Wars of Scottish Independence

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The Wars of Scottish Independence were a series of military campaigns fought between the independent Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.

The First War (1296–1328) began with the English invasion of Scotland in 1296, and ended with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton in 1328. The Second War (1332–1357) began with the English-supported invasion of Edward Baliol and the "Disinherited" in 1332, and ended in 1357 with the signing of the Treaty of Berwick. The wars were part of a great national crisis for Scotland and the period became one of the most defining moments in the nation's history. At the end of both wars, Scotland retained its status as an independent nation. The wars were important for other reasons, such as the emergence of the longbow as a key weapon in medieval warfare.


The First War of Independence: 1296–1328


King Alexander III of Scotland died in 1286, leaving his 4-year-old granddaughter Margaret (called "the Maid of Norway") as his heir. In 1290, the Guardians of Scotland signed the Treaty of Birgham agreeing to the marriage of the Maid of Norway and Edward of Caernarvon, the son of Edward I, who was Margaret's great-uncle. This marriage would not create a union between Scotland and England because the Scots insisted that the Treaty declare that Scotland was separate and divided from England and that its rights, laws, liberties and customs were wholly and inviolably preserved for all time.

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