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The History Behind the Union with Scotland

The History Behind the Union with Scotland

Today, the day I am writing this article, is a date which will possibly change the course of two countries forever. The 19th September 2014 will forever be remembered as the day that Scotland took into their own hands the decision over their independence. Whether they want to stay part of Britain, or if they want to end over 300 years of union and go it alone. The vote will be cast within the next 24 hours and perhaps in hindsight I might have written this article differently. However, at this present moment that I am writing Scotland is still a part of the United Kingdom, so politics aside I’m going to talk about how this country in the north, famous for their kilts and haggis, came to accept a union with England. Scotland and England first technically united as one nation in 1603 when Elizabeth I died and the throne was left to her cousin James, the King of Scotland. James ascended to the English throne, becoming king of two nations and linking the two roles of head of state together. Even though there was a merging of monarchs this did not create the United Kingdom we know today, and took another hundred years to do so despite there being three previous attempts at uniting. The official union of the Scots and the English came in May 1707, when the Scottish Parliament and the English Parliament came together and formed the Parliament of Great Britain based at Westminster. This union ended the hostility that had been felt for centuries between the two countries, where individuals such as Mary Queen of Scots and Robert the Bruce led Scotland against the English who are portrayed in films, such as Mel Gibson’s film Braveheart, as being evil and malicious towards the Scots. If the vote is ‘yes’ today and Scotland leaves the UK it will be the end of 300 years of shared history, not to mention the search for a new flag to replace the Union Jack.



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