Causes and Consequences of the Crofters' War in the 1880s.

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  • Created by: Anya
  • Created on: 08-12-14 12:51

Overall consequences: 1. Government reaction: initially react with incomprehension - believe it is another law and order issue which can be solved with force. Realise this is a serious issue with deep rooted problems and in 1883 the Prime Minister appoints a Royal Commissioner to investigate grievances. 2. Investigation and legislation. 3. Period 1850 - 1914 we see a growing confidence in the Gaelic language, culture and identity. 4. Willingness of Crofters to get involved in politicised protests and politics generally. 5. Willingness of government to intervene on the side of the crofters. 6. An infringement on the power of the landowning class. Causes and consequences: 1. Redistribution of Land * Crofting agriculture was of an inherently pastoral nature and because the sheep farming system had deprived crofters of a serious amount of hill pasture, the redistribution of land was a major concern. * Cameron has noted that there was a massive interest among crofters in gaining more land and this was a key demand. * MacPhail, furthermore, has claimed that overpopulation, so common in crofting areas, lead to the sub division of land and the subsequent impoverishment of the land, the produce and the people. In Skye, there was only one crofter with a whole croft and at Lusta in Waternish, because of subdivision, there were 38 families where previously there had been 14. * HOWEVER, what these historians fail to recognise was that there was disparities and variations across the Highlands. On well run estates, such as those of Sir Kenneth Mackenzie of Gairloch, sub-division was strictly prohibited as explained by Annie Tindley. This suggests that redistribution of land was not a universal concern. * NEVERTHELESS, the lack of provision for the extension of croft land in the Crofters Holdings Act in 1886 became a major source of criticism and legislation from 1886 to 1914 became geared towards rectifying this - IT WAS A CONCERN. * CONSEQUENCES: the first problem is although crofters have right to more land, as given to them by new laws, a lot of land is still controlled by landowners and in 1991 3 million acres of land is used by deer forests. This is really the last part of highland history…


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