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Portal:Scotland

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Introduction

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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. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile (154 km) border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast and the Irish Sea to the south. The country also contains more than 790 islands, principally in the archipelagos of the Hebrides and the Northern Isles. Most of the population, including the capital Edinburgh, is concentrated in the Central Belt – the plain between the Scottish Highlands and the Southern Uplands – in the Scottish Lowlands.

Scotland is divided into 32 administrative subdivisions or local authorities, known as council areas. Glasgow City is the largest council area 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. Scotland is the second largest country in the United Kingdom, and accounted for 8.3% of the population in 2012.

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 of Scotland became king of England and 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 the Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain 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 officially renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927).

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 incorporating union with England.

In 1999, 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. Scotland is also a member of the British–Irish Council, sending five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly, as well as being part of the Joint Ministerial Committee, represented by the first minister. (Full article...)

Selected article

View over the west of Glasgow

Glasgow (Scots: Glesga; Scottish Gaelic: Glaschu) is the most populous city in Scotland and the fourth-most populous city in the United Kingdom, as well as being the 27th largest city by population in Europe. In 2020, it had an estimated population of 635,640. Historically part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and is governed by Glasgow City Council. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. It is the fifth-most visited city in the United Kingdom.

Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Scotland, and tenth largest by tonnage in Britain. Expanding from the medieval bishopric and royal burgh, and the later establishment of the University of Glasgow in the 15th century, it became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century. From the 18th century onwards, the city also grew as one of Britain's main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the population and economy of Glasgow and the surrounding region expanded rapidly to become one of the world's pre-eminent centres of chemicals, textiles and engineering; most notably in the shipbuilding and marine engineering industry, which produced many innovative and famous vessels. Glasgow was the "Second City of the British Empire" for much of the Victorian era and the Edwardian era.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Glasgow's population grew rapidly, reaching a peak of 1,127,825 people in 1938. The population of Glasgow was greatly reduced following comprehensive urban renewal projects in the 1960s which resulted in large-scale relocation of people to designated new towns, such as Cumbernauld, Livingston, East Kilbride and peripheral suburbs, followed by successive boundary changes. Over 985,200 people live in the Greater Glasgow contiguous urban area, while the wider Glasgow City Region is home to over 1,800,000 people, equating to around 33% of Scotland's population. The city has one of the highest densities of any locality in Scotland at 4,023/km2. (Full article...) Read more...

Selected quotes

" ...   Well, we say yes and we are the people   ... "

Canon Kenyon Wright

" ...   Socialism proposes to dethrone the brute-god Mammon and to lift humanity into its place   ... "

Keir Hardie

In the news

In the news
20 October 2021 –
President of Russia Vladimir Putin says that he will not physically attend the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. (BBC News)
15 October 2021 –
Paramount leader Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China will not attend in person the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow, as it's told to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The announcement comes amid international pessimism that, now compounded by the absence of China, a global leader in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, the event would not result in any substantiative change. (Reuters)
20 September 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in England, COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland, COVID-19 vaccination in the United Kingdom
England and Scotland begin the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for children between the ages of 12 and 15 as part of an expansion of their vaccination programme in order to protect more people from COVID-19 during the winter. (BBC)
9 September 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland
The Scottish Parliament approves a requirement for people who want to attend nightclubs and large events to show an immunity passport declaring that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, despite opposition from businesses leaders and opposition parties. The requirement will take effect on October 1. (The Guardian)

Selected biography

Compton Mackenzie, London, 1914

Sir Edward Montague Compton Mackenzie, OBE (17 January 1883 – 30 November 1972) was an English-born Scottish writer of fiction, biography, histories and a memoir, as well as a cultural commentator, raconteur and lifelong Scottish nationalist. He was one of the co-founders in 1928 of the National Party of Scotland along with Hugh MacDiarmid, RB Cunninghame Graham and John MacCormick. He was knighted in 1952. (Full article...) Read more ...

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