This great summary of what has happened to the Highlands and Islands after Culloden was written by Chris Grant, who has just written a book about Culloden and its aftermath, with particular reference to the Grants of Glenurquhart and Glenmoriston, and their Clansmen and women.
“The harsh treatment of the Highlanders and their families after Culloden merely served as a starting pistol to what we would call today cultural genocide. What followed in the pacification of the Highlands was successive Acts of Parliament, which would in effect implement policies which sought to gradually, but systematically, dismantle all the cornerstones of Highland Gaelic culture.
These acts would in time not only change the clothing, culture and way of life in the Highlands, but by the ending of Heritable Jurisdiction, fundamentally change the very structure of their society, and this in turn greatly contributed to the later Highland Clearances, which were also encouraged. The majority of ordinary people saw that they had no economic future in light of how they were being expected to live.
The policies which were rolled out over a protracted period even sought the very eradication of the language of the people. These policies contributed greatly to emptying the Glens of people throughout the Highlands and Islands, and set the scene for what we see today, where once thriving communities on many a Highland hillside and in the lower glens, now hold nothing but the vegetation-covered skeletons of the former homes of those people.
Areas which once thrived with population are now eerily empty and largely devoid of life and people, in what were acts of vindictive cultural vandalism that the Highlands has never recovered from and which it is so much the poorer for in our modern age, where little but tourism and wealthy landowners coexist over huge swathes of a picturesque but sadly empty land.
They created a desert largely devoid of people and life and called it peace, which is quite an apt way of portraying the Highlands of Scotland in our modern era.”