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British Children Should be More Educated In The History Of Their Own Country

I was recently asked what subject in history should be taught more in schools, specifically where I am from. This is a difficult question, as many topics that deserve more coverage in the Scottish education system. Some topics are very relevant to the world we live in today. In a lot of ways, we are very privileged and lucky with our education system and should not complain when we compare ourselves to those who live in third-world countries. In certain places, women are still not even allowed an education. We have to be frank about this. However, I was still asked this question, and I am going to answer it. I believe that the Scottish Jacobite Rebellion should be taught more in schools in the UK.

To give a brief account of the history, in 1745, Prince Charles Edward Stuart (known as Bonnie Prince Charlie) launched an attempt to reclaim the British throne his grandfather, King James VII of Scotland and II of England, lost in 1688. Those who supported his cause wanted to see Scotland as a strong, independent, and robust country, unowned by any Englishman. These supporters were given the name “Jacobites.” However, this only mainly tackles the first rise within the movement. In 1707, the two kingdoms of Scotland and England were united, much to the dismay of those who were involved in and supported the Jacobite cause. Leading on to 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charles got involved and the real war began. The Bonnie Prince sailed from France to Scotland and travelled across the Highlands to assemble the Jacobite army to once again fight for his “rightful place on the throne”. The Bonnie Prince brewed his army and eventually led them into battle at Culloden Moor, where around 1,300 Jacobite men died a quick and very bloody death. The English army was far too strong. They had many more men and more weaponry. The English had guns and the Scots had passion. However, no amount of passion can defend you from a bullet wound. 

The main reason I believe that this subject should be taught in schools more in Scotland, especially, is to let children know their roots. Scotland is a small country with a small population in comparison to England. Kids might find out that they are even related to some men who fought in the Jacobite rebellion. This is interesting because I believe it was a noble cause to be a part of. The English invaded Scotland and treated the Scots like muck. They would rape the women living in the villages and would insult the Scots right before killing them. The Scots were forced to give up kilts (their traditional way of dressing) and their native Gaelic language. Their whole way of life was disturbed and taken away. They were no longer Scottish citizens but now British subjects. 

The reason why I believe this subject should be taught more in schools, not just in Scotland but all over the UK, is because there is still angst and hatred between Scotland and England. This could also be a good time to mention the Irish troubles, but that is a whole other topic that is also not taught enough about in the British education system. Scottish people to this day fight for independence. Even if they do not support the cause, it may be just for political reasons, but in their hearts, most Scots truly want to be independent from England. The rivalry and tension between Scotland and England started all those years ago with the Jacobite rebellion. That was only the beginning. Since there has been bad blood and a general dislike for England by Scottish people. This has been portrayed in numerous ways and is still relevant in 2024. This is why I believe that British people, English or Scottish, should be educated on why there were ever any troubles in the first place.


Edited by Sanjana Srinivasan


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