Date of Award

Winter 3-19-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of arts (BA)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Julie Nicoletta


This paper focuses on the aftermath in the Highlands of the Battle of Culloden in 1746, when Scottish Jacobite rebels were defeated by the army of the Duke of Cumberland. It mainly addresses how British reformatory measures deteriorated the relationship between clan chiefs and their clansmen, to that of landlord and tenant. I argue that the acts meant to modernize and reform the Highlands laid the groundwork for the damage, but the final blow was carried out by the clan chiefs themselves. Clan chiefs and other leaders in Highland society saw an opportunity to profit from the clan lands they were entrusted with and abandoned their role as paternalistic caretakers for their clansmen so they could act as commercial landlords. This social upheaval forced many to abandon the Highlands in search for more opportunity in the Lowlands of Scotland or in the British overseas colonies. My research comes from both secondary sources accessed through online archives, and published primary sources also found in online archives. I used the British Periodicals Archive, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, and the National Library of Scotland to locate sources. From these archives I obtained newspaper and magazine articles, letters, a trial report, and books published by authors in Great Britain during the eighteenth century. This research is significant because it may shed some light on why Scotland has been seeking independence from the United Kingdom for the last fifty years, and why the issue has been exacerbated by Brexit.