Scottish and Scotch-Irish (Ulster Scots)
 
Immigration to America
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While there had been Scottish immigration to America in the 1600s, it was not until 1700 that it began in numbers.  Between 1707, when Scotland and England combined to form the British Union, giving the Scots legal access to all of the colonies, and 1775, when the American Revolution began, Scottish immigration soared.  Immigration paused during the Revolution, but resumed after the fighting ended.  Scots immigrated to American in three distinct groups:

Lowland Scots: Assimilated to English ways, the Lowland Scots were primarily skilled tradesmen, farmers, and professionals pulled by greater economic opportunity in America.  They usually immigrated as individuals or single families, then dispersed in the colonies and completed their assimilation to Anglo-American ways.

Highland Scots: More desperate than Lowland Scots,
the Highlanders responded primarily to the push of their
deteriorating circumstances.  In 1746 the British army
brutally suppressed the Jacobite Rebellion in the
Highlands and Parliament outlawed many of the
Highlanders' traditions and institutions, creating
much discontent.   At mid-century, the common
Highlanders also suffered from a pervasive rural
poverty worsened by the rising rents demanded by
their landlords.  The immigrants primarily came from
the relatively prosperous peasants, those who possessed
the means to emigrate and feared a fall into the growing
ranks of the impoverished.

After 1750, emigration brokers and ambitious colonial
land speculators frequented the northwest coast of
Scotland to procure Highland emigrants.  The brokers
and speculators recognized that the tough Highlanders
were especially well prepared for the rigors of a
transatlantic passage and colonial settlement.  
Preferring
cheap, if dangerous lands, the Highland Scots clustered
in frontier valleys, especially along the Cape Fear River
in North Carolina, the Mohawk River in New York, and
the Altamaha River in Georgia.  By clustering they
preserved their distinctive Gaelic language and Highland
customs, in contrast with the assimilating Lowland immigrants.

Scotch-Irish (or Ulster Scots): Nearly half of all Scots immigrants came from Ulster, in Northern  Ireland, where their parents and grandparents had colonized during the 1690s.  Like the Highlanders, the Scotch-Irish fled from deteriorating conditions.  During the 1710s and 1720s they suffered from ethnic violence with the Catholic Irish, a depressed market for their linen, the hunger of several poor harvests, and the increased rents charged by grasping landlords.  The Ulster immigration to the colonies began in 1718 and accelerated during the 1720s.

The Scotch-Irish or Ulster Scots immigrated in groups, generally organized by their Presbyterian ministers, who negotiated with shippers to arrange passage.  Once in the colonies, the Scotch-Irish gravitated to the frontier where land was cheaper, enabling large groups to settle together.  Their clannishness helped the immigrants cope with their new setting, but it also generated frictions with the English colonists.  Feeling superior to the Catholic Irish, the Ulster Scots bitterly resented that so many colonists lumped all the Irish together.  In 1720 some Ulster Scots in New Hampshire bristled that they were "termed Irish people, when we so frequently ventured our all, for the British
crown and liberties against the Irish Papists [Catholics]."  As a compromise they became known in America as the Scotch-Irish.

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