Difference between revisions of "Scotland"

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The Parliaments of Scotland and [[England]] were not united until 1707 and it is this date that is recognized as the  formation of [[Great Britain]]. This is referred to as the Union of the Parliaments. (The [[United Kingdom]] was to come into being with the addition of [[Ireland]] in 1801.)The formation of the Irish Free State in 1922 resulted in the current name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
 
The Parliaments of Scotland and [[England]] were not united until 1707 and it is this date that is recognized as the  formation of [[Great Britain]]. This is referred to as the Union of the Parliaments. (The [[United Kingdom]] was to come into being with the addition of [[Ireland]] in 1801.)The formation of the Irish Free State in 1922 resulted in the current name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  
==Societal Problems==
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Scotland, like many developed countries, has a great number of social and ethical challenges as church attendance<ref>[http://www.unavoce.org/scotland.htm The Once-Heroic Church in Scotland]</ref> has plummeted to an all-time low.<ref>Church attendance is just over 7% of Scottish adults. In 1962 Scotland had 26,015 baptisms. In 1998, there were only 9,951.</ref>
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Currently some 40% of births are to unmarried mothers, the trend being upwards. In 2003/4 there were 7.5 conceptions per 1000 for 13-15 year olds and  68.2 conceptions per 1000 for 16-19 year olds with over 50% of the 13-15 year olds having an [[abortion]]. <ref>[http://www.brook.org.uk/content/M6_4_teenage%20pregnancy.asp Teenage pregnancy]]</ref> In Scotland, 93% of men and 87% of women aged 16-74 drink alcohol. The proportion of [[public school]] pupils aged 12-15 who had had an alcoholic drink in the previous week has risen in the last decade from 14% in 1990 to 21% in 2000. Death rates from alcohol have risen over 100% between 1990 and 2000, the rates for women being nearer 200%.<ref>[http://www.scotland.gov.uk/health/alcoholproblems/docs/paap1-00.asp Statistics on Alcohol in Scotland]</ref> Abuse of [[illegal drugs]] is also increasing rapidly. <ref>[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/653646.stm Drug abuse increasing]</ref>
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==External Links==
 
==External Links==
 
*[http://www.n-cyclopedia.com/scottish-history/index.htm A Brief History of Scotland]
 
*[http://www.n-cyclopedia.com/scottish-history/index.htm A Brief History of Scotland]

Revision as of 13:34, 11 March 2008

Scotland
Scotland-map.jpg
Flag of Scotland.png
Lion rampant.png
Flag Coat of Arms
Capital Edinburgh
Government Devolved parliamentary democracy
Language English, Gaelic (official)
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II
Prime minister Gordon Brown

Scotland is the second largest country of the United Kingdom. It is about three-eighths the size of its larger neighbour England, but is much less populous; most of the population lives in the central belt, a band across central Scotland between the capital Edinburgh and the city of Glasgow. Other cities are Aberdeen and Dundee. Inverness and Stirling were granted city status recently but are in fact smaller than some of the larger Scottish towns like Paisley and Perth.

The symbol of Scotland is the thistle. The Scottish flag is the Cross of St. Andrew, a white diagonal cross on a dark blue background. The design originated in the 9th century and it is the oldest national flag still in use anywhere in the world. Other things associated with the country are kilts (tartan skirtlike garments worn by Scotsmen), and the haunting music of the bagpipes. Famous Scottish products include pies, haggis and Scotch whisky.

Scotland's motto is Nemo Me Impune Lacessit ("No one provokes me with impunity")[1] which translates as Wha daur meddle wi me? in Scots and in English as Who would dare mess with me?.

Geography

Scotland includes the island groups of Orkney, Shetland, the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the islands of the Firth of Clyde including Arran, Bute, Cumbrae & Wee Cumbrae, the St. Kilda archipelago, Rockall and various other smaller islands.

Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom, is in the Scottish Highlands, as are most of the nation's highest mountains. Those with heights above 3000 feet are eponymously named Munros after Sir Hector Munro, the first person to compile a list of such mountains.[2]

People

Religion

Scotland is historically Christian; the national church is the Church of Scotland. However, from the mid 19th century until the interwar period there was large scale immigration of Irish Catholics to Scotland's industrial urban centres. Today there are a similar amount of communicants of both the Roman Catholic Church and the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. There are also significant populations of Muslims, Jews and Sikhs in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Sports and culture

The national preoccupation, indeed obsession, is football (soccer). Other diversions include rugby, lawn bowls, motorsports, horseracing, shinty (similar to hockey), curling, sports of the Highland Games - such as tossing the caber and, of course, golf - Scotland is the home of golf. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews is the governing body of world golf.

Scotland is famous for its disproportionate amount of inventions and discoveries (as immortalized in Wha's Like Us), its world class universities, the Scottish Enlightenment, being the one of the first industrial nations while still preserving some of the last great wildernesses of Europe, and being the home of golf.

Government

Scotland has its own Parliament of 129 members (MSPs) as well as sending 59 Members of Parliament (MPs) to represent its interests in the United Kingdom parliament which sits in London. Scottish MPs have historically been recognized for their political skills and appointed to the Cabinet in larger numbers than is proportionate. The current Prime Minister Gordon Brown, is Scottish, and formerly he was Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Principal Government Officials

Relations with England

Relationships between Scottish and English MPs before devolution were sometimes tense because of what the former Conservative Party MP, by then an Ulster Unionist, Enoch Powell dubbed The West Lothian question. The name arose in 1977 after Tam Dalyell, Labour MP for West Lothian in Scotland, asked during a debate in the Houses of Parliament over Scottish and Welsh devolution:

For how long will English constituencies and English Honourable members tolerate... at least 119 Honourable Members from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland exercising an important, and probably often decisive, effect on British politics while they themselves have no say in the same matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

He pointed out that he as MP for West Lothian could vote on matters affecting English constituencies but not his own constituency.

Economy

Scotland's position at the forefront of the industrial revolution in the 19th century bequeathed a legacy of heavy engineering and manufacturing well into the 20th century. However with de-industrialisation from the 1970s onwards and latterly the relocation of manufacturing jobs to countries with lower labour costs (eg. Eastern Europe) the Scottish economy is now heavily dependant on tourism, the service industry and public sector jobs.

History

Scotland has been inhabited since the first Mesolithic hunter-gatherers are thought to have migrated to Scotland.[3] These inhabitants showed advanced knowledge of astronomy, creating several Stonehenge-like monuments.

At the time of the Romans the tribes in what became Scotland were similar to those further south, and can be considered to be Celtic peoples. Those from the North-East were called ‘Picti’ (Picts) by Roman writers, which could mean ‘painted people' and refer to tattoos. The Romans never subdued these northern tribes, and after a brief period when the Antonine Wall between the Firths of Forth and Clyde was the Roman Empire’s northern frontier, they drew back and had Hadrian’s Wall as the frontier. They did try and influence the tribes between the two Walls, and when kingdoms like Strathclyde emerged in the early Dark Ages, their rulers often bore Roman names or titles, the dynasties having been founded by Roman officials. The Scots themselves began arriving as settlers in the West of Scotland at this time (AD 400-500). They were from a part of the north of Ireland and spoke Old Irish, which changed to become Scottish Gaelic, and eventually replaced Pictish. They sometimes warred with the Picts and Britons and sometimes allied with them, but a unified kingdom under the Scottish king Kenneth Mac Alpin was established in AD 843, called ‘Alba’ (still the Gaelic name for Scotland). This kingdom took over Strathclyde in the early 11th century to form the basis of Mediaeval Scotland. Normans and their decscendents such as Robert the Bruce ('de Brus' was a Norman surname) became important nobles in Scotland.

Union with England

After the death of Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended to the Throne of England, becoming James I of England. He was the first monarch to call himself King of Great Britain. This is referred to as the Union of the Crowns. James was also at this time King of Ireland.

The Parliaments of Scotland and England were not united until 1707 and it is this date that is recognized as the formation of Great Britain. This is referred to as the Union of the Parliaments. (The United Kingdom was to come into being with the addition of Ireland in 1801.)The formation of the Irish Free State in 1922 resulted in the current name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


External Links

References

  1. http://www.scotland-guide.co.uk/ALL_AREAS_IN_SCOTLAND/Glasgow/Areas/Centre/Mercat_Cross.htm
  2. for a complete list of Munros see http://www.sol.co.uk/d/dickwall/munroes.htm
  3. At least 8500 years before recorded history dealt with Britain, according to the uniformitarian timescale. Scotland History, Wormland, Jenny. Scotland: a History. 2005, Oxford: Oxford University Press. p.1