Worsening relations with England, 1689- 1707

Worsening relations with England, 1689- 1707

Causes of Worsening Relations

  • Act of Security (1704): Scotland’s Act of Security allowed them the right to choose a different monarch from England if succession issues weren’t secured. This was seen as a threat by England.
  • Darien Scheme Failure (1700): The ambitious but catastrophic Darien Scheme, a colonial project endorsed by the Scottish government, ended in financial ruin and the deaths of many Scots. The English government, which had discouraged support for the venture, was widely blamed.
  • Alien Act (1705): In response to the Act of Security, England passed the Alien Act, which would treat Scots as aliens and block their access to English markets unless they embraced the Stuart line of succession or entered into a treaty of union.
  • Trade Restrictions: England’s monopoly of some trade routes, coupled with restrictions placed on Scottish use of English ships and ports, heightened animosity between the two nations.

Political Tensions

  • Threat of Imposed Union: Many Scots feared that England would force a union between the two nations, negating Scottish sovereignty.
  • Dispute over Succession: Disputes over the succession to the throne after Queen Anne caused a deepening of political tensions.
  • Accusations of Bribery: Scottish-English politics were rife with allegations of corruption, with many Scots believing English gold bribed their nobility into pushing for union.

Scottish Nationalism

  • Identity and Independence: The threat of union and loss of sovereignty fueled a growing sense of nationalism among Scots, who hoped to maintain their distinctive identity.
  • Cultural Misunderstanding: Many in Scotland felt misunderstood and belittled by their more powerful neighbour, causing resentment.
  • Religious Differences: The predominately Presbyterian Scotland was often at odds with the largely Anglican England, fostering religious tensions and misunderstandings.