Friday, April 16, 2010

Culloden and Scottish Independence


On April 16, 1746, at Culloden Moor outside of Inverness, a British Force under the command of the Duke of Cumberland defeated an army of Scottish clansmen under the leadership of Bonnie Prince Charlie. 

 

Historians record Culloden as the last military battle on British soil – I guess they put German air raids during the two world wars in a different category.   Regardless, it was the last time a Scottish Army and an English Army – please ignore the fact that there were Scots and English on both sides – met in armed conflict against one another.


For Scots, the battle marks the beginning of period of intense persecution by the English.  Following the battle, the Duke of Cumberland initiated a ruthless policy of “pacification” against the highland Scots that earned him the title of “Butcher.”  The English government destroyed the old clan system, banned the kilt and tartan, and ultimately drove countless Scots from their native land, my ancestors among them.

Today, Culloden is one of the many reminders of Scotland’s never ending struggle against the English. Another is painted on the wall of the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, words from The Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland’s Declaration of Independence written in 1320.  “For so long as one hundred men remain alive, we shall never under any conditions submit to the domination of the English. It is not for glory or riches or honours that we fight, but only for liberty, which no good man will consent to lose but with his life.”

Scotland’s struggle for independence continues today.  It can be seen in the re-established Scottish Parliament and the Scottish National Party’s campaign for freedom from English oppression.  And it can be found in the hearts of Scots at home and in exile around the world.

2 comments:

  1. I think people spend too much time worrying about how they are different than everyone else and need their own country. Or maybe not enough time. I haven't decided yet.

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  2. Basically I think the world would be much better off with a lot less "us" and "them", but if we are going to live in an us and them world, then Scotland should be an us and England should be a them.

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