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The Government of Scotland 1560-1625$
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Julian Goodare

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243549

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243549.001.0001

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Government and Highland Elites

Government and Highland Elites

(p.220) CHAPTER TEN Government and Highland Elites
The Government of Scotland 1560-1625

Julian Goodare (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Governing the Highlands was very different from governing the rest of Scotland. The political elites of the Highlands barely recognised state authority, and had few connections to regular institutions of government. The internal government of the Highlands was in the hands of clan chiefs who did not routinely answer to any higher authority. This chapter takes the power of the clans as a starting point for an investigation into central government's treatment of the Highlands. It discusses some broader patterns in policy towards the Highlands, as well as the motives behind each phase. One of the most prominent phases, accompanied by sharply etched attitudes towards Highland elites, came around 1600. The experience of the political elite of the Highlands, who were not welcome or respected members of the Scottish body politic, and who came to experience a quasi-colonial relationship with the authorities, is examined. A typology of colonies shows the various ways in which this operated.

Keywords:   Highlands, political elites, government, clans, colonies, body politic

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