The making of the United Kingdom in 1707 is still a matter of significant political and historical controversy. Allan Macinnes here offers a major interpretation that sets the Act of Union within a broad European and colonial context and provides a comprehensive picture of its transatlantic and transoceanic ramifications that ranged from the balance of power to the balance of trade. He reexamines English motivations from a colonial as well as a military perspective and assesses the imperial significance of the creation of the United Kingdom. He also explores afresh the commitment of some determined Scots to secure Union for political, religious and opportunist reasons and shows that rather than an act of statesmanship, the resultant Treaty of Union was the outcome of politically inept negotiations by the Scots. Union and Empire will be a major contribution to the history of Britain, empire and early modern state formation.
Allan Macinnes is Burnett-Fletcher Professor of History at the University of Aberdeen. He has published extensively on Covenants, Clans and Clearances, British State Formation and Jacobitism. His previous publications include Clanship, Commerce and the House of Stuart, 1603-1788 (1996) and, as co-editor with A. H. Williamson, Shaping the Stuart World, 1603-1714: the American Connection (2006).
Part I. Setting the Scenes: 1. Introduction; 2. The historiography; Part II. Varieties of Union, 1603-1707: 3. Precedents, 1603-60; 4. Projects, 1661-1703; 5. The Irish dimension; Part III. The Primacy of Political Economy, 1625-1707: 6. The transatlantic dimension; 7. The Scottish question; 8. Going Dutch?; Part IV. Party Alignments and the Passage of Union: 9. Jacobitism and the war of the British succession, 1701-5; 10. Securing the Votes, 1706-7; Part V. Conclusion: 11. The Treaty of Union.