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  • The Highland Scots of Georgia

    Arriving from the highlands of Scotland, one group of settlers came to help defend Georgia from Spanish invaders and to make a new home for themselves. A reenactor portrays Scottish colonists that shared many characteristics with the Native Americans.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. Name some of the nationalities that settled the colony of Georgia.

    2. Why did the Highland Scots come to Georgia?

    3. Oglethorpe gave the Scots land on the coast of Georgia, rather than inland. Why did he do this?

    4. Describe the Scottish clothing and explain why it was utilitarian (easy to wear and use).

    5. What was special about the Scottish women?

    Expansion

    1. The video begins with students from the Atlanta International School introducing themselves and naming their country of origin. Do a similar diversity check by asking classmates to name their countries of origin as well as those of people they know in school or in the community. Make a list of countries and compare it to those represented by Georgia’s early settlers.

    Vocabulary

    cultural diversity: different ethnic, gender, racial, and socioeconomic groups existing together in society
    targe: concave shield fitted with leather grips on the inside, one adjustable by a buckle, to be attached to the forearm, and the other fixed as a grip for the left hand
    dirk: dagger
    kilt: a short, pleated skirt, usually made of the tartan plaid worn by men in the Scottish Highlands
    broadsword: a pointed sword with a straight, broad, flat blade; not sharpened; intended to be used to break bones; only the point was used for killing

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. Name some of the nationalities that settled the colony of Georgia.
    There were people from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, and France.

    2. Why did the Scottish Highlanders come to Georgia?
    In their native Scotland, they were “sharecroppers.” They farmed the land for a share of the crop they harvested. The Lord of the Manor got the rest of the crop. They did not own the land. Oglethorpe and the trustees offered free land in the New World. They came for a new life and the promise of land.

    3. Oglethorpe gave them land on the coast of Georgia, rather than inland. Why did he do this?
    He knew that they were good fighters – they had this reputation in Europe. He needed a defense from the Spanish on the coast of Georgia below Savannah. The Scots built and defended a fort in Darien, as it was later named.

    4. Describe the Scots’ clothing and explain why it was utilitarian (easy to wear and use)?
    The men wore Kilts, which looked liked skirts. They thought they could run faster and fight better in these (like the Native Americans). They wore soft moccasins (just like the Native Americans), because it enabled them to feel the land. Since they were part of the land, they wanted to make themselves feel a part of it.

    5. What was special about the Scottish women?
    The women could shoot and defend the land as well as the men. Sometimes, they had to take over the defense of the fort when the men were off fighting somewhere else.

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