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Title: Is Leis an Tighearna an Talamh agus a Làn (The Earth and all that it contains belongs to God) : the Scottish Gaelic settlement history of Prince Edward Island
Author: Scott, K. M.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1995
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Abstract:
This thesis is about the movement of Scottish Gaels from the Highlands of Scotland to Prince Edward Island during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It demonstrates that for many Scottish Gaels emigration represented a well-informed and considered response to the imposition of unacceptable forms of social control in the Gàidhealtachd. Studies of this subject have usually ignored or discounted the Gaelic perspective and therefore have underestimated the impact of the long and bitter social, political and cultural conflict which was occurring between the Gàidhealtachd and the non-Gaelic centres of power in Britain. This thesis demonstrates that the Gaelic reaction to the economic restructuring of the Highlands during this period was not simply a negative, conservative agrarian protest against "progress"; it was, more importantly, an energetic response to a definition of progress which entailed the extermination of Gaelic culture. This thesis reveals that Gaels actively chose to emigrate rather than face economic and cultural marginalization and that for the first six decades of that movement to Prince Edward Island (c. 1770-c.1830) many landlords, supported by the state, made vigorous efforts to force them to remain in Britain. It also shows that these early emigrants were generally neither destitute nor helpless and that their initial choice of settlement sites was based on a considerable knowledge of the New World and an eagerness to leave Scotland. After initial settlement, emigration and settlement history reveals, to an extraordinary degree, a familial and community based form of chain migration. That history also reflects the continued fragmentation and decline of Gaelic society and illustrates the need for precision regarding time and place when examining migration and cultural transfer.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.661676  DOI: Not available
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