Remote departures
The Scottish Highlands
in The genesis of international mass migration
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The Scottish Highlands and Islands were furthest from London, remote from the trade routes and commerce of the nation, the last region to experience a battle of great military forces. The Highlands present a clear-cut case of emigration as extrusion, of a poor population propelled outwards by force majeure. The Highland story was punctuated by recurring and dramatic episodes of exodus by emigration, but most of the intermittent and sporadic outflow was within Scotland. Even in wartime, emigration from the Highlands continued, usually associated with landlord policies to rationalise their estates, as in the early Clearances in Sutherland in 1806-1807. Famine was a conclusive symptom of land hunger and low productivity, vulnerability and a misshapen community, in the 1840s emigration accelerated, urged on by landlord assistance, pressure and coercion, and the availability of philanthropic, landlord and colonial assisted passages.

The genesis of international mass migration

The British case, 1750–1900


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