Union of England and Scotland

Since their religious enthusiasm had been laid at rest by the Revolution Settlement, the Scottish people had been chiefly animated by a desire of participating in the commerce of England. The treatment of their expedition to Darien had now inspired them with a bitter feeling against their southern neighbors, and they resolved to show their power of counter annoyance by holding up threats of dissenting from England in the matter of the succession. In 1703, their Parliament passed the famous Act of Security, by which it was ordained that the successor of her majesty in Scotland should not be the same with the individual adopted by the English Parliament, unless there should be a free communication of trade between the countries, and the affairs of Scotland thoroughly secured from English influence. Another act was at the same time passed for putting the nation under arms. The English ministers then saw that an incorporating union would be necessary to prevent the Pretender from gaining the Scottish crown, and to protect England from the attacks of a hostile nation. For this purpose they exerted themselves so effectually in the Scottish Parliament, as to obtain an act, enabling the queen to nominate commissioners for the arrangement of a union. The men appointed, thirty on each side, were, with hardly an exception, the friends of the court and of the Revolution Settlement; and the treaty accordingly was drawn up without difficulty.

In October 1706, this document was submitted to the Scottish Parliament, and was found to contain the following principal points: - That the two nations were to be indissolubly united under one government and legislature, each, however, retaining its own civil and criminal law; the crown to be in the House of Hanover; the Scottish Presbyterian church to be guaranteed; forty-five members to be sent by the Scottish counties and burghs to the House of Commons, and sixteen elective peers to be sent to the Upper House by the nobles; the taxes to be equalized, but, in consideration of the elevation of the Scotch imposts to the level of the English (for the latter people already owed sixteen millions), an equivalent was to be given to Scotland, amounting to nearly four hundred thou sand pounds, which was to aid in renewing the coin, and other objects. These terms were regarded in Scotland as miserably inadequate; and the very idea of the loss of an independent legislature and a place among governments, raised their utmost indignation. Nevertheless, by dint of bribery, the union was carried through Parliament; and from the 1st of May 1707, the two countries formed one state, under the title of the Kingdom of Great Britain.