Negotiations for the union of the Parliaments of Scotland and England were first opened in 1702. Economic considerations weighed most heavily on the Scottish side, because a union, though it would remove all restrictions on commercial intercourse between the two countries and would give Scottish merchants free access to the trade with the English colonies, would also expose the Scottish economy to the competition of English manufactures. Fear of this threat contributed to the breakdown of the negotiations in 1703. After a brief period of incipient economic warfare, negotiations were re-opened in 1706, and the Union successfully accomplished in the following year.
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