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Scottish Independence Vote Stirs Up Centuries-Old Questions

Image of Scottish flag and UK flag.
Flickr/Lawrence OP
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The people of Scotland will vote next week on whether to become an independent country. 

As the referendum approaches, many are examining the long legacy of the British Empire. Michael Newton, a scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, spent years studying Scottish history and the impact of the empire and early globalization on marginalized Scottish communities. He documents how the mass emigration from Scotland in the early 1700s led to large settlements of Gaelic-speaking Highlanders outside of Scotland. One of the largest Highlander populations settled in Cape Fear region of North Carolina. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Newton about the Scottish Highland community of North Carolina and what its history indicates about the long-term tensions that may have led to Scotland's pursuit of independence. Newton will be giving the talk "From Highlanders to Tar-Heels: Scottish Gaelic Immigrant Communities in North Carolina" on Monday, September 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Donovan Lounge in Greenlaw Hall on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. 

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.