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Scotland and Ireland

Neither Scotland, nor Ireland accepted the English removal of James peacefully. In Scotland supporters of the Stuarts rebelled, but although they successfully defeated a government army, their rebellion ended after the death of their leader. Most of the rebels were Highlanders, many of them still Catholic.

Scotland was still a separate kingdom, although it shared a king with England (James II had been James VII of Scotland). The English wanted Scotland and England to be united. But the English Act of Settlement was not law in Scotland. While Scotland remained legally free to choose its own king there was a danger that this might be used to put a Stuart back on the throne. Scotland might renew its Auld Alliance with France, which was now England's most dangerous European enemy.

On the other hand, Scotland needed to remove the limits on trade with England from which it suffered economically. The English Parliament offered to remove these limits if the Scots agreed to union with England. The Scots knew that if they did not agree there was a real danger that an English army would once again march into Scotland. In 1707 the union of Scotland and England was completed by Act of Parliament. From that moment both countries no longer had separate parliaments, and a new parliament of Great Britain, the new name of the state, met for the first time. Scotland, however, kept its own separate legal and judicial system, and its own separate Church.

In Ireland the Catholicism of James II had raised the hopes of those who had lost their lands to the Protestant settlers. When he lost his throne in England, James naturally thought that Ireland would make a strong base from which to take back his throne. In 1689 he landed in Ireland, with French support.

In Dublin a Catholic parliament immediately passed an Act taking away all the property of Protestants in Ireland. But it was not so easy to carry this out. Thirty thousand Protestants locked themselves in the city of Londonderry (or "Derry" as the Catholics continued to call it). James encircled the city but the defenders refused to surrender. After fifteen weeks, English ships arrived bringing fresh supplies and the struggle for Londonderry was over. The battlecry of the Protestants of Londonderry "No Surrender!" has remained to this day the cry of Ulster Protestantism.

King William landed in Ireland in 1690, and defeated James's army at the River Boyne. James left Ireland for France a few days later, and never returned to any of his kingdoms. With the battle of the Boyne the Protestant victory was complete.


Date: 2015-01-02; view: 762

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