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The creation of the United Kingdom

The limited impact of the Protestant Reformation in Ireland further compounded this failure. In a marked contrast to both Wales and Cornwall, the cultural distinctiveness of Ireland remained threatening.

This uneasy relationship was aggravated by large scale migration to the plantations, which were a British endeavour to help overhaul Ireland's Catholic majority. Migrant planters came from both Scotland and England in the 17th century.

James I of England and VI of Scotland was determined to counter traditional English claims to overlordship of Scotland by cultivating a British identity and advocating total British Union. Plantation had therefore been promoted after his accession to the English throne in 1603.

The English parliament rejected political incorporation with Scotland in 1607 and 1670. Irish overtures for incorporation were likewise rejected in 1703, 1707 and 1709.

A proposal for union initiated in the House of Lords in 1695 never got off the ground and another in 1700 was rejected in the House of Commons.

For their part, the Scottish estates favoured 'federative' rather than 'incorporating' union in 1641 and in 1643. A federative union was an association of executive powers that did not involve the subordination or incorporation of the Scottish estates or the English parliament.

The estates had violently split over an incorporating engagement in 1648 and had resisted political union in 1689 and 1702. But the estates, like the Irish parliament, were forced by Oliver Cromwell into an unwanted union with England from 1652 until the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660.

Scottish moves towards commercial union instigated in 1664 were rebuffed in 1668. A similar English initiative never got off the drawing board in 1674 or in 1685.

The transition from regal to incorporating union was severely disrupted by revolution and civil war in both the 17th and 18th centuries.

Charles I was beheaded in 1649. His grandson, James II was removed in 1688 1689 to make way for William of Orange, who married his daughter Mary. In turn, they were succeeded by another daughter Anne in 1702.

British determination to maintain a Protestant succession led to the accession of the house of Hanover in 1714, a distant cadet line of the Stuarts.

The Jacobites, who remained loyal to the main Stuart line in exile, constituted a real if episodic threat to British state formation, until they were vanquished in 1746.

English feelings that Scotland was acting as a rogue nation contributed greatly to William's willingness to sabotage the Darien Venture through which Scotland attempted to establish an entrept for the East and West Indies on the Panama Isthmus in the late 1690s.

English desires to control the Scots became more acute after the accession of Queen Anne, particularly as the Scots seemed reluctant to accept an eventual Hanoverian succession.

Financial issues became critical as England embarked upon the War of the Spanish Succession. Because the Jacobites were strongly backed by Louis XIV of France, this engagement could well have turned into a war for the British succession.

Renewal of war further exposed a demographic crisis in England and brought about a major shift in government policy in favour of union.

England had insufficient manpower to turquoise van cleef necklace replica fight wars, sustain manufacturing and expand its empire. The Scots were a ready reservoir.

Queen Anne played a proactive role in the making of the United Kingdom, not least because she was outraged by the endeavours of the Scottish estates to impose limitations knock off van cleef arpel alhambra necklace on the prerogative powers of her eventual successor.

If the price of union and the Hanoverian succession was to be the termination of the Scottish estates, so be it. In turn, leading members of the estates, intent on preserving the royal prerogative, securing the Presbyterian Kirk and attaining greater career opportunities through empire promoted Union.

The Treaty of Union was not a magnanimous, indeed unprecedented, act of altruism in which England rescued an impoverished Scotland as it has sometimes been portrayed.

Certainly the Scottish balance of trade appeared far from healthy, with imports hugely exceeding exports.

Scottish government was also hard pressed financially. But several caveats are necessary. The impoverishment of government doesn't necessarily mean the impoverishment of the country.

The adverse balance was calculated on taxed trade, not on trade conducted. The balance took no account of imported goods re exported or reprocessed as manufactures for knock off van cleef arpels butterfly necklace domestic consumption.

Above all, the balance took no account of the invisible earnings from the thriving Scottish carrying trade from the Baltic to the Caribbean.

The financial capacity of Scottish commercial networks was powerfully demonstrated in the first four months of 1707, before the union became operative on 1 May.

Scottish networks exploited fiscal loopholes by investing 300,000 in brandies, wines, salt and whalebones (for manufacturing into bodices and stays) which they intended to export to England tax free after 1 May.

Until Anne sidelined the English ministry's attempts to prescribe this activity on the eve of union, its actual implementation was imperilled by vociferous protests from Scottish politicians and merchants.

The enduring popular belief that Scottish politicians were bought and sold for English gold turns attention away from those Scots who negotiated union. They were not so much corrupt as inept.

Their ineptitude was manifested by their stance on colonial access, reparations for Darien and investment in manufactures. All three were secured conditionally.

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