the Highlands and Islands
the years following the Jacobite Rebellion lead to considerable social
unrest, made worse by a sharp rise in the population putting pressure
on the use of the land. This brought about schemes to resettle abroad
in North America, or in Australia, but in some cases, especially in Sutherland,
emigration came after the people had been forcefully evicted from their
homes and had seen their roof-timbers burned down.
This displacement of people to allow the introduction of large numbers
of sheep, is a painful but important part of our heritage which deeply
affects Scottish life today. The clusters of deserted crofts which litter
the Highlands and Islands are an eloquent reminder of treatment of whole
townships deprived of their land. The 'wilderness' that is the Highlands
today is a direct man -made result of these events and the impact can
be seen too, in the Scottish cultural influences throughout the world.
in song, and in the accounts of the dispossessed the lessons of
the Clearances still relate to Scotland today:
"In but too many instances the Highlands have been drained,
not of their superfluity of population, but of the whole mass of
inhabitants, dispossessed by an unrelenting avarice which will be
one day found to be shortsighted as it is unjust and selfish".