Scotland will have an independence referendum on October 19th 2023. If you live in Scotland pls vote to finally be free of the shit ass uk
I'm pretty sure that the attempts to wipe out all Gaelic languages in the UK and shit like the Highland Clearances do count as colonialist violence though even if whether Scotland was 'colonised' is in question
(Also England also brought in monarchs from Orange and Hanover - they were rulers of those regions too, just as James I was ruler of Scotland - and those aren't part of UK, so...)
yeah i mean i don't want to pretend that the relationship between scotland and england has always been/is currently equal and i don’t want to ignore instances such as scottish children being beaten in schools for speaking gaelic as recently as the early 1900s, or how much england profits from scottish oil.
putting the rest under a cut because, as ever, this is a long answer (sorry)
on the specifics: the 1609 act that first banned scottish gaelic was passed by the scottish privy council, not by the english. this is not to say that subsequent acts weren't supported by the english - especially after the jacobite rising in the mid-1700s, though that was as much about religion and securing the british monarchy as it was about the scotland's relationship with england. obvs doesn’t make it okay though and the specifics aren't the point here (i don't think?)
the jacobite rising was also what led (in part) to the highland clearances, though it could be seen as a long-term result of the 1609 act which changed the role of clan chiefs from patriarchs into de facto commercial landlords. significant thing here though is that a lot of the clearances were funded by rich scottish nobles who were fans of social engineering, many of whom had found wealth in the british empire.
and that kind of leads to my most important point: i don't think it's correct to compare the relationship between scotland and england to that of, for example, britain and india or britain and barbados or britain and kenya or britain and australia (you get the picture).
scotland profited immensely from the british empire. scottish people were administrators, merchants, explorers, soldiers, etc. all over the empire, and so much of their wealth came from the trading of enslaved people and the commodities they produced like sugar and tobacco. the first prime minister of canada was born in scotland - the same prime minister that introduced residential schools for the forced assimilation of indigenous children.
there was a partnership between scotland and england that was founded on whiteness. scottish people were not racialised, enslaved, and dehumanised in the way that people in the colonies were, and i think that’s an important distinction to make (not that white people can’t ever be colonised but hopefully you understand what i’m getting at here).
i'm not saying this to absolve england of anything, or to bad-mouth scotland, or to say that one country is better than the other and i don't want this to turn into an argument along those lines in the slightest. i'm just saying that colonialism perhaps isn't the best framework to explain the relationship between england and scotland, and that it’s not as simple as good guys and bad guys. there’s a lot of nuance and shade in the history of anglo-scottish relations, and we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the question of scottish independence has become more pronounced since the ‘end’ (using that term loosely) of the british empire, when the partnership has become less profitable for the scots.
finally, on william of orange and the hanover monarchs: it's an interesting point, but i think it's ultimately a false parallel. william iii was the prince of orange which isn't equal to a scottish or english king. orange was a tiny feudal state in what is now france that, tbh, was barely worth having. france were vying for it during william’s reign and i believe louis xiv actually captured it at one point, so yeah the context is wildly different. william also married into the royal family, unlike james who was a descendant of the tudors. similarly, the political system in hanover was different to that of britain, being part of the ever-confusing holy roman empire, and so again it's not comparable to the scottish monarchy which had a relatively easy equivalent in england.
also worth mentioning that by this point, the nature of monarchy had radically changed compared to james i's time. there had been a civil war, we executed a monarch, there was a period (in england) of no monarchy, the monarchy was restored, the glorious revolution created a constitutional monarchy that was accountable to parliament, the divine right of monarchs had been questioned... the roles being offered to william iii and george i were very different - even to each other! - compared to that being offerened to james i.
sorry, you probably didn’t expect a thousand-word response, but i equally didn’t want people to think that i was taking the question of english colonialism lightly because it is a conversation worth having. and i’m sure that it’s a conversation that will be repeated if/when the indyref comes around.