By Graeme Morton, Trevor Griffiths
The authors discover the political, spiritual, and highbrow personality of Scottish existence, within which the extreme impinged at the traditional.
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Extra resources for A History of Everyday Life in Scotland, 1800-1900
A feature of ‘improvement’ agriculture was the reclamation of ‘waste’ land. 24 Estate owners and gentlemen farmers were becoming more adventurous, trying different methods of reclamation and experimenting with a variety of manures. 25 This sort of transformation is vividly captured on the ﬁrst edition OS maps. Placed alongside a range of eighteenth-century town and estate plans it offers a glimpse of the physical and bio-geographical transformation of a landscape in the process of being re-shaped almost beyond recognition.
Amazingly, only eight lives were lost, although it is thought that the ﬂood rendered at least 289 families destitute and requiring charitable relief. 19 Such episodes remind us of the effect of nature in reshaping the Scottish landscape and the lives of those in its path. LARGE-SCALE ENCLOSURE AND RE-ORGANISATION OF AGRICULTURE AND SETTLEMENT The re-shaping of rural society and the modiﬁcation of farm structures to produce more commercially efﬁcient units of production was undoubtedly a key feature of eighteenth-century Scotland.
That much of the early police legislation was enacted to maintain social order in the towns and cities, especially attempting to manage public order under pressure from sectarian conﬂict, is a point picked up by Knox and McKinlay. Alcohol, inevitably, contributed to much public disturbance. 46 The despairing commentator questioned how Scots could claim their northern part of the British Isles had a superior culture given the hideousness of the scene in Edinburgh’s High Street on a Sabbath morning.
A History of Everyday Life in Scotland, 1800-1900 by Graeme Morton, Trevor Griffiths