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Enlightenment's FrontierThe Scottish Highlands and the Origins of Environmentalism$
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Fredrik Albritton Jonsson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300162547

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300162547.001.0001

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Conclusion: The Ghosts of the Enlightenment

Conclusion: The Ghosts of the Enlightenment

(p.262) Conclusion: The Ghosts of the Enlightenment
Enlightenment's Frontier

Fredrik Albritton Jonsson

Yale University Press

The conclusion states how the ghosts of the Enlightenment still return to haunt society despite the fact that societies have come a long way from the New World of John Walker and the stationary Highlands of T. R. Malthus. In the Highlands, hopes for a New World were dampened by failure both to alleviate issues with the Highland climate and to build towns and villages. Already in the closing decades of the eighteenth century, naturalists and political economists had begun to unmake the New World of the north. By running the engine of natural history in reverse, their inventories now revealed physical limits rather than hidden abundance. Emigration seemed to offer the only relief for a country so deficient in natural advantages.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, New World, John Walker, stationary Highlands, T. R. Malthus, naturalists, political economists, natural history, emigration

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