Highland Clearances and Ulster Plantations

Ulster Plantation Causes

The Ulster Plantations began in the 1600s in a time where there was some conflict in Ireland and King James, was the first King of England and Scotland as one. He ‘planted’ the northern part of Ireland - the bit that has Ulster as its main city, with people from Scotland and England in order to try and keep control.

Ulster Plantation Events

King James I (and VI of Scotland) planted people from England and Scotland to Ulster in the Northern part of Ireland in an attempt to help him govern them. He felt that if he put loyal leaders in to settle, it would help him control the area better. Most settlers moved as they were offered money, but also, the ones that went that weren’t paid to go, went with the hope of starting a new, better life.

Ulster Plantation Consequences

The Irish resented this attempt of control from the English and saw it as an invasion. The plantations brought about big changes. There were a large number of settlers that moved, and this led to rapid population growth in the area. The new settlers were mainly Protestant, which was a new religion in Ireland, and caused tension. The tension and resentment between the Irish Catholics and the English Protestant settlers often resulted in violence and continued for hundreds of years.

Highland Clearance Causes

In the 17-1800s, most people in Scotland lived in the Highlands, in a tribal-type system (called Clans) where they took orders and obeyed different chiefs. They spoke Gaelic and had a way of life that was very different to that in England and other parts of Scotland too. The people in the south of Scotland started to feel more similar to their English neighbours.

The Highlanders were proud and independent, and Catholics, who supported the Stuart rule of England. After the fall of the Stuart monarchy, the Highlanders led a series of rebellions in which they tried to get rid of the monarchs in order to put a Stuart back on the throne, and the ‘Jacobite rebellions’ in 1715 and 1745.

Highland Clearance Events

There were number of fierce battles, and after the final defeat of the Highlanders, the English decided to put in place laws to protect the new monarch from the Scots. The first thing was to clear the Highlands of the clans, and get rid of the chiefs - some supported the English in this and those that didn’t, were removed or murdered. Laws were put in place to make life difficult for the highlanders, getting rid of tartan, and banning bagpipes as examples. Not only did their culture disappear, but the people were removed from the highlands too as sheep farming had become more profitable - so people were forced to obey English rule and some families had to leave land that had been in their families for over 500 years. This led to the emigration of many Scots to other parts of the world.

Why were Protestants planted in Ulster by King James?
Your answer should include: control / Ireland
What was the impact of the Ulster plantations?
Your answer should include: resentment / Irish / violence / protestant / Catholics
Who were the Highlanders?
Your answer should include: people / Scotland / highlands / tribes / clans