For centuries, the scottish they maintained close economic and military ties with much of Scandinavia and the Hanseatic League whose commercial interests along the Atlantic and Baltic coast, in addition to the great rivers, extended from Holland to Russia. But what was pushing the Scots was not so much the desire to conquer new territories for their kingdom, but their desire to trade and war.
There was hardly any army in northern Europe in the seventeenth century that did not have Scottish mercenaries, who were famous for their ferocity. Thousands of them perished on the battlefields during the Thirty Years War. Between 1625 and 1642, the Council of the Scottish monarch sent 47,000 soldiers to enlist in continental armies; which although it allowed the King to sign penguins trade agreements, aggravated at the same time the worrying demographic problem that dragged his kingdom, especially after conquering and populating the Ulster, thus beginning the conflict that still lasts between the Irish Catholics and the descendants of the Scottish Protestant invaders.
Now, before the world-wide colonizing boom of England and Holland, the Scots decided that if they did not espabila they would be without the piece of the pie of the distribution that they considered corresponded to them. Hence the fateful Darien Project that sought to found a Scottish colony in the Panamanian region of Darién that would allow them to trade on their own in the Americas. Pulled by thousands of people, four ships sailed from the port of Leith (Edinburgh) in 1698 with 1,200 men on board.
After a rough crossing, they founded the Darien colony of calendonia, which is what the Romans called Scotland. But when the second expedition arrived in the middle of 1699, there was not a soul left in the colony. The first settlers perished victims of Tropical diseases typical of a territory as swampy as jungle, or for lack of food, internal struggles, or for their inability to understand the indigenous. In addition, the presence of such intruders did not like the Spaniards, and they acted accordingly. Of the three thousand settlers who crossed the Atlantic, only a few hundred survived. For greater inri, the few who managed to return home deserved only the fierce repudiation of their countrymen.
End of independence
The monumental failure of the Darién Project was devastating for the Scottish economy, since it had invested between a quarter and half of the wealth of the kingdom. Clearly, investors had been scammed by promoters. After suffering such large losses, it was only a matter of time before Scotland succumbed to the growing power of the Kingdom of England. The Act of Union between the two kingdoms was signed in 1707, after the English government agreed to pay Scotland's 400,000 pounds (more than 400 million today). But if this well saved the Scots from bankruptcy, it also meant the end of the independence of Scotland and the incorporation of its Crown into that of the neonata Great Britain.
A combination of pride and greed led the Scots to embark on such a risky venture, that from the beginning it was nothing more than a big lie made up by the ruling class, as there was absolutely nothing real in the project, but only a suicidal disposition collective for self-deception. In the end, all they got was to show the supine weakness of Scotland, the destruction of the middle class and the loss of their independence. All a warning for navigators.
Postscript: The trastataranieto of the Reverend Alexander Stobo, one of the survivors of the failed colony of Caledonia, was Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, who managed, in 1903, for Colombia to accept the secession of Panama, which would end facilitating the construction of the Canal.