The Highland And Island Scots History Essay

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The Highland and Island Scots are posterities of Irish colonists who colonized western Scotland in the early Middle Ages and they are a distinguishable people from the Lowland Scots. Among the markers of Highland Scottish ethnicity are the linguistic communication, Scottish Gaelic, and sociocultural traditions associated with the kin system. The community of those who can talk Scots Gaelic is in diminution.
Of the 5 million dwellers of Scotland less than 5 per cent are Highlanders. Merely a minority of Highland Scots still speak the linguistic communication of their ascendants, Scottish Gaelic, and the figure of talkers has fallen below 60,000. In 1991, there were still 66,000 talkers. The lone ample community of Highland Scots outside Scotland who have maintained their female parent lingua are the posterities of emigres in Nova Scotia ( Canada ) who figure between 1,500 and 2,000 people. The linguistic communication has experienced a drastic diminution during the 20th century. In the decennaries between 1881 and 1981, the figure of talkers fell from 231,000 to 82,600. The nose count of 1971 still lists 477 aged Island Scots who merely spoke Scots Gaelic. Today, all Highland Scots speak English, either as first or 2nd linguistic communication. About half of the Scots inhabit the islands of the Outer and Inner Hebrides, and the Isle of Skye. On one of the western islands, the Isle of Lewis, the per centum of those who speak Scots Gaelic is exceptionally high ( i.e. over 70 per cent ) . On the mainland Scots settee in the coastal countries of the West and Northwest and in some enclaves in the Highlands. The zone where Scottish Gaelic is still spoken are the Gaidhealtachd countries. Some talkers of Gaelic live in urban communities and small towns of southern Scotland.
Scots Gaelic is most closely affiliated with Irish. These linguistic communications ( and Manx ) form the Goidelic group of Insular Celtic. The Celtic assortment in Scotland entered a procedure of divergence from the Irish as spoken in Ireland in the class of the 13th century. The written linguistic communication, though, remained the same in Scotland and Ireland into the 17th century. The cultural heritage of the Highlanders is rich in laies and bardic poesy that was transmitted orally from one coevals to the following. In the 1870s, militants of the Celtic Revival motion started to compose down the plant of this unwritten tradition.
The beginnings of Scots Gaelic colonies in Scotland go back to the times when Irish migrators, get downing in the late 5th century c.e. , crossed the short distance of the Irish Sea by which the northeasterly tip of Ireland is separated from the western seashore of Scotland and established settlements at that place. These migrators are known as the Dalriadic Scotti and they kept close contacts with their families in Ireland for a long clip. The business of cultivable land was accompanied by a missional run to distribute Christianity in Scotland. The integrative figure of the missional work was the legendary Columba ( d. 597 ) who is revered as the Apostle of Scotland ” . He founded the monastery of Iona in 563, the oldest centre for the spread of Christian lifeways and Gaelic traditions. The Gaels from Ireland brought their imposts and linguistic communication to Scotland where the colonizing colonists and their posterities shortly controlled the greater portion of the part. Gaelic placenames are an index for the early stage of colonisation which started out in Argyll. Among the typical elements of such names is Gaelic sliabh A?hillA? . Place-names with this constituent are found particularly in western Scotland. There are merely a few rocks with letterings in ogham, the autochthonal Gaelic authorship system, which is an indicant that this Celtic book had already lost its popularity as a agency to compose on rock in the 6th century.
In 843, the Scots joined forces with the Picts, a pre-Roman people of Scotland, to establish the land of Alba. While the posterities of the early Irish colonists inhabited most of the Highland country and the western islands the Lowlands of Scotland were bit by bit occupied by colonists from the southern parts of Britain ( — – & gt ; Lowland Scots ) . An fanciful boundary line line ( from the Firth of Clyde in the Southwest through the vales of the Tay and Spey to the Moray Firth in the Northeast ) emerged by which the Gaelic Highland civilization was separated from the English-oriented Lowland civilization. This Highland Line ” or Gaelic Boundary line ” marked the division of civilization, linguistic communication and imposts until the center of the 20th century. During the Middle Ages and the early New Era, the Highland and Lowland Scots shared common political involvements in their rejection of English domination. The organisation of a common opposition against political force per unit area from the South was hampered by the fact that the Scots Reformation was successful merely in the Lowlands while the Highland Scots retained their Catholic religion.
While the Lowland Scots, in the early 18th century, adopted an attitude in favour of a brotherhood with England the Highlanders resented the gradual withdrawal of Scotland from its former political sovereignty. The Highland Scots prepared for war and, in 1745, a Highlander ground forces struck deep into the South of England. The British, though, finally gained triumph and the traditional Highland communities were unrelentingly dissolved. The A?Highland ClearancesA? represented the attempted devastation of a whole people by an English and Lowland constitution intelligibly fearful of a civilization of defiance in a society organized for war ” ( Fernandez-Armesto 1994: 43 ) . With the expropriation and ejection of the Highland landowners the once stable economic substructure crumbled, ensuing in the poverty of the Highland dwellers. Get downing in the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century, there was a steady flow of emigres who left Scotland in hunt of a better luck overseas, and most of them set out for North America. With the rise of industrialisation in the 19th century many of those who stayed in Scotland left the Highlands to happen work in the towns of the Lowlands. This motion added to the tendency of disintegration of the traditional Highland communities. In the late 18th century the population of Scotland was still every bit divided between the Highlands and the Lowlands. By the early 20th century the per centum of the Highland population had dropped to less than 10 per cent.
Scots Gaelic is acknowledged as a facultative functionary linguistic communication – aboard English – although it is confined to the communities of the Western Isles. In primary instruction, Gaelic is used as a medium of direction ( in bilingual schools ) . On the degree of secondary instruction Gaelic is taught as topic of survey. The figure of television plans utilizing Gaelic has been increasing since the 1990s. The same is true for wireless broadcast medium. Some local newspapers publish Gaelic points. Book production is fringy and most of the rubrics are for educational usage. All in all, civilization and linguistic communication of the Highland Scots are in a procedure of passage, presuming nostalgic value and lose their significance as practical characteristics of Scots individuality.
Harald Haarmann
Further Reading
Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe ( ed. ) . The Times Guide to the Peoples of Europe. London: Timess Books, 1994 ( Highland and Island Scots: pp. 42-45 ) .
Foster, Sally M. Picts, Gaels and Scots. London: B T Batsford, 2004.
Laing, Lloyd and Jenny. The Picts and the Scots. Phoenix Mill, Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 1994.
Nicol, George S. Clans Map of Scotland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew, 1984.
Robertson, Boyd. Gaelic in Scotland. ” In The Other Languages of Europe, eds. Guus Extra and Durk Gorter, 83-101. Clevedon, Buffalo, Toronto and Sydney: Multilingual Matters, 2001.
Thomson, Derick S. ( ed. ) . The Companion to Gaelic Scotland. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983.

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