Darién Scheme

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Darién Scheme,

Scottish project to establish a colony on the Isthmus of Panama (Darién). In 1695, the Scottish Parliament passed an act that chartered a company for trading with Africa and the Indies. William PatersonPaterson, William,
1658–1719, British financier. By the time of the Glorious Revolution (1688–89, which he supported), he had acquired considerable wealth and influence through foreign trade.
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 directed the first efforts of the company to found a colony on the Isthmus of Panama to compete with the Dutch and Spanish for trade. Stock was subscribed in England and Scotland, but opposition by the English government and by the East India Company caused English investors to withdraw. The company's two expeditions (1698, 1699) failed because of poor leadership and equipment, disease, and the hostility of the Spanish; many lives were lost. The failure, with its immense losses to Scottish investors, vividly demonstrated Scotland's commercial disadvantage outside the British realm. By the terms of the Act of Union with England (1707), Scotland secured equality in trade. Investors in the Darién venture were partially indemnified for their losses.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Balf clearly succeeds in bringing the tale of the Darien Expedition to life for the modern reader.
Balf first places the Darien Expedition in its wider context, explaining the long international competition behind the quest for a path across the Darien Gap, dating back to 1503 and Christopher Columbus.
(33) It should be no surprise that LT Strain later engaged on a career path that ultimately put him at the keel of the Darien Expedition, which was both an expeditionary and scientific mission.
Balf also admits to being unable to use the official Darien Expedition journal.