Storm clouds always gather over the story of the Highland Clearances. The eviction of the Highlanders from the glens and straths of the Highlands and Islands of the north of Scotland still causes great historical dispute more than a century after the events. The Highland Clearances also generated a great deal of contemporary controversy and documentation. The record comes in diverse forms and with radically different provenances, offering excellent material for exercises in historical analysis and selection. Debating the Highland Clearances introduces the Highland Clearances as a classic historical problem. Eric Richards reviews the historical debate and examines the methods and sources employed by the combatants past and present. The debates among historians, novelists, politicians and economists are no less passionate today and raise major questions about interpretation and the appropriate frame of reference for the noisy and continuing public debate about the Highland Clearances. This book presents a representative anthology of documents illustrating the historical foundations on which the debate is built.
The debate is set in context and the author explains why it is not only important for Scottish patriots but for history in general. Key Features: * Organised into two parts; the first considers debates surrounding the Clearances, the second examines a selection of the sources which inform these debates * Presents and analyses an anthology of source material compiled to introduce the debates surrounding the Highland Clearances to audiences learning about historical analysis * Asks why passionate debate about the Clearances has been sustained and provides a modern introduction to its main issues
Eric Richards is Professor of History at Flinders University and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. His books include The Highland Clearances: People, Landlords and Rural Turmoil (Edinburgh University Press 2000); Patrick Sellar and the Highland Clearances, (Edinburgh University Press, 1999) (Scottish History Book of the Year); The Last Scottish Food Riots (Oxford University Press, 1982); and The Leviathan of Wealth. The Sutherland fortune in the Industrial Revolution (University of Toronto Press, 1973).
Table of Contents; Preface; How to use this book; Part One: Debates; Chapter One: Debating the Highland Clearances; I Leaving the Highlands; II Definitions; III The Original Controversy; IV Contemporary Reactions; V The Modern Debate; VI Responsibility; Chapter Two: Before the Clearances; I The Benchmark Problem; II Conditions of Life; III Security and Food Supplies; IV Population before the Clearances; V Change before the Clearances; VI Emigration Before the Clearances; VII Mobility and Capital Flows.; Chapter Three: The Age of the Clearances; I Harris, Arichonan and the Uses of Eviction; II The New Sheep; III The Timetable of Clearance; IVYears of Pessimism; V Landlord Power, Landlord Weakness; VI Perceptions, Contemporary and Retrospective; Chapter Four: Protest and Resistance During the Clearances; I The Passive Highlanders; II The Common Pattern; III Three Exceptions; IV A disgruntled and pious people; V Resistance in Perspective; Chapter Five: The Blame Game; I Reputations and Decline; II Indictments and Good Intentions; III Responsibility for Famine and Decline; IV The Dislocated Society;; Part Two: Documents;; Chronology; Glossary; Guide to further Reading; Works Cited; Essay questions and projects; Brief Guide to places, museums, libraries, galleries, websites.; Maps; Illustrations; Statistical tables; Index.