The revival of the kilt
Although the kilt was largely forgotten
in the Scottish Highlands, during those
years it became fashionable for Scottish
romantics to wear kilts as a form of protest
against the ban. This was an age that romanticized "primitive"
peoples, which is what Highlanders were
viewed as. Most Lowlanders had viewed Highlanders
with fear before 1745, but many identified
with them after their power was broken.
The kilt, along with other features of Gaelic
culture had become identified with
Jacobitism and now that this had ceased
to be a real danger it was viewed with romantic
nostalgia. Once the ban was lifted in 1782
Highland landowners set up Highland Societies
with aims including "Improvements"
(which others would call the
Highland clearances) and promoting "the
general use of the ancient Highland dress".
The Celtic Society of Edinburgh, chaired
Walter Scott, encouraged lowlanders
to join this antiquarian enthusiasm.
The kilt became identified with the whole
of Scotland with the the pageantry of the
visit of King George IV to Scotland
1822, even though 9 out of 10 Scots
lived in the Lowlands. Scott and the Highland
societies organised a "gathering of
the Gael" and established entirely
new Scottish traditions, including Lowlanders
wearing the supposed "traditional"
garment of the Highlanders. At this time
many other traditions such as clan identification
by tartan were developed.
After that point the kilt gathered momentum
as an emblem of Scottish culture as identified
by antiquarians, romantics, and others,
who spent much effort praising the "ancient"
and natural qualities of the kilt. King
George IV had appeared in a spectacular
kilt, and his successor Queen Victoria dressed
her boys in the kilt, widening its appeal.
The kilt became part of the Scottish national