physical protection and in return were themselves willing torngive but little tribute in taxes or regular service.rnThe ethos of self-protection that prevailed among the Scotsrnof the Highlands and northeast made them naturally suspiciousrnof unitary government and of the regulated money economyrnthat was overspreading England and the Scottish Lowlands.rnFrom the founding of the Kirk of Scotland in 1560 to therndemise of the Cromwellian Protectorate a century later, therndriving force behind the creation of a commercial empire was arnparticularly virulent and perverted strain of materially acquisitivernPuritanism that manifested itself in the execution ofrnCharles I and the subordination of both Edinburgh and Dublinrnto the status of provincial administrative centers. Thus a dualrnchallenge to the “Celtic fringe” was clear by the mid-17th century.rnFirst, the Stewart monarchy, which most of the Highlandrnclans had fought valiantly to defend in 1644-45, would not berntolerated by the emergent commercial class unless it supportedrnthe imperial economic policies of the Cromwellian regime.rnSecond, this modern commercial class became dominant afterrn1660 and pursued an aggressive policy of internal and externalrncolonization requiring in the initial stage the destruction of thernpremodern society beyond the thoroughly anglicized Lowlands.rnTo understand the struggle of old Scotland against an Anglo-rnScottish commercial and industrial elite that afterrn1660 dominated the Lowlands, it is necessary to look into thernactions of the Scottish Parliament from 1681 to 1707. In twornpieces of legislation in 1681—the Act for Ratifying all formerrnLaws for the Security of the Protestant Religion and the act acknowledgingrnand asserting the Right of Succession to the ImperialrnCrown of Scotland—^we find the direct cause of politicalrnand religious bifurcation that contributed greatly to the destructionrnof the Stewart dynasty and the subsequentrnWilliamite/Hanoverian usurpation that began with the “CloriousrnRevolution” of 1688-89. But more importantly, we can detectrnin 1681 the beginnings of the economic misfortunes thatrnwere to destroy much of Scotland’s wealth and open the way forrnher loss of political independence through the Act of Union ofrn1707. The most important economic principles of the 1681rnparliament were set forth in the Act for Encouraging Trade andrnManufactures. In keeping with the spirit of mercantilism, thernScottish Parliament (like its counterpart in London, which wasrnbusy enacting six Navigation Acts from 1651 to 1696) adoptedrna policy of protectionism that suited the economic needs of thernself-serving Lowland merchant class.rnThe dominant class of Lowland Scotland generally acceptedrnthe Revolution Settlement of 1688-89, while the Highlandrnchiefs and Episcopalian lairds of the northeast largely supportedrnthe ousted James II. While the Glorious Revolution wasrnvirtually bloodless in England proper, violence and treacheryrnexploded in Scotland, as the Jacobites rose in defense of thernrightful monarch and for the more immediate cause of Scottishrnnationalism. The calculated massacre of the MacDonalds ofrnGlencoe in 1692, sanctioned by William Ill’s joint-Secretary inrnScotland, alerted the Highlanders to the dark contrivances ofrnthe new regime. Unfortunately, such open violence was secondedrnby alien economic interests—Burke’s “sophisters,rneconomists, and calculators”—who cast a cold eye north of thernTweed. In 1693, a junta of London merchants, hoping to findrna means of competing with the East India Company, saw Scotlandrnas an avenue to accomplishing their scheme. Though unsuccessfulrnin challenging the hegemony of the East India Companyrnin the subcontinent, the junta captured trading privilegesrnin other areas. In 1695, the crown persuaded the Scottish Parliamentrnto create the Company of Scotland Trading to Africarnand the Indies. The Company of Scotland, composed not onlyrnof London merchants, but also of a cabal from Edinburghrnand Clasgow, was capitalized with £600,000 and received exclusivernrights to the trade between Scotland and the Americas.rnInitially, the company’s founders had viewed the African tradernas the most lucrative, but under the influence of William Pattersonrn(a prominent Edinburgh businessman and the founderrnof the Bank of England in 1694), they were steered toward establishingrna colonial trading post on the Isthmus of Darienrn(Panama).rnThe “Darien Disaster” destroyed Scotland’s economic independencernand led to her loss of political independence throughrnthe Act of Union of 1707. The episode is an instructive commentaryrnon the corrupting influence that money and economicrnprivilege often exert on a nation’s political system. Blindrngreed no doubt motivated many Lowland merchants to seekrneconomic ties with London, and funds for Patterson’s Darienrnscheme were duly subscribed on both sides of the Tweed. Butrnbecause of legal threats from East India Company merchantsrn(many of whom were MPs), the English subscribers withdrewrntheir support from the venture. Nonetheless, the Scots, convincedrnby Patterson that the Darien project was still a worthwhilerninvestment, proceeded with the scheme, putting uprnsome £400,000, an amount almost equal to the entire circulatingrncoinage of the realm. For two years (1698-1700), the Scotsrntried to make the venture work, but bad luck, poor planning,rnSpanish resistance, and opposition from William Ill’s governmentrnled to the loss of 2,000 men and about half of the subscribers’rninitial investment.rnThe resultant “Darien Disaster” pushed the monied interestsrnof Lowland Scotland to the brink of insolvency and thus intornEngland’s political snares—much as Mexico has beenrnbankrupted as well as bankrolled by NAFTA. Demanding accessrnto English colonial markets in order to make good theirrnlosses, the merchants of Edinburgh and Glasgow voiced thernstrongest incentive for accepting the terms of the Union ofrn1707. London moved quickly to take advantage of the predicamentrnof those who were about to sell out their countrymen forrnEnglish gold. In 1702-03, English and Scottish commissionersrnmet at Westminster to discuss the prospects of union. ThernScots accepted the Hanoverian succession, as provided for inrnthe Act of Settlement of 1701, in return for vague promises ofrneconomic benefits from the English. When the Scots demandedrnaccess to lucrative American markets, the Englishrncommissioners balked and put the Scots off until all other issuesrnhad been decided.rnAnglo-Scottish negotiations were given a degree of urgencyrnby the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-14), the Act of Securityrn(which gave Scotland at Queen Anne’s death the right tornundo the personal union that had been extant since the reign ofrnJames VI and I in 1603), and the infamous Alien Act (whichrnthreatened the Scots with “alien” status if they tried to enforcernthe Act of Security against a Hanoverian succession). Consequently,rnon April 16, 1706, 31 commissioners from each countryrnreassembled in Westminster to consider The Articles of thernTreaty of Union. For their acquiescence in a unitary (ratherrnthan a federative) system, the Scottish signatories were offeredrnreimbursement for losses suffered from the Darien venture.rn16/CHRONICLESrnrnrn