The social impact of protestant evangelicalism
in Clanship to crofters’ war
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In many parts of the early eighteenth century Highlands the established presbyterian church of Scotland had limited impact. In the nineteenth century the religious tradition which was to have the most fundamental impact on the society and culture of Gaeldom was protestant evangelicalism. The Highlands had to be brought within the domain of the established church, because Catholicism and episcopalianism were the twin ideological sources of Jacobitism. The irreligion of the Highlander in some districts and the weakness of presbyterianism in many others had to be tackled not only for religious reasons but in order to achieve vital political ends. From the early eighteenth century, the conversion of the Highlanders became a joint mission of both church and state, a partnership designed to civilise the inhabitants of the region by destroying clanship, eradicating popery and inculcating loyalty to the Hanoverian crown.

Clanship to crofters’ war

The social transformation of the Scottish Highlands

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