(Reuters) - Scotland’s governing party set out its plans on Tuesday for a referendum on independence, but the main opposition parties vowed to block any move to end the 300-year-old union with England.
Here is a chronology of the 300-year-old union:
The crowns of England and Scotland were united in 1603, when James VI of Scotland succeeded Elizabeth to the English throne as James I.
With the economy crippled by limits on trading imposed by England, the Scots launched an ill-fated attempt to set up a colony in what is now Panama. Scotland invested a significant amount of its capital in the failed “Darien Venture”.
May 1, 1707 - Act of Union comes into effect and England grant Scotland 400,000 pounds to clear debts from the Darien disaster.
1746 - The pretender to the Scottish throne, Bonnie Prince Charlie, is defeated by royal troops at the Battle of Culloden, the last battle fought on British soil.
1759 - National Scottish poet Robert Burns born on January 25.
1783-1881 - Highland Clearances. About 150,000 people are forced off their land to make way for large-scale sheep farming.
1934 - Scottish National Party is founded after a merger of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, and won seats in the British parliament in 1945 and again in 1967.
March 1979 - A referendum in Scotland fails to produce clear support for devolution from London to a Scottish assembly.
1989 - Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government introduces hugely unpopular poll tax in Scotland a year before England. The tax is abolished in 1993.
September 1997 - In a two-part referendum, 74.3 per cent of Scots vote for a 129-member parliament to administer many aspects of Scottish life, and 63.5 percent voted to give it tax-varying powers. The parliament controls schools, health service, environmental affairs and farm support programs.
May 12, 1999 - New parliament convenes. “This was the parliament adjourned on the 25th of March in 1707 and is hereby reconvened,” said the SNP’s Winnie Ewing.
October 9, 2004 - Queen Elizabeth opens Scotland’s new parliament building, which was finished late and cost 430 million pounds ($845 million), 10 times over budget.
May 2007 - The Scottish National Party becomes the largest parliamentary force, ending 50 years of political dominance in Scotland by Britain’s ruling Labour Party.
August 2007 - The SNP sets out plans for a referendum on independence from England.
Sources: Reuters/ Scottish Parliament/ heritage.scotsman.com