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The Darien Disaster: A Scots Colony in the…
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The Darien Disaster: A Scots Colony in the New World, 1698-1700 (edição: 1969)

de John Prebble (Autor)

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The word Darien is a scar on the memory of the Scots, and the hurt is still felt even where the cause of the wound is dimly understood. Three hundred years ago the Parliament of Scotland, in one of its last acts before the nation lost its political identity, defied the King and the persistent hostility of the English to establish a noble trading company, to settle a colony, and to recover its people from a century of despair, privation, famine and decay.The site of the colony, Darien on the Isthmus of Panama, was the enduring dream of William Paterson, the erratically brilliant Scot who had helped to found the Bank of England. He called it 'the door of the seas, and the key of the universe', and believed that it would become a bridge between East and West, an entrepot through which would pass the richest trade in the world.The first attempt to make the Company a joint Scots and English venture was crushed by the English Parliament. The Scots created it by themselves, in a wave of almost hysterical enthusiasm, subscribing half of the nation's capital. Three years later the 'noble undertaking', crippled by the quarrelsome stupidity of its leaders, deliberately obstructed by the English Government, and opposed in arms by Spain, had ended in stunning disaster. Nine fine ships owned by the Company had been sunk, burnt or abandoned. Over two thousand men, women and children who went to the fever-ridden colony never returned. It was a tragic curtain to the last act of Scotland's independence.John Prebble's book is the first detailed account of the Darien Settlement, drawn from original sources in the records of the Company, the journals, letters and memoirs of those who tried to turn William Paterson's dream into reality.… (mais)
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One could say, this is a book to give to people who say that many of the flaws in government could be fixed, "By running it as a proper business!" Given with considerable force and a full armed throw perhaps. In spite of the fact that Great Britain was NOT at war with Spain, the merchants of Edinburgh take their domestic production overruns and ship them off to a fort that was founded in legally Spanish territory. The natives aren't interested in the goods...king william II, wasn't interesting in starting a war with Spain over the incursion, and then the Scots descend into an inter clan fight on how to run things. Did I mention their colony did not have a reasonable site? The natives didn't even live there! And the indigenous certainly weren't interested in buying 1600 copies of the bible in English, or 3000 wigs. If it had gone better it would have been a
disaster, as it was...it was a complete catastrophe. And back in Edinburgh, the Managers milked the liquid capital for their own pleasures, and, eventually, ended up hanging three relatively innocent sailors for a piracy they didn't commit. Prebble also explores the effect that this effort had on the terms which were addressed in the Act of Union with England in 1707. Yes, you guessed the Stockholders got paid! The relatives and friends of the 2000 dead...not a scots farthing! the narrative is well done, though a map on the final campaign of the Spanish would have been useful. Readable, and a little embarrassing for Scots' nationalists. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 20, 2017 |
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The word Darien is a scar on the memory of the Scots, and the hurt is still felt even where the cause of the wound is dimly understood. Three hundred years ago the Parliament of Scotland, in one of its last acts before the nation lost its political identity, defied the King and the persistent hostility of the English to establish a noble trading company, to settle a colony, and to recover its people from a century of despair, privation, famine and decay.The site of the colony, Darien on the Isthmus of Panama, was the enduring dream of William Paterson, the erratically brilliant Scot who had helped to found the Bank of England. He called it 'the door of the seas, and the key of the universe', and believed that it would become a bridge between East and West, an entrepot through which would pass the richest trade in the world.The first attempt to make the Company a joint Scots and English venture was crushed by the English Parliament. The Scots created it by themselves, in a wave of almost hysterical enthusiasm, subscribing half of the nation's capital. Three years later the 'noble undertaking', crippled by the quarrelsome stupidity of its leaders, deliberately obstructed by the English Government, and opposed in arms by Spain, had ended in stunning disaster. Nine fine ships owned by the Company had been sunk, burnt or abandoned. Over two thousand men, women and children who went to the fever-ridden colony never returned. It was a tragic curtain to the last act of Scotland's independence.John Prebble's book is the first detailed account of the Darien Settlement, drawn from original sources in the records of the Company, the journals, letters and memoirs of those who tried to turn William Paterson's dream into reality.

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