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Portal:Scotland

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THE SCOTLAND PORTAL


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Scotland
Scotland in Europe

Scotland (Scots: Scotland, Scottish Gaelic: Alba [ˈal̪ˠapə] (About this soundlisten)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the south, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the east, the Irish Sea to the south-west, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. The union also created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, Great Britain itself entered into a political union with the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (in 1922, the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland).

Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, titles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland. The legal system within Scotland has also remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland; Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law. The continued existence of legal, educational, religious and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England.

In 1997, a Scottish Parliament was re-established, in the form of a devolved unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, having authority over many areas of domestic policy. The head of the Scottish Government is the First Minister of Scotland, who is supported by the Deputy First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the United Kingdom Parliament by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs. Scotland is also a member of the British–Irish Council, and sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly.

Scotland is divided into 32 subdivisions, known as local authorities, or councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. Limited self-governing power, covering matters such as education, social services and roads and transportation, is devolved from the Scottish Government to each subdivision.

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Skyline of Edinburgh

The economy of Scotland had an estimated nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of up to £152 billion in 2015. Since the Acts of Union 1707, Scotland's economy has been closely aligned with the economy of the rest of the United Kingdom (UK) and England has historically been its main trading partner. Scotland still conducts the majority of its trade within the UK: in 2014, Scotland's exports totalled £76 billion, of which £48.5 billion (64%) was with constituent nations of the UK, £11.6 billion with the rest of the European Union (EU), and £15.2 billion with other parts of the world.

Scotland was one of the industrial powerhouses of Europe from the time of the Industrial Revolution onwards, being a world leader in manufacturing. This left a legacy in the diversity of goods and services which Scotland produces, from textiles, whisky and shortbread to jet engines, buses, computer software, ships, avionics and microelectronics, as well as banking, insurance, investment management and other related financial services. In common with most other advanced industrialised economies, Scotland has seen a decline in the importance of both manufacturing industries and primary-based extractive industries. This has, however, been combined with a rise in the service sector of the economy, which has grown to be the largest sector in Scotland. Read more...

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James Kennaway

Sydney Smith

Selected biography

Charles Lyell at the British Association meeting in Glasgow 1840. Painting by Alexander Craig

Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, FRS (14 November 1797 – 22 February 1875) was a Scottish geologist who popularised the revolutionary work of James Hutton. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which presented uniformitarianism–the idea that the Earth was shaped by the same scientific processes still in operation today–to the broad general public. Principles of Geology also challenged theories popularised by Georges Cuvier, which were the most accepted and circulated ideas about geology in Europe at the time.

His scientific contributions included an explanation of earthquakes, the theory of gradual "backed up-building" of volcanoes, and in stratigraphy the division of the Tertiary period into the Pliocene, Miocene, and Eocene. He also coined the currently-used names for geological eras, Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic. He incorrectly conjectured that icebergs may be the emphasis behind the transport of glacial erratics, and that silty loess deposits might have settled out of flood waters. Read more...


Did You Know?

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  • ... that Jim McColl, the son of a butcher, reportedly became Scotland's richest man in 2008?

In the news

In the news
16 November 2018 –
Johnston Press, which owns i, The Scotsman, the Yorkshire Post and other UK newspapers, enters administration after failing to secure a buyer. It is set to be de-listed on the London Stock Exchange on 19 November 2018. (The Guardian)
6 August 2018 – Swimming at the 2018 European Aquatics Championships – Mixed 4 × 100 metre medley relay
The British 4x100 mixed medley relay team (Anderson, Davies, Guy, Peaty) break their own European record at the 2018 European Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
16 July 2018 – British space programme
The UK Space Agency announces that the country's first spaceport will be located in Sutherland, northern Scotland, with the first launches potentially taking place in the early 2020s. (BBC) (The Guardian)
27 June 2018 – Politics of Scotland
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reshuffles her cabinet. Nine new junior ministers are appointed, with the devolved Parliament set to vote on the changes tomorrow. (BBC)
15 June 2018 –
The Glasgow School of Art in Scotland suffers "extensive damage" after it catches on fire. No casualties are reported. (BBC)
4 June 2018 – Banking in the United Kingdom, 2008 United Kingdom bank rescue package
The government of the United Kingdom announces its intent to sell a 7.7% stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland, expected to raise £2.6 billion. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell says there is "no economic justification" for selling the shares. (BBC)

Categories

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Scotland(22 C, 9 P)
Scotland-related lists(20 C, 23 P)
Communications in Scotland(5 C, 1 P)
Scottish culture(70 C, 101 P)
Economy of Scotland(33 C, 46 P)
Education in Scotland(28 C, 63 P)
Environment of Scotland(16 C, 21 P)
Events in Scotland(16 C, 16 P)
Geography of Scotland(30 C, 39 P)
Health in Scotland(18 C, 11 P)
History of Scotland(12 C, 6 P)
Scots law(30 C, 85 P)
Scottish people(41 C, 8 P)
Politics of Scotland(25 C, 76 P)
Scottish Government(11 C, 25 P)
Scottish society(47 C, 57 P)
Transport in Scotland(20 C, 22 P)
Images of Scotland(1 C, 4 F)
Scotland stubs(19 C, 675 P)

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