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Security, Act of

Security, Act of [S], 1704. The Scottish Act of Security was, paradoxically, an important step towards Union. After the failure of the Darien scheme in 1700, the Scots were bitter towards England. Proposals for a union failed and the Scottish Parliament pointedly refused to follow the English Act of Settlement (1701), which ensured succession to the Hanoverians. Instead, their Act of Security left the Scottish succession to be resolved by Parliament later and declared that the successor in England would not be named if Scottish grievances over religion, liberty, and trade were not met. To point the threat, the Scottish militia was put in readiness. Anne refused consent but, reluctant to force the issue in the midst of a great war, gave way in 1704. The two countries were now on collision course and, after retaliation from both sides, negotiations commenced which resulted in Union in 1707. James Mackinnon called the statute ‘an ultimatum rather than an Act of Parliament’.

J. A. Cannon

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