The language of the Gael
in Clanship to crofters’ war
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The decline in Scotland was paralleled to some extent in nineteenth century Ireland and Wales, but the collapse in Gaelic-speaking in northern Scotland was much greater and more rapid than in either Wales or Ireland. It is sometimes argued that the victory of English speech and literacy was a result of modern educational policy. The fundamental Act of 1872 ignored Gaelic entirely in its plan for a national system of compulsory education and even in the more sympathetic legislation of 1918 there was still no requirement to teach the language. The schools system in the Highlands therefore used English as the medium of instruction and state education became a means of anglicisation. From the early seventeenth century state policy in the Highlands until after the last Jacobite rebellion was directed to the repression and eradication of 'the Irische language'.

Clanship to crofters’ war

The social transformation of the Scottish Highlands


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