Definitions for darien scheme

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  1. Darien scheme

    The colonization project that became known as the Darien Scheme or Darien Disaster was an unsuccessful attempt by the Kingdom of Scotland to become a world trading nation by establishing a colony called "Caledonia" on the Isthmus of Panama in the late 1690s. From the outset, the undertaking was beset by poor planning and provision, weak leadership, lack of demand for trade goods, devastating epidemics of disease and increasing shortage of food; it was finally abandoned after a siege by Spanish forces in April 1700. As the Darien company was backed by about a quarter of the money circulating in Scotland, its failure left the nobles and landowners—who had suffered a run of bad harvests—almost completely ruined and was an important factor in weakening their resistance to the Act of Union. Although the scheme failed, it has been seen as marking the beginning of the country's transformation into a modern nation oriented toward business.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Darien Scheme

    a project to plant a colony on the Atlantic side of the Isthmus, which was so far carried out that some 1200 left Scotland in 1698 to establish it, but which ended in disaster, and created among the Scotch, who were the chief sufferers, an animus against the English, whom they blamed for the disaster, an animus which did not for long die out.

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