Angela McCarthy
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National characteristics
in Scottishness and Irishness in New Zealand since 1840
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This chapter examines the range of national traits associated with the Irish and the Scots who settled in New Zealand. National characteristics are assigned to the Irish and the Scots, often emanating from visitors to Ireland and Scotland. The national characteristic of frugality served as a way to connect all Scots, regardless of origin, gender, and class, and seemingly suggested a Scottish ability to succeed financially. If clannishness was at times more likely to be associated with Highland origins, thriftiness, the most frequently cited national characteristic of the Scots, was linked to the entire Scottish national group. Superstition was a charge associated with the Irish but was restricted to an Irish Catholic national character. Comments from those outside the Scottish ethnic group convey recognition of a strong networking element to Scottish migration and settlement throughout New Zealand. The Irish ethnic press also engaged in good-natured banter about Scottish fiscal prudency.

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