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The Treaty of Union.
The published Articles of Union.
Personal and legislative unions of the

constituent countries of the United Kingdom

Devolution
Sovereignty

The Treaty of Union is the name given to the agreement that led to the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain,[1] the political union of England (including Wales) and Scotland, that took effect on 1 May 1707. The details of the Treaty were agreed on 22 July 1706,[2] leading to Acts of Union being passed by the separate parliaments of England and Scotland.

The idea of uniting the two sovereign states had been around since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when King James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne from his double first cousin twice removed, Queen Elizabeth I. Three previous attempts to unite the two countries by Acts of Parliament, in 1606, 1667, and 1689 were unsuccessful, though the political and economic circumstances at the start of the 18th century were such that the political establishments supported the idea, though it was deeply unpopular among the Scottish population at large.[3]

Contents

Details of the Treaty

The Treaty consisted of 25 articles.[4]

Article 1 provided for the new United Kingdom to be named Great Britain.

Article 2 provided for the succession of the House of Hanover, and for Protestant succession as set out in the English Act of Settlement.

Article 3 provide for the creation of the one, unified, parliament of Great Britain.

Articles 4–18 dealt with aspects of trade, movement, taxes, regulation etc to ensure equal treatment for all subjects of the new United Kingdom. Article 16 required the introduction of a common currency for Great Britain, subsequently effected through the 1707-1710 Scottish recoinage.

Article 19 provided for the continuation of Scotland's separate legal system.

Article 20 provided for the protection of heritable offices, superiorities, heritable jurisdictions, offices for life, and jurisdictions for life after the union.

Article 21 provided for the protection of the rights of royal burghs.

Article 22 provided for Scotland representation in the Parliament of Great Britain to be 16 Lords and 45 MPs.

Article 23 provided for Scotland's peers to have the same rights as English peers in any trials of peers.

Article 24 provided for the creation of a new Great Seal for the United Kingdom, different from the Great Seal of England (but that the English one could be used until it was created.)

Article 25 provides that all laws of either Kingdom that may be inconsistent with the Articles in the Treaty are to be declared void.

Further reading

  • Harris, Bob. "The Anglo Scottish Treaty of Union, 1707 in 2007: Defending the Revolution, Defeating the Jacobites," Journal of British Studies Jan. 2010, Vol. 49, No. 1: 28-46.

References

  1. ^ Welcome parliament.uk, accessed 7 October, 2008
  2. ^ Articles of Union with Scotland 1707 www.parliament.uk
  3. ^ Scottish Referendums BBC News, accessed 23 October 2008
  4. ^ The Treaty (act) of the Union of Parliament 1706, Scots History Online

External links

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