irish, and French that served with the Jacobites were most definitely Catholic. On the other side stood English Regulars, mostly Episcopalian, Scottish Highland Troops with the Government who were also Episcopalian but with a not insignificant minority of Presbyterians, and Scottish Lowland Regulars who were almost exclusively and fanatically Presbyterian.

This assumption that it was somehow a war between Catholics and Protestants is simply not supported by fact. John Knox and others had made sure that Catholicism had been almost completely wiped out in Scotland by the end of the 17th century. Those former Catholics in the highlands were just barely protestant enough as Episcopalians to avoid constant civil war, true. But this was not the source of the Jacobite conflicts.

Certainly, Charles Edward Stuart wanted to restore his line to the throne of Britain. But the vast majority of his soldiers wanted an independent Scotland. When he marched south of the Scottish border into England, his soldiers deserted in droves. Those that stayed on urged him to turn back to Scotland. The Jacobites wanted a Scottish King, but they wanted him in Edinburgh, not hundreds of miles away in London.

They knew then something that Scotland has been relearning ever since: As long as they are ruled from London, England with its financial and trade wealth and massive population will always overrule Scotland, and England will do this unintentionally and democratically. That is evident even today. In the most recent election, England saw dramatic shift in the makeup of the British Parliament, but not a single seat changed hands in Scotland. Scotland still favors the Westminster Representation by the Labor party overwhelmingly. And just like the time of Margaret Thatcher, the Majority of Labor parliamentarians from Scotland are unable to make an impact in London when England swings to the right. The Scottish Liberal Democrats whose party is in a coalition with the Conservatives are facing a potential though unlikely wipeout in Scotland's next parliamentary election, their share of the vote declining as much as 70% in some polls. This despite the fact that the vast majority of Liberal Democrats in Scotland vocally oppose many of the actions of the Coalition.

Cameron and Thatcher's recent ruthlessness towards Scottish public institutions is nothing new. It is a pale relic of previous attempts to rebuild Scotland into a properly British province, according to whatever fashion the current leaders took.

In 1746, Cumberland, the Scottish Whigs, and the Hanoverian nobility engaged on a campaign of rape, murder and forced assimilation to destroy the culture of Highland Scotland, even as Lowland Scotland was being made acceptably British [I intentionally did not use the word Anglicize, because the people of England opposed the British Union as much as the Scots did. The loss of self determination was not something done by England to Scotland, it was something done by perfidious Englishmen, Welshmen, Irishmen and Scotsmen to England, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, and Wales in the service of a German King. It was a crime comitted by Unionists upon five unique Cultures, at cost to all of them a large part of their cultural distinctiveness.]

Most of the tales of what occurred after Culloden are too horrific to relate here. Many of them are told not by Jacobite witnesses, who left Scotland or did not speak out for fear of brutal retaliation, but of Highland Soldiers for the British Government who were horrified by the actions of their leaders.

Some of these accounts of John Fergusson's campaign on the Isle of Skye and Isle of Raasay are so brutally graphic that I don't even want to link them. One tale so horrific that I wish to disbelieve it is the rape and hanging of a teenage girl whose family were Rassay MacLeods and  Jacobites. A less visceral account of Fergusson's activities was written by one Jacobite Officer, and his story is confirmed by government sources.

'I was … brought before Captain Ferguson, who used me with the barbarity of a pirate, stripped me, and had ordered me to be put in a rack, and whipped by his hangman, because I would not confess where I thought the Prince was. As I was just going to be whipped, being already stripped, Lieutenant McGaghan of the Scots Fusiliers, who commanded a party under Captain Ferguson, very generously opposed this barbarous usage, and coming out with drawn sword, threatened Captain Ferguson that he would sacrifice himself and his detachment rather than see an officer used after such an infamous manner'

The Scottish Clan System was forcibly transformed by act of parliament and threat of deportation into a traditional system of European aristocracy. Less than two decades after Culloden, those aristocrats were used to finish the job that Cumberland started. Though the original attacks targeted the rebellious clans, the attacks from the Aristocracy targeted all of them. Scottish Culture was essentially outlawed. Traditional Scottish Dress and the possession of arms was made illegal for anyone who did not join the British Miltary. In this way, the national identity of Scotland was further filtered into an identity of British Militarism, the military transforming the Scots over the years into an appropriately british and appropriately patriotic populace.

But this patriotism would not save the people of the Highlands.

The Newly Britannicized aristocracy was greedier than it ever had been. They desired the same level of wealth that their friends in the south had. While a Clan Chief of old was content to starve with his people in times of hardship, the new aristocracy desired riches. Starting in the 1760's, they engaged in a campaign of terror and deportation to clear the people off the land, and replace them with sheep for the lucrative wool trade.

As was written by Donald MacLeod from the relative security of Canada about the brutality of the clearances:

The consternation and confusion were extreme. Little or no time was given for the removal of persons or property; the people striving to remove the sick and the helpless before the fire should reach them; next, struggling to save the most valuable of their effects. The cries of the women and children, the roaring of the affrighted cattle, hunted at the same time by the yelling dogs of the shepherds amid the smoke and fire, altogether presented a scene that completely baffles description — it required to be seen to be believed.

A dense cloud of smoke enveloped the whole country by day, and even extended far out to sea. At night an awfully grand but terrific scene presented itself — all the houses in an extensive district in flames at once. I myself ascended a height about eleven o'clock in the evening, and counted two hundred and fifty blazing houses, many of the owners of which I personally knew, but whose present condition — whether in or out of the flames — I could not tell. The conflagration lasted six days, till the whole of the dwellings were reduced to ashes or smoking ruins. During one of these days a boat actually lost her way in the dense smoke as she approached the shore, but at night was enabled to reach a landing-place by the lurid light of the flames.

This is not an isolated incident. The tales of houses being set on fire without even eviction notices are common.

All the while Scottish Soldiers were seeing their families deported or burned alive in their homes by a greedy aristocracy even as they bled themselves to death on fields from Seringapatam to Bunker Hill in service of the British Crown. Even as Queen Victoria waxed ecstatic about her Beloved Highlanders, they and their families were being exiled from the lands where they had lived for Millennia.

By the hundredth anniversary of Culloden in 1845 the damage had been done. As the Crimean war lengthened, and British Casualties mounted, it was discovered that only a handful of Scottish soldiers were serving in the campaign, a cry went up from the London newspapers: “Where are the Highlanders?!” The answers from Canada, America, and Australia came in by letter some months later. “Why would we bother fighting for your empire? You've deported us all.”

Land that had been farmed successfully for generations, which had supported a significant population on kale, grain, and beef, now was reserved for sheep. Cashmere and other wool products are still one of Scotland's most profitable ventures.

And today the numbers are clear. Scotland has a population of barely five million. The global population of Scots numbers about a hundred and ten million by the best estimation, with both more liberal and more conservative estimates. Many Americans who are Scottish in Heritage consider themselves English, because of an understandable ignorance of Gaelic names. Houston (from Huisdean, which makes them Clan Donald from Skye), Calhoun, from Clan Colquhoun and even names as common and anglophonic as Grant, Fields, Fraser, Cullen, and countless others are essentially Scottish names.

The effects of the forced deportation, murder, and depopulation of Highland Scotland is visible from Space. I've prepared a map comparing the territories of Jacobite clans with the best measure of population density I could find. (Unfortunately, population density in Scotland is measured typically by parliamentary constituency, so there isn't an accurate look at the specifics of population density in the Highlands that I have been able to find.)

Comparing that map to a similar metric to Spain and other mountainous regions of europe you see that even sparsely populated regions have small towns that provide some light pollution. But the whole of the Scottish Highlands is completely black, and almost completely depopulated.

If you're up for a very depressing experience, look up an old map of Scotland before the '45, and go highland town hunting. You'll find that many once-towns are either empty fields or collections of burned out stone foundations.

St Kitts, Finally Abandoned in the 1930's
Unknown Settlement near Glennfinnan, where the Banner was raised for Tearleach in 1745.
Unkown Town in MacLeod of Raasay territory, Isle of Raasay. John Fergusson, mentioned before, Commanded the HMS Furnace anchored off Raasay, from which he and other government forces engaged in a campaign of vengeance against MacLeod of Raasay for leading his Clan at culloden. Even Today, the Chiefdom of MacLeod of Raasay exists not in Scotland, but in Australia.

[About this last image of Raasay: One of the interesting things about this last photo is that you can see some of the foundations being absorbed by Peat. Peat on the Isle of Raasay grows at a rate of about 1 foot per 100 years. Not knowing the height of those stone foundations or the date they were built, I can only guess at the age. That those structures may have been abandoned or destroyed in the 1740's is not an unreasonable guess.]

Scotland Today

Culloden and its aftermath is an emotional issue for the Scottish Diaspora. Depending on your definition, how you include or exclude individuals from the Diaspora, the Diaspora outnumbers the population of Scotland by no less than 12 to one. This loss of people has been disastrous for Scotland in recent years, leading to the rise of the Scottish National Party.

Certainly, those of us who live outside of Scotland and are aware of the current politics often favor Scottish Independence. Especially those of us whose families emigrated to America just after the 1740's, as mine did. The Scottish Nationalists have a broad base of support within Scotland as well, and they're one of the few Scottish parties that has actually attempted to to engage with the Diaspora at large.

In 1997, when Tony Blair came to power, he promised the creation of an elected assembly in Scotland and Wales. The response from then Prime Minister John Major was his 72 Hours to Save the Union campaign. He argued that if the Scottish Parliament was reconvened, it would only be a matter of time before the breakup of the union. Major was probably right. It took only ten years for the Scottish National Party to move from key player, to largest party in the Scottish Parliament. In the Scottish Parliamentary Elections in a few weeks, we'll see if the SNP can hold on. I'll likely have a diary about that up later.

As in 1745, the struggle for an independent Scotland is not a conflict between Scotland and England. It is a conflict between Self Determinist Scotland, and Unionist Scotland. Britain is tearing itself apart as a result its entry into the European Union. England too is in the midst of an identity crisis as it attempts to cope with mass immigration. Meanwhile, the British Government often seems to act primarily to serve its own ends, rather than the interests of its people. The Flooding of the Dryweryn valley to provide England with water and the destruction of a center for Welsh language and culture nearly led to an Irish-Style military revolt in Wales. Indeed, if the  various seperatists had unified and received IRA support for the construction of bombs, Prince Charles wouldn't have lived to be invested as the Prince of Wales. An attempt was made to blow up the Royal Train en route to Caernarvon, but the bomb detonated before it could be placed, killing the separatists who were attempting to plant it. An ineffective bombing campaign was the result, with the occasional bomb threat coming still today, despite Plaid Cymru, the Welsh National Party, committing to democratic reform. As far as British government interferences with Scottish and Welsh politics are concerned, that political history and the litany of modern grievances could fill several diaries.

Scotland has avoided the pitfalls of violence, and since 2007, the Scottish Government has been in the hands of the Scottish National Party. Like Plaid Cymru, the SNP has taken a stand against racism. Bashir Ahmad was the first Asian-Scots and first Muslim member of the Scottish Parliament. He was part of the leadership for the Scottish National Party.

I love that one of the most widely distributed images in Scottish politics is this one:

The Scottish Nationalists are Nationalists in name only. They don't espouse any of the ethnocentric bile typical of traditional Nationalist groups like the BNP, or White Nationalists in the US. Indeed, the music of Scottish Nationalism is disgusted with the ethnocentric ideas that are themselves an integral part of the BNP's British Nationalism, or its predecessor the National Front's English Nationalism. (Thankfully, there are political groups such as the English Democrats that are working to reclaim English national identity. They fly the flag of St George, blast Jerusalem from their battle wagons, and run Sikh candidates.) The reason that Scottish Nationalism is so different from traditional nationalism is because it sets itself up in opposition to a traditional nationalist ideology that already exists. As British Nationalism favors ethnic purity, Scottish Nationalism rejects it as ludicrous. As British Nationalism relies on religion (Land of Hope and Glory, “God Save our Blessed Union!” etc.) Scottish Nationalism rejects religious dogmatism and embraces secular thought, and occasionally outright Atheism (though there are certainly religious groups who support Scottish Independence, including a significant portion of the Church of Scotland and a Majority of Scotland's Muslims.) As British Nationalism recalls the Golden Age of the British Empire, Scotland Weeps for its role in the destruction of other nations.

Nowhere is this more noticeable than in Nationalist music.

“Both sides the Tweed”

Roch the win i the clear day's dawin
Blaws the clouds heilster-gowdie owre the bay
But thair's mair nor a roch win blawin
Thro the Great Glen o the warl the day
It's a thocht that wad gar our rottans
Aa thae rogues that gang gallus fresh an gay
Tak the road an seek ither loanins
Wi thair ill-ploys tae sport an play

Nae mair will our bonnie callants
Merch tae war whan our braggarts crousely craw
Nor wee weans frae pitheid an clachan
Murn the ships sailin doun the Broomielaw
Broken faimilies in launs we've hairriet
Will curse 'Scotlan the Brave' nae mair, nae mair
Black an white ane-til-ither mairriet
Mak the vile barracks o thair maisters bare
(Black and White to each other married, make the vile barracks of their masters bare.)

Sae come aa ye at hame wi freedom
Never heed whit the houdies croak for Doom
In yer hous aa the bairns o Aidam
Will fin breid, barley-bree an paintit room
Whan MacLean meets wi's friens in Springburn
Aa thae roses an geeans will turn tae blume
An a black laud frae yont Nyanga
Dings the fell gallows o the burghers doun.
(And a black lad from yon Nyanga, Brings the fell gallows of the Burgers down.)

“No Gods (and Precious Few Heroes)”

I was listening to the news the other day
I heard a fat politician who had the nerve to say
He was proud to be Scottish, by the way
With the glories of our past to remember
"Here's tae us, wha's like us", listen to the cry
No surrender to the truth and here's the reason why
The power and the glory's just another bloody lie
They use to keep us all in line

For there's no gods and there's precious few heroes
But there's plenty on the dole in the land o the leal
And it's time now to sweep the future clear
Of the lies of a past that we know was never real

Farewell to the heather in the glen
They cleared us off once and they'd do it all again
For they still prefer sheep to thinking men
Ah, but men who think like sheep are even better
There's nothing much to choose between the old laird and the new
They still don't give a damn for the likes of me and you
Just mind you pay your rent to the factor when it's due
And mind your bloody manners when you pay!

And tell me will we never hear the end
Of puir bluidy Charlie at Culloden yet again?
Though he ran like a rabbit down the glen
Leavin better folk than him to be butchered
Or are you sittin in your Council house, dreamin o your clan?
Waiting for the Jacobites to come and free the land?
Try going down the broo with your claymore in your hand
And count all the Princes in the queue!

So don't talk to me of Scotland the Brave
For if we don't fight soon there'll be nothing left to save
Or would you rather stand and watch them dig your grave
While you wait for the Tartan Messiah?
He'll lead us to the Promised Land with laughter in his eye
We'll all live on the oil and the whisky by and by
Free heavy beer! Pie suppers in the sky! -
Will we never have the sense to learn?

I didn't really set out to make a case for Scottish Independence here. I just wanted to explain some of the history, and reflect on my own thoughts surrounding this anniversary. As a final thought, I'll leave you with one of the best arguments for Scottish Independence that I've ever seen:

Saorsa na hAlba Anois.

[A note, I have an extensive bibliography for this diary which needs to be posted, but I need to prepare for a friends birthday party now, and have run out of time. If you're interested in further reading or a list of sources, watch this space. If this Diary does well, I'll write a series on the Scots in America, the loss of our language, and the struggle to maintain our cultural identity.]

Originally posted to Writing by Will McLeod: A Better World is Possible on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 12:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by History for Kossacks and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's Why My Wife and I are Americans. And it Shows (14+ / 0-)

    the lengths ownership will to go when it concludes that its population is neither a lucrative enough market nor a productive enough work force. Doesn't matter that they may be relatives.

    We're steadily building a concentration of wealth in the US that is already wreaking economic havoc on the people. Scotland shows that that ownership's behavior is not necessarily self limiting.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 01:08:29 PM PDT

  •  My family history places some ancestors in Lowland (9+ / 0-)

    Scotland earlier a bit earlier than the Duncan mentioned in Shakespeare's Macbeth. But by the late 1600s and early 1700s they had been dispossessed of most of their land and rights and were headed to British American colonies. Once the Lowlands were pacified the Highlander's days were numbered along with the Scottish royalty that once again fought harder among themselves than against the fookin' Brits.

    I don't dislike all conservatives... mainly just the ones that vote Republican.

    by OHdog on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 01:13:08 PM PDT

  •  Nice diary, more please (11+ / 0-)

    You've spelled it Culloden in your text and Culodden in the title. Or maybe that was deliberate and I missed the explanation?

    I have friends in southwest Scotland who refer to HM QE2 as "the English queen." And they're not entirely joking. They're all socialists and sort-of nationalists.

    Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Mnemosyne on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 01:21:25 PM PDT

  •  Very compelling diary. (11+ / 0-)

    I'm not Scottish, and not much of a history buff either, but this is really interesting.  Thank you for making the effort.

  •  An old song that resonates of the final loss (8+ / 0-)

    by the Celts, Will Ye No Come Back Again, a mournful, wishful dirge to the final defeat of Europe's native peoples.

    Cornplanter, can you swim? Peter LaFarge

    by DaNang65 on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 02:05:41 PM PDT

  •  Well written. (6+ / 0-)

    Not having Scots ancestry, I didn't learn of the Highland Clearances until I moved to England and saw a documentary on it. The English are just as separatist out in the West Country. They most often cite the West Lothian Question.
    Considering one thing and another, it would seem that Scottish independence would be the way to go.

  •  The film "Battle of Culloden" is on netflix, (10+ / 0-)

    and is on their "instant watch" queue.

    I saw it about 3 weeks ago. A 1964 "You Are There" kind of documentary, it does seem pretty even-handed, and covers the outrages following the battle, including the extermination of the Highlanders and their culture.

    I have to thank fiction, Neil Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle, and Eric Flint's 1632 series for opening my eyes to the real-world history of this time.

    I've discovered that you can't really think with a deep understanding about modern US politics without a grounding in the history of the British Isles 17th-18th Century. Every thought expressed in Republican rhetoric of this day, and our satan-possessed Christian fundamentalists' world-view go straight back to that era. Shedding more light is our own Geenius at Wrok's brilliant diary. You could drop Sarah Palin into that world, and in one day, after she had replaced Obama with the Pope, she'd be completely at home. No exaggeration.

    Thanks for this additional light on the topic.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 02:37:12 PM PDT

  •  As my mother would tell me, (10+ / 0-)

    "Bloody Prince Charlie left his people to die" on Cullodden. My husband and I visited the site a few years is an eerie barren area of tufted grasses and low hillocks (bannocks), quite unlike what I expected. But, then, again, most battlefields are not what I expect when we do visit them. I should write about "Battlefields I Have Known" but now it might take many diaries.

    My Grandparents were from Glasgow( Cowan). It was great to see Colquhoun mentioned. They were lowland Scots...worked for the Cunard lines. Great Grandpa was a member of the "Black gang" and was sunk 3 times....and survived....this is in the late 1800s. A Champion "Sword dancer" which meant he was fast on his feet...good for something, I guess.

    But the clans in my Grandmother's heritage were Rosses and Morrisons and they were probably Highlanders since her Grandparents lived in Edinburg.

    Thanks for writing about a part of my diverse heritage. I found it very interesting and judging from the stories of my Grandparents... you take on Colludden is on target.
    The Clan leaders enlisted their followers regardless of religion. It had more to do with "nationality" and independence than with religion.

    Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lizardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

    by Temmoku on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 02:45:29 PM PDT

  •  My wife has both maternal... (7+ / 0-)

    ...and paternal Scottish ancestors (Picts, too, so she claims). I have, somewhere mixed in a Scottish ancestor as well, who arrived in America some time in the post-Culloden period and wound up, as was once said, "going native."

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 03:21:39 PM PDT

    •  Impressive! (5+ / 0-)

      I'm impressed with Pictish lineage that traces back to at least the 10th century.  

      I can see many similarities between pre-Glencoe Massacre Highland culture and at least some concurrent indigenous cultures in North America.    When I was in Scotland, I remember being pleasantly surprised at a table displaying a number of books with Scottish-Native American connections.  Haven't read it yet, but  "Glencoe and the Indians" looks promising.  

      Liars begin by imposing upon others, but end deceiving themselves. ~unknown

      by Ana Thema on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 03:55:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think anyone from the SE (7+ / 0-)

      had at one time a Scottish ancestor kicking around somewhere.

      certainly anyone who's family passed through (or remained) in the colony of North Carolina in the 18th Century did.

      i've long been struck by the way that the post-Culloden policies instituted by the English to eliminate the highland clans as viable social, cultural and even governance infrastructures look a lot like what many of the english colonists did to the native populations they encountered in the Americas, including some of those exiled or indentured former highland clansmen and their families.

      they did have a keen eye for establishing hegemony, did they not?  And they seemed to understand well that to break a people's culture is to break the people, which leaves way for new empire to fill the void.

      it is interesting to note, however, that these very same former highland Scots, enemies of George II and victims of his policies, made up a high proportion of the loyalist factions -- particularly in North Carolina, during the revolutionary war.  I guess maybe that's one tiny illustration of the hegemonic power of those wiping out the cultural backbones of a people kind of policies.  

      or maybe not.  but it is one of those weird little gifts of history that has always puzzled me.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 04:11:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tapadh leat! (9+ / 0-)

    For someone whose family has been outside of Scotland since the 1740s, I'm impressed that you've taken it upon yourself to go beyond tartan tat.

    At the only Burns supper I've ever attended in the US, they actually trooped in the Union Jack and sang "God Save The Queen".  It was disconcerting, as all the Scots I know are Nationalists.  They got a good laugh out of my story, though.

    Braveheart works better as comedy than historical drama.  The Battle of Stirling Bridge without quite so much bridge in it being one case in point.

    More, please.  This hit many important points, and worked modern Scottish Nationalism in, too.

    Liars begin by imposing upon others, but end deceiving themselves. ~unknown

    by Ana Thema on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 03:22:14 PM PDT

  •  The Canadian Fur Trade Connection (9+ / 0-)

    During the 18th century, many of the Scots came to Canada where they became a part of the fur trade, particularly the North West Company. They tended to marry native women and often "went Native" themselves. They often showed a great deal of empathy for the problems faced by the First Nations against the British.

    Personal note: my maternal lineage is MacKenzie and was involved with the Nor'westers.

    •  and plenty of them showed very little empathy. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey, mayim, Ojibwa, Ana Thema

      the scottish "establishment" in winnipeg wasn't at all sympathetic to the riel rebellions.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 08:59:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most of the Scots that came (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ana Thema, figbash, mayim

        to Canada for the Hudson Bay Company came from the Orkney Islands.   Norquay, Mowat, Sinclairs and others related.

        Last stop for fresh water for ships going from England to Canada was at St. Margaret's Hope, and a large number of the clerks and workers for Hudson Bay were picked up there.

        Some of the Scots returned to the Orkney's with their earnings from Hudson Bay, leaving their Indian families in Canada.  

        Very interesting connection there.  

  •  Following my genealogy its seems that the Scots (8+ / 0-)

    that married Native Americans (often listed in their Family Bibles) had children that married other half and quarter blends. Whether due to prejudice, relative isolation, or mutual attraction I don't know.

    I don't dislike all conservatives... mainly just the ones that vote Republican.

    by OHdog on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 04:30:18 PM PDT

    •  I had a cousin (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mayim, OHdog, figbash

      who was part Native American and part Scot. He was proud of both parts of his ancestry. A really brilliant guy, he had thought a lot about this issue and did a lot of research.  He observed that the Scots came from a tribal (clan) culture with a strong Chieftain that led them.  He also observed (with tongue in cheek) that both the Scots and NA peoples really liked two things: making war and making love. Whichever came first was fine with them.  So he felt they had far more in common than a detail like skin color.  Hence, the intermarriage.

      My cousin died at the young age of 44 of complications from cancer of the throat. I miss him.

  •  As a child I wept over Culloden (7+ / 0-)

    It was always a graphic and tragic story for my family. The summer I was 10 we went to the battlefield to mourn in person. The memory didn't turn into hatred for anybody, it was not a rallying call for action, but there was just a profound sadness that went through the generations about the catastrophic demise of dreams and hopes and naive idealism.

    These ancient battles run deep, I think.

    Thank you for this diary.

  •  Great diary! (7+ / 0-)

    When my husband, daughter and I visited Scotland in August '09, we tried to take in as much of the history as we could. We're all history geeks. Taking the train allowed us to see a lot more than we could have done if we'd tried to drive. We kept a look out for memorials, signs, markers, etc.

    We were absolutely enchanted by Scotland. We spent 3 days in Edinburgh and that was just enough to dip our toes in the historical waters, so to speak. Next time I want to spend 3 weeks in Scotland!

    How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit.

    by Purple Priestess on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 06:57:36 PM PDT

  •  great diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mnemosyne, mayim, OllieGarkey

    these people: the Puritans, Cavaliers, Quakers and Borderlanders populated and set the culture of the US.

    I highly rec this book- Albion's Seed

  •  Interesting but extremely selective (0+ / 0-)

    account. Are you resident in the UK?

    There are plenty of Scottish English Irish and Welsh thugs.  I could tell you stories of all of them. You seem to idolize the Celtic nationailists while seeing no good in the English.

    Believe me it is not that simple.

    Some awful acts have been committed against the innocent by all of those you perceive as heroes just as they have by those you think of as the villains.

    This isn't some neat little Hollywood movie plot is real life and it is extremely messy with good and bad on both sides and often in the same individuals.

    The English have done much wrong but the other players are far from innocent, this over simplistic interpretation of events needs to stop.

    •  That wasn't my intent. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ana Thema, figbash, mayim

      Let me quote from my diary:

      [I intentionally did not use the word Anglicize, because the people of England opposed the British Union as much as the Scots did. The loss of self determination was not something done by England to Scotland, it was something done by perfidious Englishmen, Welshmen, Irishmen and Scotsmen to England, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, and Wales in the service of a German King. It was a crime comitted by Unionists upon five unique Cultures, at cost to all of them a large part of their cultural distinctiveness.]

      I tried to describe the fight for independence as a fight between Scots.

      In my intro I tried to explain that there were Englishmen out for Charles at Culloden, and there were.

      Certainly, the needs of England will always come first because they have almost all of the votes. That's how the system is designed.

      I've never spoken with an English person who wants to oppress the Scots.

      It is not England that is the problem, it is the frankly illegitimate government of the united kingdom, and the act of union which was accomplished through deceit and bribery against the wishes of the Scottish people.

      But it was not Englishmen who accepted the bribes. It was not Englishmen that refused to heed their own people. It was not Englishmen who marched into the highlands after Culloden, and it is not Englishmen who vote for parties in Scotland opposed to independence.

      As in 1745, the struggle for an independent Scotland is not a conflict between Scotland and England. It is a conflict between Self Determinist Scotland, and Unionist Scotland.

      I tried to make that last point clear.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

      by OllieGarkey on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 10:12:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Episcopalians"? Huh? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Since when were there "Episcopalians" in Scotland? Unless they moved there from the US?

    The description of the religious history really threw me. Even "Presbyterian" is a North Americanized stretch, except that it does more or less mean Church of Scotland. But claiming that many Scots were "Episcopalians" -- or "Anglicans," or even C of E -- is simply wrong.

    It's true that the Highlanders were no longer all Catholics by the time of Culloden, and that was not the deciding factor in their loyalty to BPCharlie. Many still were, though, and it's interesting that some of the areas that survived the subsequent harrying of the Highlands and the C19 Clearances were and remain Catholic -- see Lochaber, eg, and a number of the islands -- Barra, eg.

    It is not true that the Hanoverians were "German." Every single British monarch since James I has been a direct descendant of Mary Stuart -- unless you're a sexist and don't allow line of descent through James's daughter.

    •  if the hanoverians weren't german, then (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ana Thema, figbash

      nobody was german. george the first didn't even speak english.

      by your odd argument, kaiser fucking wilhelm wasn't german.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 08:57:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Where are you getting your information? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe, mayim, Ana Thema, figbash

      The Scottish Episcopal Church was where the Catholics went in the 1600's. Read the wiki.

      "The Scottish Episcopal Church began as a distinct church in 1582, when the Church of Scotland rejected episcopal government (by bishops) and adopted a presbyterian government by elders as well as reformed theology. Scottish monarchs made repeated efforts to introduce bishops and two ecclesiastical traditions competed."

      When I've got time to finish the bibliography, I'll cite the sources.

      Where are you getting your information?

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

      by OllieGarkey on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 09:11:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another point: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ana Thema, Otteray Scribe, figbash

      William of Orange was not a descendant of Mary Stuart, He was the spouse of Mary Stuart.

      Cumberland was the son of George the Second, and Caroline of Ansbach. His Great Grandmother was Mary Stewart.

      The Hanoverians very much preferred to stay as Germanic in culture and marriage as possible.

      My Great Grandmother was Cherokee. That doesn't mean I get to go live on the reservation, collect college scholarships, and refer to myself as a full-blooded Cherokee.

      Now, if I learned to speak the Cherokee language and devoted myself to understanding their culture and working for their community, I could very easily gain acceptance as a member of the Cherokee tribe.

      But it's something one has to work for.

      Tell me, do you think the Hanoverians spoke Gaidhlig?

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

      by OllieGarkey on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 10:36:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for making the point about culture. (4+ / 0-)
        My Great Grandmother was Cherokee. That doesn't mean I get to go live on the reservation, collect college scholarships, and refer to myself as a full-blooded Cherokee.

        Now, if I learned to speak the Cherokee language and devoted myself to understanding their culture and working for their community, I could very easily gain acceptance as a member of the Cherokee tribe.

        But it's something one has to work for.

        Many indigenous cultures don't see "blood" as defining membership.  Blood quantum was an alien concept forced on various peoples.

        I just learned that on

        January 14th, 2011, tribal district court judge John Cripps ruled that the 2007 Cherokee constitutional amendment was invalid because it conflicted with the 1866 treaty guaranteeing the Freedmen's rights.
         This is a move in a good direction.  Justice for the Cherokee Freedmen is long overdue.

        One Scottish family history I've read spoke of someone being adopted into the clan.  No one ever thought of them as being "adopted" after that, they were considered a full family member.  I don't think blood quantum was important to Highlanders, either.

        Liars begin by imposing upon others, but end deceiving themselves. ~unknown

        by Ana Thema on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 11:23:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  re: William of Orange (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Just a minor quibble but William (of William and Mary fame) was Dutch in origin. The German Electors of Hanover only took over the English throne after the death of William.

        Great post otherwise (second post of yours I've read this week)! Regarding Scottish independence though, as a descendant both of those who fled to America after the '45 and those who left in the early 1800s after two centuries of forced exile in northern Ireland (thanks to the execrable James VI Stuart), my heart is certainly with those wanting independence. But how feasible would that really be in the modern world? Assuming Westminster allowed it, a nation of "barely 5 million" would still be overshadowed by the economic might of its southern neighbor. In material terms, I don't see how Scotland would be better off as an independent nation.

        The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have little. -FDR

        by unrepentantnewdealer on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 01:09:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A number of factors would leave scotland better (0+ / 0-)

          off independent.

          I'll write another diary about the case for Scottish independence, but just to make a quick list.

          1. Oil wealth would give an immediate boost to tax revenues allowing massive construction of
          2. Green energy. Additional boosts to the Scottish Economy would occur because
          3. Scotland produces more food than it needs. It's a net exporter of a number of goods. One of the biggest economic problems in Scotland stems from
          4. Underrepresentation in the European Union. As a "region" of the UK, Scotland has six MEPs, and relies on the Council of Europe member appointed largely by English votes. As a result things like
          5. Scottish fisheries aren't protected in European negotiations, and wont be until Scotland has representation in the EU. Currently, waters that have been fished by Scottish people for more than a Millennium are reserved for Spanish shipping, because in the Fisheries negotiations, England acted to protect English fisheries, but sold Scottish Waters to Spain in return for, well nothing. It was an act of incompetence, not of malice, and such failures will continue as long as Scotland relies on the UK to represent it in Europe. And there's the added fact that
          5. Scotland pays more in taxes and receives less government money back than any other region of the UK.

          An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

          by OllieGarkey on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 09:23:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Culloden was a horror (6+ / 0-)

    My family was part of the clearances and came to America in the early 1800's.

    To this day Scotland is so beautiful but desolate. I was there this past summer and I really felt for the people there.

    OTOH as much as I criticize the British, I loved London and spent almost 3 weeks there.

    Even my kids loved both countries. My son felt it the most, Scotland really blew him away. Tragic.

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 08:10:59 PM PDT

  •  I wrote a diary about the Ghosts of Culloden. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ana Thema, Kimball Cross, figbash

    Link to my diary is here.

    It was an example of the rawest courage in the history of warfare.  Farmers and ordinary men facing the best army in the world at the time.  Swords and muskets against artillery and the latest in modern military weaponry.  

    An example also of the rawest depravity on the part of a victor.  

    I had family on both sides of  that battle.  I have a bitter taste in my mouth when I think of the horrific aftermath.

    Isla Grant has a wonderful song about the Ghosts of Culloden.

  •  I visited Culloden in 2002 (5+ / 0-)

    and wandered around looking at the markers.  It was an unexpectedly moving experience.   My Scots heritage comes through the McKenzies, but I have not yet figured out when mine came to America.

    Really nice diary.  I hope you write more.

  •  Edzell (5+ / 0-)

    I was stationed in Scotland for two years - my oldest child was born at Ninewells Hospital (Dundee). I loved being there and would love to go back to live if it was feasible. And if you can't guess from my sign in name where my heart is - I won't bother to explain.

    Republicans only care about holding on to everything they got... they don't give a damn abut the little guy - Susan Isaacs

    by PurpleThistles on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 09:42:54 PM PDT

  •  The absurd meme (5+ / 0-)

    that English colonization was less brutal than that of other nations is bizarre.  The English slaughtered and brutalized anyone who stood up to them in their colonies, just like everyone else.

    Colonization is colonization.

    My original UID is in the 3000s, but this one is more pseudonymous. Thanks for understanding.

    by Punditus Maximus on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 09:54:24 PM PDT

  •  An Indian student once said (5+ / 0-)

    "The Sun never set on the British Empire because God was afraid of what they might do in the dark."

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

    by OllieGarkey on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 10:38:08 PM PDT

  •  A great series of books (5+ / 0-)

    that explore the period is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  The second in the series, Dragonfly in Amber, is about an attempt to sabotage Prince Charlie and stop the rebellion (since there is a time-traveler involved who knows what is going to happen).  Throughout the series there is an outline of what happened before and after Culloden, about the emigrants to America, the religious and cultural conflicts, etc.  The whole series is a great read, and I have come to have a very solid grasp of that period in Scottish history. As well as a lot of other historical information.  I highly recommend it.

    The party of No is well on their way to becoming the party of nobody. Alan Grayson

    by Leftleaner on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 12:56:55 AM PDT

  •  The SNP has formed the govt of Scotland only (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Otteray Scribe

    because it was the largest minority party. It's a minority government. This is the reason why Scotland hasn't had a referendum on independence. The other parties in the Scottish parliament, who don't agree with each other on anything else and can't form a government of their own, are all opposed to independence.

    The catastrophic decline of the Scottish branch of the LPD (Lib-Dems) may strengthen the other Unionist parties more than the SNP, I suspect. In any case, the key to Scottish politics is Glasgow, a metro area that contains 40 per cent of the Scottish population, much of it of Irish descent and Catholic. It remains a Labour stronghold.

    Getting from 37 per cent of the vote to 51 per cent is going to be tough for the SNP. We'll see what the future holds.

    For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to

    by Kimball Cross on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 05:03:12 AM PDT

  •  A revealing statisitic: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    500 hundred years ago about 50% of the population of the British Islands resided in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

    Today that figure is about 20%.

    You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    by Sam I Am on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 06:08:46 AM PDT

  •  Great diary for a Sunday morning read. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayim, OllieGarkey

    Far superior to listening to the Babble of the Bobbleheads on TV.

    My most recent Scots ancestors, my Hamilton great-grandparents didn't immigrate to the US until 1884 and I find that interesting.  They came from a tiny and remote village near Dumfries.  Would love to know how they held out for so long.

    I have family that came from County Cavan in Ireland.  They were first O'Reilly, then O'Riley and finally just plain Riley.  The first of them to immigrate was Miles Maolmordha Riley, born in County Cavan and died in Rappahannock VA in 1669.

    My earliest English ancestor (that I've traced so far) came from Wiltshire EN to VA and then to MD in 1622.  He came, I know, because as youngest son his inheritance to his father's quite prosperous estates would have been, basically, zilch.

    Outside of the Hamiltons, my ancestry all came very early to Virginia or Maryland, then to North Carolina, then to Tennessee and eventually to Illinois in the early to mid 19th century, farmers all, as far as I know.

    I wonder how many Americans today could tell close to the same story of countries of origin, at least.  Not an insubstantial number, I reckon.

    Finally -- please, pretty please, write more like this.  I have tipped and recc'd and hotlisted and I'm now following you just so I won't miss anything else you put together on such fascinating history.

    Oh sure. Whenever I face a budget crisis the first thing I do is ask my employer to cut my salary.

    by figbash on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 06:41:45 AM PDT

  •  King George's War/Austrian Succession (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What happened in Scotland was affected by an international war as well.  England was at war with both France and Spain.  An "order of battle" for the English forces at Culloden, and elsewhere in Scotland, includes many of the forces that would later serve in North America during the French and Indian War and the Revolution.  Some of the forces had recently been recalled from Flanders where they'd been fighting the French.

    Where those forces were NOT was North America, where the colonists were fighting the French with some success despite little English support.  In fact, a colonial army captured the French fortress of Louisbourg.  A large number of colonial soldiers died at Louisbourg while waiting through a winter for English troops to arrive.  This, plus the fact that the English wouldn't allow the colonists to confiscate the French wealth nor collect a share of the ransoms for French ships, inspired Sam Adams to become an agitator against the English government.

    In public education, the depth of the ravine between management and labor is rivaled only by its width.

    by algebrateacher on Sun Apr 17, 2011 at 04:45:22 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for that. (0+ / 0-)

      I was straying away from the international context here, because of how big that context can be, but that's an important part of the War of Austrian Succession.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

      by OllieGarkey on Tue Apr 19, 2011 at 09:10:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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