Much of early American history comprises stories of empire and how different Native, European, and Euro-American nations vied for control of North American territory, resources, and people.
In this episode, Matthew P. Dziennik, an Assistant Professor of History at the United States Naval Academy and author of The Fatal Land: War, Empire, and the Highland Soldier in British America, presents us with one of these imperial stories. Specifically, we’re going to investigate the world of the 18th-century Scottish Highlands and how the 12,000 soldiers the Highlands sent to North America shaped the course of the British Empire during the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Matthew P. Dziennik, an Assistant Professor of History at the United States Naval Academy and author of The Fatal Land: War, Empire, and the Highland Soldier in British America, leads us on an investigation of the eighteenth-century world of the Scottish Highlands and how the 12,000 soldiers the Highlands sent to North America shaped the course of the British Empire during the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution.
As we explore the Highlands and British Empire during the eighteenth century, Matthew reveals information about the Scottish Highlands and Highland culture; How the Scottish Highlanders both resisted and support the British Empire during the eighteenth century; And, details about the military experiences of the Highland soldiers in North America during the Seven Years’ War and the War for American Independence.
What You’ll Discover
- The Scottish Highlands in the 18th century
- Farming in the Scottish Highlands
- Hanoverian England and its tensions with the Highlanders
- 18th-century Scottish Highlanders
- The non-Highland population of Scotland
- Relations between Scottish Highlanders and Lowlanders
- The Jacobite Rebellion of 1745
- The Battle of Culloden
- Why Highlanders enlisted in the British Army after 1745
- Why the British Army wanted to enlist Highlanders
- How Highlanders experienced North America during the Seven Years’ War
- Highland soldiers who stayed in North America
- What Highlanders thought about the American Revolution
- Highlander involvement in the American Revolution
- Why Highlanders stayed in the United States after the Revolution
- How understanding the Highland soldier experience in North America can better help us understand the 18th-century British Empire
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Matthew Dziennik
- The Fatal Land: War, Empire, and the Highland Soldier in British America
- Andrew MacKillop
- Episode 010: Don N. Hagist, British Soldiers, American War: Voices from the American Revolution
- Episode 122: Andrew O'Shaughnessy, The Men Who Lost America
- Episode 157: The Revolution’s African American Soldiers
- Episode 158: The Revolutionaries’ Army
- Episode 163: The American Revolution in North America
- Episode 229: Patrick Griffin, The Townshend Moment
In your opinion, what might have happened if Highlanders had refused to join the British Army? How might the outcome of the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution have been different if Highlanders had refused to enlist?
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