Act of Union Unites England and Scotland (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The Act of Union unites England and Scotland, ending centuries of war and animosity between the two nations by forging a single political entity.
Summary of Event
The union of the Parliaments between Scotland and England marked the end of Scottish and, what is often not recognized, English, national independence and the formal beginning of the state known as Great Britain. More significant was the subsequent evolution of new political and cultural relationships between the two states. On a European scale, the union represented one of the first instances of incorporation of two states into one by means other than conquest, by the consent of both state’s representative and legislative bodies.
Since King James VI of Scotland assumed the English throne as heir following the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, the royal crowns of the two countries had been held by one monarch in a regal union. Although James, his successors, and political observers had spoken highly of a national union to “complete” the regal union, years of war and misunderstanding prevented it. In 1688, the Roman Catholic King James II of England was forced out by a combined Protestant English and Dutch coup. The Dutch Protestant stadtholder William of Orange and his wife Mary, James’s daughter, accepted the English Parliament’s invitation to rule England and Scotland jointly.
After 1688, Scottish and...
(The entire section is 1476 words.)
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