Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
- Relations: Peaceful, though there is some internal strife.
- Current Ruler: Charles II
- Religion: Presbyterianism, with minorities for the Church of England and Roman Catholicism
The increasing friction between Charles I of England and the English parliament, during the 1640s, caused both sides to seek a Scottish alliance. Compared to the complex political currents flowing south of the border, the position of Scotland's dominant party was relatively simple. The Covenanters wanted a religious settlement. Their aim was to establish a Presbyterian church as the only form of Christianity, in both Scotland and England. Their natural ally would therefore seem to have been the predominantly Puritan Parliament in Westminster. An alliance was made, in the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643, pledging Scottish armies for the English Parliamentary cause, in return for religious support.
In 1646, Charles I surrendered to a Scottish army at Newark. On this occasion, after several months of negotiation, the Covenanters failed to reach agreement with the king. They handed him over, in 1647, to his English enemies. The Scots believed that the Solemn League and Covenant committed the English Parliament to securing a national Presbyterian church in both kingdoms. The English Parliamentarians did not. English failure to honour this pledge (partly because Cromwell and the army did not favour presbyterian rule) caused the Covenanters to revise their commitment. They considered instead an alliance with the Stuart Royal family, and eventually switched sides in the English Civil War. The Scottish army invaded England on the king's behalf, launching the second phase of the English Civil War. The King, nevertheless, was put to death.
This royal alliance was renewed, with equally disastrous results, when Covenanters fought for Charles II against Cromwell in the final stage of the civil war. The army was defeated at Worcester, in 1651. The result was the submission of Scotland to English parliamentary rule, and the enforced administrative union of the two countries, in 1652.
With the Stuart Restoration, the religious system in Scotland is also restored. In 1662, Charles II imposed bishops once again north of the border, but in a manner enabling them to coexist with Presbyterian assemblies.
In the Highlands (north) of Scotland and the outer Islands Scottish Gaelic is most commonly spoken, whilst in the Lowlands (south) and the borderlands the language is Scots. Many Scots speak both and multiple dialects exist in each.