In 1602, England's Queen Elizabeth I died without leaving any heirs to the throne except a first cousin twice removed, Scotland's James I. King James became the ruler of both nations, though the countries maintained their political independence.
However, in 1707, Scottish leaders agreed to completely merge with the English and form the United Kingdom.
Some Scots were outraged, and riots spread across the country. Others thought that "bigger is better," and felt the two countries were stronger together.
Through the years, the Scots have tried and failed to break away from the U.K., but it wasn't until 1999 that Scotland re-established its own parliament. England let Scotland make its own decisions on some local issues like health, education and housing, but the money to run that government was still doled out by London.