Economic problems faced by Scotland

In the 1690s, Scotland suffered from financial problems that increased hostility towards England.

Many people thought that there was a lack of English willingness to help Scotland in its time of need. Scotland was suffering for a number of reasons.

The Ill Years

This was a period of bad harvests and famine during the 1690s.

The Navigation Acts

These were laws that stopped Scotland from trading with England’s colonies in India and the Caribbean. This was supported by King William and cut off a possible source of wealth for Scots. Scotland had no colonies of its own so it continued to fall behind its rivals.

The English Navy

During English wars the English Navy prevented Scottish ships from travelling to certain countries. This reduced Scots’ ability to trade.

The Darien Scheme

This was a plan in 1695, to create a Scottish colony in Panama (near Mexico), to trade with Central America.

King William encouraged English and Dutch investors to withdraw their money from the Company of Scotland which was left with only Scottish money.

Approximately 2500 people sailed from Leith in 1698 but by 1700 only a few hundred people survived.

King William played a key role in the failure of the Scots colonists - there was no support from English colonists in the region, as William had told them not to help. Spanish troops were also free to attack the Scots.