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1 The Highlands in Britain

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the place of the Highlands in Britain within the Restoration polity. It begins with an assessment of the region's image, as constructed both by external and native observers. The chapter analyses the identity espoused by the Highland elite, as well as the degree of their integration into wider Scottish society. The process of regional socio-economic integration with wider norms necessarily had political implications, which can most readily be understood by briefly considering the English situation. Historians have long recognised the fact that Churches made a vital contribution to the process of 'state formation', partly by providing a robust institutional framework for social control, but also by fostering integration through shared confessional identity. This pattern of detachment from central government, but dominance in local government, paralleled the situation throughout Scotland and indeed Britain.

Keywords: Britain; Churches; Restoration polity; Scottish highlands; Scottish society; socio-economic integration



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