|Institution:||University of Akron|
|Keywords:||History; Scotland; Acts of Union; Great Britain; Darien; Worcester|
|Full text PDF:||http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=akron1436801336|
The period of Anglo-Scottish union has long been examined solely within a political context encompassing only the years immediately preceding union negotiations. The historiography of recent decades, much of it written in the lead up to the 300th anniversary of the union, has done a remarkable job of providing a social and cultural context to the union of England and Scotland. This thesis builds on this recent historiography, combining the development of Scottish colonial ambition in the form of the Darien Project with the development of the Scottish public sphere in the decade prior to union. The approach utilized merges Scottish domestic and internal British relations workings to establish an imperial lens through which the development of a crisis in Anglo-Scottish relations can be examined.This work traces the formation of the crisis in Anglo-Scottish relations from the formation of the Company of Scotland, through the failure of the Scottish colony at Darien, and the development of antagonistic intra-national political posturing. The climax of the crisis is examined through the trial and execution of the crew of the Worcester, an English merchant ship accused of piracy but publicly acknowledged as an act of Scottish reprisal. The result is the reframing of the Anglo-Scottish union in both the context of a crisis of relations, but also as a competition between unionist and imperial goals. Through the examination of printed discourses, this thesis demonstrates that Scottish public opinion during the crisis in Anglo-Scottish relations considered union and empire to be competing causes. The failure of the Darien Project created the perception of incompatibility between the two goals. The pursuit of empire threatened the status-quo of the regal union while the potential security of further union came at the cost of a Scottish empire. Scots understood their position to be a matter of union or empire, not both. Advisors/Committee Members: Graham, Michael (Advisor).