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What would the world be like if the Union hadn't happened?

Given that Scotland gets to vote on whether we keep the Union, I was playing a little thought game about how the work will look if there is an independent England. Then I wondered how the world would look if the Union had never happened, and England had left the Scots to cope with the consequences of their own actions in 1707.

Some guesses are:
Possibly no likelihood of the Union with Ireland, continuing squabbles but no Sinn Fein.
Probably no difference in whether the American colonies break away, but how would Canada have looked with French, English and Scottish colonies?
A weakened England would probably not have defeated Napoleon; where does that lead?
England probably would have managed to create some kind of empire in India, possibly not as big.
What would the Scottish Empire have looked like?

What do you think?
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Given that Scotland gets to vote on whether we keep the Union, I was playing a little thought game about how the work will look if there is an independent England. Then I wondered how the world would look if the Union had never happened, and England had left the Scots to cope with the consequences of their own actions in 1707.

Some guesses are:
Possibly no likelihood of the Union with Ireland, continuing squabbles but no Sinn Fein.
Probably no difference in whether the American colonies break away, but how would Canada have looked with French, English and Scottish colonies?
A weakened England would probably not have defeated Napoleon; where does that lead?
England probably would have managed to create some kind of empire in India, possibly not as big.
What would the Scottish Empire have looked like?

What do you think?

Sooner or later we'd have been forced to conquer Scotland - both for their own good and to stop them doing silly things like allowing Bonaparte to use North Britain as a base. We'd have stolen their colonies too and generally given them some genuine reasons to be a chippy, moaning bunch of grumpy ginger whingers - which would have been fun.

In terms of what Britain achieved, I think you're over emphasising the importance of Scotland. English economic and naval power was the decisive factor in the development of the empire and Scotland was largely peripheral to that. Scotland's great contribution came from its individuals, but they would most likely have been drawn into the English orbit anyway because that's where the opportunities (and operating capital) were.
 

4(T)

LE
Scotland had virtually no economy before Union - it didn't even have a road network over about 3/4 of the country. At that time, England was already a global power, and well on the way to being an industrial and military superpower.

There is no real chance that Scotland could have avoided economic subsumation into UK, and it never would have had the economic or military power to defend any colonies in North America or elsewhere. If not England, then another of the European majors would have hoovered up its colonies.

Without English maritime power and intervention, Scotland would have shared the fate of most small European countries until modern times - being kicked from empire to empire as a vassal state.

It boils down to population density, resources and strategic situation. The UK is a fairly logical and inevitable grouping, despite the nationalistic mythology of the separatists.
 
No Highland clearance, no kilts, more Gaelic.

What makes you say that? The Highland Clearances weren't directed from London, they were directed locally. The landowners weren't English, they were Scots. The population pressures on what is borderline farmland and the opening of the "New World" would still see large-scale emigration (look at Minnesota, full of Scandinavians) and large-scale movement into cities to feed the Industrial Revolution.

The modern small kilt may be an invention, but without proscription the fèileadh mor won't be banned. And it's not as if most of the population ever spoke Gaelic - the populous central belt, east coast, and borderlands were all Lallans. IIRC, there are only 58,000 Scots who currently count Gaelic as a first language - there are probably more Scots who speak Urdu or Cantonese at home (or French, or German, or Spanish).

You could argue that the Rangers v. Celtic religious dynamic that led to Culloden (let's be honest, when almost the whole Lowland Brigade and a chunk of the Highland Brigade is on the winning side, it's a big hint) is all about that 18th-century fixation on which branch of Christianity was enforced as the established religion; that's still going to happen, just differently.

An equally interesting question might be "what would the Union be like if James hadn't been so determined to follow Catholicism" - no Glorious Revolution, no '15 or '45, no Battle of the Boyne, no Culloden.
 
Inevitably this will degenerate into yet another Scottish Independence thread. And Alternative History questions are pointless. But here goes.

Union or no, Scotland would inevitably have been no more than a vassal state of England. There is no reason for that to have affected affairs in Ireland since without control of the western approaches there would have been no Empire overseas. The Irish Act of Union was a direct result of the 1798 Rebellion and had nothing to do with the Scottish Act of Union. So the English-Irish wars were going to happen anyway. Both unions were ultimately beneficial to all sides although if you were cleared off your highland farm or starved to death in the famine it probably would not have appeared that way at the time.
 
Scotland had virtually no economy before Union - it didn't even have a road network over about 3/4 of the country. At that time, England was already a global power, and well on the way to being an industrial and military superpower.

There is no real chance that Scotland could have avoided economic subsumation into UK, and it never would have had the economic or military power to defend any colonies in North America or elsewhere. If not England, then another of the European majors would have hoovered up its colonies.

Without English maritime power and intervention, Scotland would have shared the fate of most small European countries until modern times - being kicked from empire to empire as a vassal state.

It boils down to population density, resources and strategic situation. The UK is a fairly logical and inevitable grouping, despite the nationalistic mythology of the separatists.

Pretty well sums up my view. Scotland joined the union because it was bust any other way. Had it not British history would have been English history. At worst Scotland would have become another Ireland and we'd have the Strathclyde protestants to put up with as well.
 
Given that Scotland gets to vote on whether we keep the Union, I was playing a little thought game about how the work will look if there is an independent England. Then I wondered how the world would look if the Union had never happened, and England had left the Scots to cope with the consequences of their own actions in 1707.

Some guesses are:
Possibly no likelihood of the Union with Ireland, continuing squabbles but no Sinn Fein.
Probably no difference in whether the American colonies break away, but how would Canada have looked with French, English and Scottish colonies?
A weakened England would probably not have defeated Napoleon; where does that lead?
England probably would have managed to create some kind of empire in India, possibly not as big.
What would the Scottish Empire have looked like?

What do you think?

Of course we'd have still been on the winning side with or without scotland [unless of course they teamed up with the frenchies,that wasn't unknown],..anyway Europe was boneys prison,the wealth of India the industrial citys of Northern England and the Royal Navy made it all but garranteed/

As for what would a Scottish Empire look like AHAHAHAHAHSHITeAHAHAHAHA
 
Keeping it simple, cause I am, if you take one look at the map you can see the place is mostly desolate highland soggy nothingness, not a viable place without help from England.

The same will be true if they leave the union, they will find they ain't got much to work with, shortbread and square sausage won't pay the bills.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Keeping it simple, cause I am, if you take one look at the map you can see the place is mostly desolate highland soggy nothingness, not a viable place without help from England.

The same will be true if they leave the union, they will find they ain't got much to work with, shortbread and square sausage won't pay the bills.
That's even if they allow themselves to sell the stuff! Probably be a trade embargo first, I reckon just up the tax on Buckie and the whole place will collapse, that or legalise smack!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Japanese would be commiting Sepuku in their droves!
Still I'm sure a sweaty entrepreneur would think of something?
tumblr_n6lv15f2Ag1rt4viko1_500.jpg
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
You do know where Buckie is made don't you ?

Once we ban export of that wee tipple the place will go mad Max stylee in a week.
Buckfast abbey in Devon, hence taxing it in retaliation for them withholding such culinary delights as sheeps guts!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Yes but we can sell it to all of the PWs via food shelters etc.
 

CliSwe

Old-Salt
Independent Scotland would go arse-up in twelve months. No kidding: Its service industries couldn't survive without the OK from London.
 

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