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What if there had been no 1745 Rebellion?

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Old 26th April 2005, 00:43
Peter_Martin Peter_Martin is offline
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This is not strictly a history thread it is a what if. What if there had been no 1745 rebellion. Bonnie Prince Charlie did not land and the Highland Chiefs had gradually accepted the idea of the Hanorvarian Royal Family.

If there had been no '45, there would have been no reason to impose the legal restrictions on highland dress or Gaelic and the clearances would not have started when they did.

How do people imagine Scotland would have developed since the 18th century without this event?
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Old 26th April 2005, 02:58
SherbrookeJacobite SherbrookeJacobite is offline
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Had there been no '45 RISING (the Jacobites were not the Rebels) - had Prince Charles waited for the promised French support of arms, men and money - the Stuarts might have regained the throne, and history would of course have been much different. There are many, many "what ifs" surrounding that enterprise - and the answers are all speculation.

But, what if the Stuarts never returned? - which I realize is what you are getting at in your post;

Certainly, the immediate genocidal aftermath would have been spared to the Highlands. The murdering, pillaging and wanton destruction weren't confined to the Jacobites. The Hanovarian army was indiscriminate as regarded the Highland Clans. The proscription of Highland dress and weapons wouldn't have happened and people would have been spared a lot of suffering.

But, the clearances were a product of a changing society and economy, which would have happened with or without the '45 and its tragic conclusion at Culloden. Highland Chiefs were becoming more and more anglicized (if that's a word) - they were educated in the South, and began to think of themselves more and more like their Southern counterparts. More like a feudal Lord or Landowner, and less the father of their Clan. Proscription had been lifted, and most of the participants in the '45 were dead before the Clearances started in earnest.

Overcrowding in the Highlands, and the desire of Highland Lairds and Chiefs to increase their personal wealth had a lot to do with it. At one time a Chief's stature and importance depended directly on how many fighting men he could put to field. This had changed greatly by the early nineteenth century. Wealth became the new measure of greatness. Wealth that could be much more quickly increased by leasing sheep grazing land to large southern famers than to the small farmers and crofters who had tended the land they lived on for centuries.

A lot of this was done under the guise of "Improvements". Consciences were salved by telling the displaced that this was for their own good. People were turned out of their homes, which were oft burned behind them so they couldn't return.

I believe the two historical events are not a cause and effect situation. The '45 may have hastened the process - but the wheels of "progress" had begun to turn long before the Bonnie Prince stepped ashore at Moidart.

The Canadian author, John Prebble, has done an excellent job of capturing the history of those two times in his books, "Culloden" and "The Clearances".

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Old 26th April 2005, 03:04
SherbrookeJacobite SherbrookeJacobite is offline
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Peter, This is completely off topic, but are you connected with Clan MacMartin? If so, I have quite a lot of information on the family - which I am happy to share.
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Old 26th April 2005, 13:11
Peter_Martin Peter_Martin is offline
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Not so far as I am aware. The surname Martin is actuallly one from my Mother's side. I use this surname for obvious reasons when on line. I have traced my Martin line back from Midlothian to East Lothian to the area around Tranent and Prestonpans. At the end of the 17th century the name is spelt Martine. I am not sure whether this establishes a link to the MacMartin clan or not.

As for your post I am thinking it over. It pretty much sums up a lot of what I think may have happened.
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Old 27th April 2005, 01:38
SherbrookeJacobite SherbrookeJacobite is offline
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I'm not sure about the name either - I have seen it spelled Martine, MacMartine, and even Martini. I know there were other Martins other than the Clan MacMartin. I know my family visited the area around Prestonpans in the eighteenth century, but they didn't stay long
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Old 27th April 2005, 09:37
ANDY-J2 ANDY-J2 is offline
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"Counterfactual" history is strictly history and is becoming increasingly popular with a wealth of literature being devoted to it.If the '45 rebellion had never happened then there may have been far reaching consequences for Europe as a whole.Since the early 1740s France and Britain had been involved in the war of the Austrian succession and French support for the Stewarts was not for reasons of ideology or religion but in the hope of creating unrest in Britain which would remove British troops from the continent.As soon as British troops were removed from Flanders to fight the Jacobites the French won a series of victories and overthrew the ruler of the Netherlands and the subsequent peace treaty saw an increase in the power of Prussia,the French gaining territory in North America and the British gaining former French territory in India-all of these events sowed the seeds for future conflict.If there had been no 45 rebellion then the effect on Highland life would have been less drastic yet in the long term the outcome would perhaps have been the same.In Europe however had British troops not been removed to fight the Jacobites,the French would probably not have succeeded in their strategy of conquering the Netherlands and the European political map may have looked very different.
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Old 27th April 2005, 20:40
Raingeanach Raingeanach is offline
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"The Canadian (English, actually) auther, John Prebble, has done an excellent job..."

Excellent stuff, S.J. pal!

Readers of this thread should also note the views of an other distinguished English military historian, Christopher Duffy, who recently wrote the definitive history of "The `45".

Check out his books on the`net.
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