From “Driving A Wedge Within Gaeldom”, an article on the post-Medieval history of Ireland and Scotland featured in the magazine History Ireland:
“From earliest times Gaelic Ireland and Scotland, united by the sea, formed part of the same cultural, linguistic, religious, economic and political ethos. The cultural and linguistic homogeneity, together with the political instability of this North Channel World, alarmed central government. For the monarchs and their ministers—whether in Dublin, Edinburgh or London—regarded the economic, political and cultural distinctiveness of its inhabitants as ‘uncivilised’ and potentially corrosive to the English and Scots-speaking polities. They classified them as barbarians, rebels, and subversives intent on de-stabilising the peripheries of the Tudor and Stewart monarchies.
…contemporaries from the king down continued to regard the Gaelic Irish and, to a lesser extent, the Highlanders, both mentally and culturally as a lower form of humanity. They were savages and barbarians who had failed to progress, to farm for their food, and to inhabit an ordered polity regulated by the law and Christian morality.
Convictions of racial superiority critically shaped attitudes about how best these remote regions could be ‘civilised’—how these unruly subjects could be reformed, their over-mighty lords tamed, thuggery and feuding replaced with law and order, and labour channelled into production rather than destruction. Crown strategies ranged from annihilation to assimilation.”
Which reminds of the famous letter dispatched to Ireland in 1315 by Roibeard Brús (Robert the Bruce), King of Scotland, where he calls upon the lords of the country to unite with him in a pan-Gaelic alliance:
“To all the kings of Ireland, the prelates and clergy and to the inhabitants of Ireland, our friends.
Whereas we and you and our people and your people, free since ancient times, share the same national ancestry and are urged to come together more eagerly and joyfully in friendship by a common language and by common custom, we have sent you our beloved kinsman, the bearers of this letter, to negotiate with you in our name about permanently strengthening and maintaining inviolate the special friendship between us and you, so that with God’s will our nation [the Irish and Scots] may be able to recover her ancient liberty.”