Presentation on theme: "ISSUE 3 How did the war affect Scottish industry and the economy? ‘LAND QUESTION’ & EMIGRATION."— Presentation transcript:
ISSUE 3 How did the war affect Scottish industry and the economy? ‘LAND QUESTION’ & EMIGRATION
What was the ‘land question’ in the Highlands? The land question in the Highlands was about land ownership. The Crofters Act of 1886 put an end to the Highland Clearances by granting security of tenure to the crofters. That meant the crofters could not be evicted from land they rented on the sudden whim of the landowner. However, the Act failed to restore the lost land from which the crofters and their ancestors had been forcibly evicted over the previous century.
Why did the land question become a problem again after WW1? When the war ended, many soldiers from the Highlands and Islands returned home with the firm belief that they had been promised land as a reward for fighting for their country. Propaganda, recruitment statements and speeches had made a firm link between Highland men and their land. Some large landowners did make promises of gifts of land from their own estates to men who had joined up. Land raids resulted when ex-soldiers were not given land fast enough. Examples of land raids: Hebrides, Drumnadrochit in the Highlands and island of Raasay.
Land Settlement Act 1919 The Land Settlement (Scotland) Act stated that land would be made available for men who had served in the war. For it to be successful, the government would have to purchase land from previous owners, but very soon it became clear the government could not afford to do so. By the end of the 1920s the problem of land ownership, overcrowding and poverty had still not been resolved in the Highlands. Many of the local people saw emigration as the only escape.
Case Study: Lewis & Leverhulme In 1919 the island of Lewis was bought by Lord Leverhulme – the reality was, however, he inherited an island with major problems. Land raids resulted from Leverhulme not understanding the islanders’ problems. High unemployment when the project collapsed led thousands of islanders to emigrate, with many finding employment in the car factories of Detroit and Chicago. After the failure of Leverhulme’s project other investors avoided the Highlands and the situation was not helped by the anti-Highland reporting in many of the lowland newspapers which encouraged the stereotype of the lazy, work-shy Gael who refused to enter the modern industrial world.
Was emigration a serious problem for Scotland in the 1920s? In the inter-war period Scotland had the highest rate of emigration of any European country. It was said that Scotland was being emptied of its population, its spirit, its wealth, its industry and its talent. Many Scots saw emigration as an escape from a Scotland locked in unemployment and decline.
Did the Empire Settlement Act of 1922 boost emigration? This Act provided for the first large- scale government-assisted migration programme. It was intended to boost the rural populations of Canada and other parts of the British Empire. Subsidies were paid to emigrants who agreed to work the land for a certain amount of time.
Emigration Lowland Scotland also saw the emigration of large numbers of skilled and talented labour – resulting from the depressed industrial areas of central Scotland. In the 1920s 3 out of 10 migrants to New Zealand came from Scotland. Emigration was also increased by the deliberate actions of the Canadian government in advertising their country. By the 1920s full-time resident agents encouraging emigration to Canada had offices in Glasgow and Inverness.
Emigration in Perspective Huge numbers of Scots did emigrate but 1/3rd of emigrants returned so impact was not as great as seemed at the time. Some recorded as emigrants were in fact workers taking advantage of cheaper fares to work for higher wages in the USA/Canada for a short period or a season before returning home. Widespread emigration was seen as a symbol of Scotland’s decline. It was felt that Scotland’s brightest and best were leaving. It also sparked an anti-Irish reaction in the 1920s as it was felt Scots workers were being forced out by Irish immigrants stealing jobs and housing..