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-Ian McKay

dangerous for a man to express his thoughts freely on the matter."28 The whole city of Edinburgh was said to have seen the ships off at the nearby port of Leith.29

The outcome of this expedition was total disaster. A combination of bad planning, horrendous weather, and brutal diseases resulted in utter failure for two attempts between 1698 to 1700.30 Because of the widespread enthusiasm for its launch, the complete failure resulted in a national trauma. In addition to the hopes of the nation, it sunk most of its money with it as well.31 As much of one fourth of Scotland's entire liquid capital, about £153,000, was lost in the venture.32 In addition to the practical causes of failure on the ground, there were other causes as well, which Scots seemed to emphasize far more at the time. The actions of England during this affair were called, "full of Treachery and Malice against our Country," "contrary to the Law of Nations," and an, "entrenchment upon the sovereignty of Scotland."33 What did England do to deserve such harsh words?

England very much wanted to see the Darien venture fail, partially to protect themselves from competition, but mostly to appease a valuable ally in the Spaniards. Spain was furious that Scotland would dare found a colony right in the middle of their empire, and attacked the colony several times.34 Spain was in its last gasp as a world power, but it did contribute significantly to the destruction of Darien through its diplomacy in London. In fact, England's acceptance of Spain's view is shown by the title of the comedy quoted at the very beginning of this study,

28. Bridget McPhail, Eighteenth Century Life, 130.
29. George Ellis, "Disaster in Darien," Americas 46, no. 6 (1994), 37.
30. Schama, The Wars of the British: 1603 - 1776, 132.
31. Schama, The Wars of the British: 1603 - 1776, 332.
32. Devine, The Scottish Nation, 6.
33. George Ridpath, Scotland's Grievances relating to Darien: Humbly offered to the Considerations of the Parliament, (Edinburgh, 1700), 2.
34. Christopher Storrs, "Disaster at Darien (1698-1700)? The Persistence of Spanish Imperial Power on the Eve of the Demise of the Spanish Hapsburgs," European History Quarterly 29, no. 1 (1999), 6.