Lord Loudoun, the Highlands and Imperial Subjecthood in North America

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This article provides a comparative analysis of the tenure of John Campbell, fourth earl of Loudoun, as a regional commander in the Scottish Highlands during the Jacobite uprising of 1745–6 and as commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America from January 1756 to December 1757. It challenges historiographical interpretations of Loudoun as an incompetent bully, instead emphasising his attempts to negotiate with local elites in both imperial fringes for the realisation of the state's aims, albeit within the confines of his own understanding of imperial subjecthood. This article argues that Loudoun's experiences of waging war and pacifying the Highlands directly influenced how he approached the challenges he faced in implementing British military strategy in North America. In doing so, it contributes to the growing body of scholarship investigating the role of the army in British imperial policymaking and the direct and indirect influence British army experiences in the Scottish Highlands had on the transatlantic implementation of empire.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-276
Number of pages27
JournalThe Scottish Historical Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


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