Why did Ireland and Scotland join the United Kingdom?
You make it sound like it was voluntary. It wasn't.Essentially Ireland was conquered militarily by England in a stage by stage process over several hundred years in the middle ages, although Ireland nominally remained a separate Kingdom until 1800 (although with the same King as England since 1155). During the 20th century, three-quarters of it managed to detach itself from rule by England, but due to the deliberate plantation of Protestant settlers from England and Scotland in the north of Ireland during the 17th century, the sentiments of the people in that part of the island were divided, and that part of the country is currently still ruled by the UK.In effect, it was much the same process as was carried out during the conquest of Wales, but Wales was conquered more thoroughly at an earlier stage because of having a land border with England.It is what happened in Scotland that perhaps confuses the matter. While England attempted to conquer Scotland militarily many, many times from the 9th century onwards (essentially, ever since England came into existence as a country), it was only able to subdue Scotland for a short period at the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th centuries. Scotland remained independent thereafter largely because of French military support. Occupation even, but of a benevolent kind. Unfortunately, the Protestant Reformation put paid to that arrangement, as did the dynastic crisis in England which ended an independent Scottish monarchy by the King of Scotland becoming King of England (and Ireland) in 1603, until his successor was deposed in a religious coup d'état by the Protestant Dutch Willem of Oranje (William of Orange) in 1688. Scotland was subjected to a trade war with England, and Scotland's attempts to establish a colony in Central America, in which a quarter of the country's national wealth was invested, were strangled by the East India Company and King William's English navy. Scotland was bankrupt. Its parliamentarians (not that Scotland was a parliamentary democracy as we know it today), having been bought off quite literally with suitcases of money by English secret agents, voted for Union with England in 1707. The ordinary people rioted in the streets, but to no avail. Join? No, not joining. That too, was conquest.
What would have happened if the Spanish Armada had succeeded and England was invaded?
OK. I come from an old Catholic English “recusant” family which stayed Catholic after the Reformation. One of my ancestors was a complete traitor and spied for Philip of Spain (I am proud to say that he was hung, drawn and quartered). My family was also involved in the Gunpowder plot (the family name was Throckmorton and it comes down my mother’s side). So I am pretty familiar with the Protestant/Catholic issues here.By 1588, when the Spanish Armada happened, England (and it must be remembered that there was no United Kingdom then - just England and Wales), was solidly Protestant but this was less religious conviction but more anti the big European powers of France and Spain (sound familiar!).The last time someone invaded England was 1066 (that is true nowadays if you discount hopeless cases). England had a very small (and not very good) army compared to the Spanish army and was much poorer. So Spain would probably have reached London.But the English are very cussed and stubborn. I suspect that real resistance would have come from the North of England (they are tough up there!) and the Welsh (equally tough) and the cold and damp climate would have taken its toll on the Spanish. A long fought out series of skirmishes would have occurred. The Spanish would have found it very difficult to ban Protestantism or indeed get the English to speak anything other than English. They probably would have sought to place on the throne a Catholic (maybe from the Scottish Stuart dynasty) but this would have been bitterly resisted. It may have been like the Dutch resistance against the Spanish occupation in the Netherlands (see Eighty Years' War) which was happening around the same time. In the end, the Dutch Protestants won that war although it was long. Indeed, it is likely that the English resistance would have linked up with the Dutch and German Lutherans.So, in the end, I think that it would have delayed but not affected the rise of English power (particularly sea power).
How successful would the British Empire have been if Scotland never joined the union?
Well, it would have been just the English Empire with Wales which England does not recognise despite being older than England.It would be ruled by Germany from the time of World War 1 but at very least, WW2………as they would never have had radar, cats eyes on the roads, pneumatic rubber-tyres, or basic communication like the TV and telephone as all of these were invented by Scotsmen and hence, Brits.They would have had no bargaining power with the US outside of the media connections between London and New York (which helped to create the Holocaust by declaring an economic war against Germany) because Earnest Rutherford was a Scots/Kiwi……and split the atom.Worse yet, Fleming, who created Antibiotics was also Scottish and the industrial revolution was started in Glasgow and Liverpool among other small town in North England and Scotland. It would have been likely for the north of England to succeed from the South and make a treaty with Scotland.In short, England would never have been able to suck enough from Scotland to allow it to suck from other countries allowing 300 years of parasitic growth, it would have remained a small, gloomy, insignificant country like it is today.
Who said "if at first you don’t succeed, try again"?
IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN. Don't give up too easily; persistence pays off in the end. The proverb has been traced back to 'Teacher's Manual' (1840) by American educator Thomas H. Palmer and 'The Children of the New Forest' (1847) by English novelist Frederick Maryat (1792-1848). Originally a maxim used to encourage American schoolchildren to do their homework. Palmer (1782-1861) wrote in his 'Teacher's Manual': 'Tis a lesson you should heed, try, try again. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.' The saying was popularized by Edward Hickson (1803-70) in his 'Moral Song' (1857) and is now applicable to any kind of activity." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996, Page 154). I could be wrong but I rember reading somewhere [at school] that it was first attributed to Robert the Bruce. Hiding from the English [probably] after some battle or other and on the verge of jacking it all in, he spied a spider. The spider was trying to spin a web or climb up a wall or something and despite continual knockbacks kept trying. Inspiring The Bruce to renew his battle etc.
What is the future of England after Brexit and Scotland Independence?
Scotland will become independent and join the Euro currency and for the first time there wont be a united kingdom which the sheer prospect of is mind boggling and begs the question how has this happened. David Cameron made a brutal mistake by calling this referendum and not suggesting any thorough changes to the UK’s membership of the EU which he failed to do in the campaign hence why you had so many undecided voters on voting day.Like trump once said, politicians don’t make countries great its businesses and companies and trade between between countries. Cameron did a great job as PM but he took way too many risks and didn't see the long term consequences of this. Especially going back to John Majors time in office he was given an horrendous time based on the divisions on the EU issue.
How would history be different if the Jacobites had succeeded?
That would depend on which uprising succeeded.First one in 1688Quite different! The first Jacobites uprising was basically a movement to reinstate the Stuarts (James II) as King of England once again after being exiled forcibly for having tried to keep a Catholic dynasty on the throne. Besides the change from a Protestant to a Catholic dynasty, this could have ramifications on both the status of Ireland, Scotland and Britain as well as the American colonies' secession. England, Scotland and most importantly, Catholic Ireland would have become three formally independent kingdoms united under one crown. This might cause the split in Ireland to never occur, thus removing much of the future conflict. This in turn would have opened up London's relationship with the American colonies, making possible a far looser pattern of control which might have avoided the War of Independence. However, the Stuarts also had an authoritarian style that might have infuriated the rising British middle class - not just a handful of radical intellectuals - into the mood for revolution. The French had also been hoping that the turmoil would disrupt the British long enough for them to take advantage of the situation so who knows what might have happened.Second and third one in 1715 and 1719Both happened pretty close to each other. If the 1715's succeeded, then Scotland and the Scottish people would have better representation and would most likely be treated as an equal today. If the 1719's succeeded, then the Spaniards would have a greater control over overseas territories since they supported the rebellion.Fourth and last uprising in 1745Probably wouldn't have been able to form the British Empire as Prince Charles Edward Stuart was terrible at military planning and he also wanted to abolish the Union.TLDR: The Scottish historian Bruce Lenman wrote 10 years ago that "the Jacobite political programme was neither ignoble nor unreasonable. Had they triumphed, not only would religious toleration in the fullest sense have come much sooner to the British Isles, but the relations between the three ancient kingdoms of those islands might have been placed on a more equitable footing".