The migrant tradition
in Clanship to crofters’ war
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The temporary or seasonal movement of Highlanders for work outside the region was of central importance in the later eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The most striking feature of temporary migration in the nineteenth century was its further dynamic growth and development. The long-term expansion of migration was a result of the chronic problems of the Highland economy after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Temporary mobility have slowed down the rate of permanent migration by making up part of the deficit in regional income which was emerging from the collapse of the indigenous crofting economy in the first few decades of the nineteenth century. By the end of the nineteenth century, the entire economic and social system in many areas in the north west and throughout the Hebrides had come to depend on the migrant labour economy.

Clanship to crofters’ war

The social transformation of the Scottish Highlands

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