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The Fatal LandWar, Empire, and the Highland Soldier in British America$
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Matthew P Dziennik

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300196726

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300196726.001.0001

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The Soldier and Highland Culture

The Soldier and Highland Culture

(p.183) 6. The Soldier and Highland Culture
The Fatal Land

Matthew P. Dziennik

Yale University Press

This chapter analyzes Highland cultural attitudes and their relationship to the British state. Highlanders were as capable of ethnic conceit and an avowed sense of superiority as the most arrogant metropolitan imperialist was. Specifically, the Highland soldiers engendered a pride in the Gaels' martial qualities and became collectively a figurehead for Gaelic confidence. Appointed as Highland battalions, and equipped with unique cultural trappings, these soldiers provided an explicitly Highland role in the British Empire. As that empire could increasingly be interpreted as a dominant world power, excessive celebrations of Gaelic triumphs did not strain credulity, and offered an appealing alternative to a narrative of victimhood.

Keywords:   cultural attitudes, ethnic conceit, Highland soldiers, Gaelic confidence, British Empire

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