THIS is the second of two columns on treaties involving Scotland which comprehensively prove that this independent country was a recognised and respected nation in its own right for almost nine centuries until the Acts of Union in 1707.

International treaties are hugely important for a country’s status, and I look forward to the day when Scotland will sign new international treaties that will confirm our revival as a nation-state. I sincerely hope the first such treaty will be with England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or rUK as we have come to term it.

My task today is to present the evidence of how treaties showed how the international community treated Scotland as a nation-state.

The most important treaty signed by Scotland before the Treaty of Union was the Treaty of Paris in 1295. It is better known as the Auld Alliance and guided our international relations for almost three centuries.

READ MOREPanama: A bridge between two continents

It seems remarkable now that facing an existential threat from King Edward I of England, the community of the realm of Scotland came together in a show of defiance by having King John Balliol sign an accord with King Philip IV of France who was also under threat from Edward Longshanks. It was one of the first mutual defence treaties, with France and Scotland promising to respond to any English invasion by supporting each other against England.

Longshanks showed what he thought of the alliance by invading Scotland, destroying Berwick-upon-Tweed, conquering most of the rest of Scotland and flinging Balliol off his throne to exile in France.

The Auld Alliance was frequently renewed in the 14th and 15th centuries, and during that period, Scots fought for France against England in the Hundred Years’ War, famously winning the Battle of Baugé in 1421 when Scottish warrior Alexander Buchanan killed the Duke of Clarence, heir to the English throne. Buchanan himself was killed at the Battle of Verneuil along with most of the Scottish army in 1424.

The alliance was renewed in time to lead to the greatest disaster in Scottish military history. King James IV felt it was a matter of chivalrous honour under the treaty to aid France in its war with Henry VIII of England, and despite the fact that he was married to Henry’s sister Margaret, James assembled an army and invaded northern England.

READ MORE: The treaties that solidify Scotland's status as an independent nation

The English forces were well-prepared and superbly led by a battle-hardened officer class, while the Scottish army was out of practice and led by a king who was undoubtedly brave but naïve and very foolhardy.

On the field of Flodden on September 9, 1513, James IV personally led the charge that the English repulsed and thousands of Scots died in the ensuing slaughter, including numerous earls, bishops, lords, lairds and the King himself. It was a very high price to pay for adherence to a treaty.

Most historians reckon that the Auld Alliance ended with the Treaty of Edinburgh, also known as the Treaty of Leith, in 1560 when the newly Protestant Scotland sided with the wishes of Queen Elizabeth of England.

The National: Mary Queen of Scots

Scotland’s Lords of the Congregation combined with the English to end the French occupation of Leith, and an Anglo-Scottish accord replaced the Auld Alliance. It should be noted that Mary, Queen of Scots, never ratified the treaty, having been queen consort of France.

Scotland had a long series of treaties with England, some of them more successful than others. The one which every Scot should know is the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton in 1328 because it contains the English acknowledgement of the independence of Scotland under the kingship of Robert the Bruce.

The regents for the boy king of Edward III agreed a treaty that contained the words that “there be a true, final and perpetual peace between the kings, their heirs and successors and their realms and lands and their subjects and peoples”.

It added that Scotland “shall belong to our dearest ally and friend, the magnificent prince, Lord Robert, by God’s grace illustrious King of Scotland, and to his heirs and successors, separate in all things from the kingdom of England, whole, free, and undisturbed in perpetuity, without any kind of subjection, service, claim or demand”.

The trouble with treaties is that they are easily broken, and perfidious Albion took just five years after the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton to break it. Edward III sided with the would-be usurper Edward Balliol and sent an army to support him.

The Scots were not entirely innocent of treaty breaking. The Treaty of Greenwich in 1543 was Henry VIII’s master plan to unite the thrones of England and Scotland under his son Edward.

READ MORE: The history of treaty that secured release of Scottish king James I 

In the treaty, it was agreed that the boy Edward would marry the infant Mary, Queen of Scots at the appropriate time, probably when Mary was 10, and though the Regent Arran signed it, the Scottish Parliament rejected the treaty in December of that year which led to the English invasions known as the Rough Wooing.

Though technically it was not between Scotland and England, the Treaty of Breda in 1650 had huge significance for both countries.

It was signed by Charles II as King of Scots and promised the then-victorious Covenanters that he would impose Presbyterianism as the state religion when he regained the throne. Cromwell came north and conquered the country, rendering the Treaty of Breda useless, and even when Charles was restored in 1660, he took pains to ignore what he had signed 10 years earlier and imposed bishops on the Kirk.

Scotland signed treaties with other countries, one of the most important being the Treaty of Perth signed between King Magnus VI of Norway and King of Scots Alexander III in 1266 that ended the conflict with the kingdom of Norway and brought the Hebrides into the realm of Scotland, with Orkney and Shetland confirmed as Norwegian territories.