The Decline of Scottish Clans

  • Malcolm Stewart


The Scottish clan system was one of the pillars of society that maintained social stability (and political instability) in the northern reaches of the Kingdom of Scotland. Thus, the decline of the clans presented a vast and irreversible change to such realities in the Highlands and Isles,2 not to mention to the entire realm itself. This paper references informative texts on the history of the clans and the system of which they were a part. Through this research, this paper presents a new account of the origins and circumstances of the gradual, centuries-long path to the end of the clans as a power within Gaelic Scottish culture. It endeavours to show how royal efforts to create a peaceful and prosperous society in the Highlands and Isles evolved and contributed to the emergence of phenomena that would have a much more terrible effect on the clans folk than was likely anticipated. 

How to Cite
Stewart, Malcolm. 2016. “The Decline of Scottish Clans”. the Ascendant Historian 3 (2), 7-22.