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Appears in Collections:History and Politics eTheses
Title: The Civic Government of the Scottish Highlands during the Restoration, 1660-88
Authors: Kennedy, Allan D.
Supervisor(s): Mann, Alastair J.
Keywords: Scotland
Issue Date: Oct-2011
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Recent developments in Scottish historiography have done much to resurrect the Restoration from the obscurity in which it had conventionally languished. Lacunae remain, however, and one of these surrounds the Highlands, which has often had to make do with broad generalisation. The present thesis aims to address this deficiency through exploration of two general themes. Firstly, it considers the place of the Highlands within the broader Scottish and British contexts. Focusing on the linkages between central government and the local elite, and on the extent to which the Highlands were socially and culturally distinct, it argues that historians’ continuing treatment of the Highlands as a self-contained entity is misguided. Instead, it is suggested that the region should be viewed as simply another locality within Britain, a locality which, while displaying a unique hybridised identity, was nevertheless heavily integrated with the rest of the country. Secondly, the thesis traces the development of government policy towards the Highland periphery. Recognising that policy was usually aimed at curbing the perceived problem of endemic animal theft, it uncovers opposing intellectual underpinnings – ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ – to the government’s approach. It then considers in detail the various policy initiatives launched over the period, arguing that most of these were shaped by the interplay of the underlying strategic impulses. It also acknowledges the influence of wider developments in British politics. Ultimately, the thesis seeks to recast the prevailing understanding of the Highlands. Moving away from well-worn stereotypes of endemic lawlessness and violence, it also questions the notion of a fundamental cleavage between central and local elites. Instead, it argues that, during the reigns of Charles II and James VII, the prevailing pattern was one of partnership and mutual reinforcement.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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