Key Historical Events in the Union between England and Scotland

Act of Settlement

The Act of Settlement was passed by the English parliament in 1701. Its primary purpose was to ensure a protestant succession to the crown of England by passing the succession to the House of Hanover and its protestant heirs. The was referred to as the Hanoverian Succession. Although the crowns of England and Scotland were united at this time, the Act of Settlement did not apply to the crown of Scotland when the act was created. Scotland became subject to this act under the Union Treaty in 1707

Act of Security

The Act of Security was passed by the Scottish parliament in 1704 to counter the Act of Settlement passed by the English parliament. The Act of Settlement had been passed by the English parliament with no consultation with the Scottish parliament despite the fact that the crowns of both nations were united. The Act of Security provided the Scottish parliament with the power to choose a different monarch to the monarch chosen by England, unless certain conditions were met. This would have effectively ended the Union of the Crowns

Alien Act

With the Scottish parliament refusing to be bound to the Hanoverian Succession, and exerting its right to self-determination by passing the Act of Security, the English Parliament passed the Alien Act in retaliation in 1705. The Alien Act was an exceptionally vindictive piece of legislation. It would have resulted in all Scots in England being treated as aliens (foreigners). Its effect would have been that all estates held in England by Scots would have been treated as alien property, making inheritance very difficult. This act would also have placed an embargo on all Scottish imports to England and English colonies. To avoid these penalties that act stipulated that Scotland had to either agree to the Hanoverian Succession, or enter into negotiations with England on a Treaty of Union.