Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

Committee Chair

Dr. Jason Knirck

Second Committee Member

Dr. Roxanne Easley

Third Committee Member

Dr. Daniel Herman

Abstract

Eighteenth-century Scotland is marked by the impact of new ideas from the Scottish Enlightenment that influenced agricultural revolution. Practices that had been used for over hundreds of years with little change, went through a dramatic agricultural reimagining during this time period. Scottish Enlightenment “improvers,” like Henry Home, Lord Kames, demonstrate this push towards “progress.” In particular, Lord Kames represents a conundrum. He, like many other Scots, believed in the authenticity of Ossian’s translated poems by James Macpherson. This patriotic devotion to Scottish culture influenced the way that Kames went about “improving” his own lands and who he chose to work on them. There were parts of Scottish culture that were depicted in these poems regarding Gaelic culture that Kames wanted to preserve. Even though Kames, like many Scots of his time, wanted change, they also wanted to preserve traditional Scottish culture portrayed in Ossian’s poems.

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