Political effects of the Union

Scottish Secretary of State

Scotland was governed differently after Union. The Scottish Privy Council was abolished in 1708. A new position of Scottish Secretary of State in London was created.

The Jacobite threat

The government found it difficult to control the Highlands, so Jacobite opposition to Union in the Highlands continued. The English Treason Law was applied in Scotland from 1709 onwards.

Feelings of injustice

Some English and Scottish politicians felt that the other’s country benefited more from Union. Scots legal experts were frustrated that from 1712 the House of Lords in London was the Court of Appeal for Scottish cases. This led to “miscarriages of justice” caused by a lack of understanding of Scots law by English judges.

Scots landowners with English titles were angry in 1711 when they were prevented from taking their seats in the House of Lords.

Threats to Union

In 1713, with the economic advantages of Union still to be felt across the country, there was a proposal in Parliament to reverse the Act of Union, which was only narrowly defeated.

This led to British Government, although dominated by English Ministers, taking increased care not to offend Scotland in the future.