The impact of the Union, to 1715

The impact of the Union, to 1715

Economic impact of the Union, to 1715

  • Access to English Markets: Scottish merchants and manufacturers gained access to England’s internal market and vast colonial possessions. This helped stimulate trade and economic growth.
  • Increased Scottish Wealth: The ‘Equivalent’, a sum paid by England to compensate for Scotland taking on a share of the English national debt, boosted Scottish wealth.
  • Trade and Commerce: Despite initial concerns, Scottish merchants did not get overshadowed by their English counterparts, and instead saw their trade expand.
  • Agricultural Improvement: The Union resulted in the improved organization and intensified productivity of Scottish agriculture which contributed to increased commerce.

Political impact of the Union, to 1715

  • Loss of a Separate Parliament: The Scottish Parliament was suspended and Scots were represented in a new British Parliament at Westminster.
  • Increased Influence: Some Scottish nobility enjoyed increased influence in the British Imperial administration.
  • Preservation of Legal System: Scotland was allowed to keep its separate legal system, providing a basis for maintaining some degree of distinctive identity.

Social impact of the Union, to 1715

  • Preservation of the Church: The Union guaranteed the continuation of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, offering reassurance about religious independence.
  • Improvements for General Populace: Benefits from Union trickled down to the general populace over time, though the impact was initially most felt by the nobility and gentry.

Unintended Consequence of the Union, to 1715

  • Continued Tensions: Opposition to the Union persisted in some quarters well after 1715, contributing to continuing political tensions and upheavals.
  • Jacobite Risings: The deposed Stuart dynasty continued to have supporters in Scotland, leading to a series of Jacobite risings aimed at restoring them to the throne. The most significant of these was in 1715, which was primarily a reaction against the Union, but it was defeated.