Department Chair

Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D., Professor of History

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

History, M.A.


History and Social Studies Education Department


Dr. David Carson

Department Home page

First Reader

Dr. Andrew Nicholls

Second Reader

Dr. David Carson


As a result of the Hanoverian victory at the Battle of Culloden, the Scottish Highlands changed forever. Parliament passed new legislation outlawing key elements of traditional Highland culture. Highland landlords would implement new economic schemes to convert subsistence farming into commercial agriculture. With the economic changes in leases, land management and rent, the Highland social structure would be reorganized. One particular strata of the class structure, the tacksmen, would find their traditional cultural role as a military leader and economic role as an estate manager stripped from them, resulting in a reduced role in Highland society. This thesis will explain the multiple cultural, social and economic factors that lead to mass emigration from the Highlands. It endeavors to link theses massive changes occurring in the Highlands to emigration, specifically the emigration of the tacksmen class.