Almost History Podcast Artwork Image
Almost History
AH 06 A wonderful paradise on the Isthmus of Panama
April 27, 2017 Ian Chapman-Curry
Towards the end of the seventeenth century, Scotland sank a huge chunk of its national wealth into an audacious scheme to colonise central America. become a more equal partner with England under the Stuart crown. 

The colony was to straddle the Isthmus of Panama at the Gulf of Darién. It would create an overland route to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Vessels from the Old World and the New World, it was hoped, would converge on the colony. Scotland would reap bountiful dividends. 

In the end, the venture failed. The Darien Scheme’s downfall was a major push forcing Scotland to give up her independence and join with England in 1707's Act of Union. 

This is the first in a two-part series looking at Scotland’s colonial disasters. In both cases, huge amounts of capital were raised and lost, and many lives ruined, as Scots attempted to forge a colonial empire in Central America.  

Do you like the podcast?

Please rate or review the podcast and share it with friends. On iTunes, this takes a couple of steps but it is the best way to help me reach a wider audience.

1. Search for Vaguely Interesting History on the Podcast app.

2. Tap the podcast artwork under the Podcasts heading (the red and white logo).

3. Tap reviews and leave a star rating or, even better, add a review as well!

Music credits The theme music is Newsroom by Riot.

The other music featured in this episode was Whispering Through by Asura ( and Snowmen by Kai Engel ( Both tracks are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution licences (

See All Episodes