ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

History of Scotland: End of the Clan System

Updated on January 9, 2012

Emigration from the Highlands

The end of the clan system in the Highlands and the changing use of land-not to support the largest possible number of able-bodied men but to provide the maximum return in cash-led to emigration of many Highlanders, mostly to other parts of Britain but also overseas and particularly to North America. Estates formerly capable of supporting the clansmen were often transformed into sheep runs or vast stretches of deer forest. Those who refused to leave their old homes often were forcibly evicted. The land clearances and lack of employment embittered the Highlanders and contributed to Scottish radicalism in the 19th century.

Political Reforms

In the Lowlands the revolutionary radicals of the 1790's gave way to sober whigs, who in 1802 founded the Edinburgh Review, long the standard-bearer not only of Scottish but of British Whiggism. Facing an uphill struggle to secure reform, they were not helped by radical demands for annual parliaments and universal suffrage, which were accentuated by the spread of the Industrial Revolution and the misery of the surviving handloom weavers.

The first important Whig victory was the Scottish Parliamentary reform act of 1832, which gave votes to shopkeepers, artisans, and farmers and added eight seats to Scotland's representation in the British Parliament. Scotland now could be depended on to return a large Whig or Liberal majority. Municipal reform followed in 1833. The self-electing corporations were replaced by councils elected by the householders, who were further authorized to elect commissioners of police and to levy rates on the inhabitants of the burghs for purposes of local government.

The second reform act (1867-1868) gave votes to many members of the working classes, and the third (1884-1885) granted manhood suffrage. Because seats were allocated on a strict population basis, Scotland received 72 seats out of 670. This was subsequently increased to 74, then reduced to 71 by the abolition of the university franchise in 1948. Dissatisfaction with government extended from the state to the church, where lay patronage led to the disruption of 1843, which split the national church for nearly a century.

Practical grievances and feelings of inferiority led to the development of Scottish nationalism, which is widely supported but divided against itself. The movement characteristically draws most of its strength from the industrial west. The excessive development of heavy industries in this area, with only partial success at diversification, still remains the main Scottish economic problem.

Economic difficulties continued to spur emigration in the 20th century despite a growing counter-trend of immigration mainly from England and Ireland. Financially Scotland became sounder, but this had insufficient effect on the standard of living of the ordinary Scot. The creation and development of the cabinet office of the secretary of state for Scotland and the reorganization and extension of government social services for Scotland were aimed at improving conditions for all the Scots and bringing the highlanders and islanders into the mainstream of British life.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)