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Ireland, Radicalism, and the Scottish Highlands, c.1870-1912$
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Andrew Newby

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748623754

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623754.001.0001

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‘The Highlands have Reaped what Michael Davitt has Sown’: Legislation and Agitation to the Great War

‘The Highlands have Reaped what Michael Davitt has Sown’: Legislation and Agitation to the Great War

Chapter:
(p.170) Chapter Eight ‘The Highlands have Reaped what Michael Davitt has Sown’: Legislation and Agitation to the Great War
Source:
Ireland, Radicalism, and the Scottish Highlands, c.1870-1912
Author(s):

Andrew G. Newby

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623754.003.0016

The suspension of the ‘laws of God’ seen in the legislation of 1881 and 1886 caused problems for those who had hoped that Highlanders would embrace the root and branch abolition of landlords. Attempts to bring crofters and Irish smallholders to support any form of land nationalisation were undermined by the tenants' own reluctance, and — possibly more importantly — by the continuing efforts of successive governments to treat Irish and Highland rural land questions as separate from the rest of the country. Ironically, perhaps, it was the Conservatives who, in the first decade of the twentieth century, dabbled in land nationalisation in the crofting districts. As a result, the agitation which aimed at securing the taxation of land values took on a much more urban aspect. The ‘land question’, even if it might have been perceived as such by those who associated it with rural poverty, was no longer simply an issue for the Celtic periphery, but for the whole country.

Keywords:   Highlanders, crofters, Irish smallholders, land nationalization, rural land

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