Scotland

Article

July 6, 2022

Scotland (in English and Scots Scotland, in Scottish Gaelic Alba) is a constituent nation of the United Kingdom. Located at the northern end of the island of Great Britain, it occupies more than a third of its surface with its 78764 km² of extension. It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean via the Norwegian Sea to the north, the North Sea to the east and the North Channel and the Irish Sea to the southwest. It has no international borders: its only border is the internal one with England, located to the south. In addition to the section located in Great Britain, its territory includes more than 790 smaller islands, among which the archipelagos of the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland stand out. Edinburgh, the nation's capital and second city, was the center of the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment, which transformed the country into one of Western Europe's commercial, intellectual and industrial powers. Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland and the fourth largest in the United Kingdom, was once one of the world's leading industrial cities. It is located in the center of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Scottish waters consist of a large portion of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, and have contained, as long as the United Kingdom was a part, the largest oil reserves in the European Union; this resulted in Aberdeen, Scotland's third largest city, becoming the European oil capital. The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent and sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until the 18th century. The nation entered into personal union with the Kingdom of England in 1603, following the succession of James VI to both the English and Scottish thrones. Later, on May 1, 1707, Scotland officially entered into union with England, this time politically, creating a single state with the name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. This union was the result of the Treaty of Union signed in 1706 and translated into law by the Parliaments of both nations, despite popular opposition and anti-unionist unrest in Edinburgh, Glasgow and everywhere in the Kingdom of Scotland. Britain itself later entered into political union with the Kingdom of Ireland on January 1, 1801, to create the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The legal system of Scotland has remained separate from that of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Scotland constitutes a separate jurisdiction in both public and private law. The existence of legal, educational and religious institutions distinct from those in the rest of the United Kingdom has contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the union in 1707. In 1999, a local parliament, the Scottish Parliament, was re-established with authority over many areas of domestic politics, following the referendum on Scottish devolution in 1997. In May 2011 the Scottish National Party obtained an absolute majority in the Scottish Parliament and consequently, on 18 September 2014, an independence referendum was held From United Kingdom. The outcome was favorable to the unionists with 55.3% of the votes. Scotland is a member of the British-Irish Council and the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, and also participates in the Common Travel Area Agreement. Before the United Kingdom left the European Union, Scotland was represented in the European Parliament by six MEPs.

Etymology

Scotland derives from Scoti, the Latin name for the Celts of Irish origin settled in Scotland. The Late Latin term Scotia was initially used to refer to Ireland. From at least the 11th century, the term Scotia was used to refer to the territory of Scotland where Gaelic was spoken, that is, north of the River Forth, together with Albania or Albany, both terms derived from the Gaelic Alba. The use of the words Scots and Scotland to indicate all the actual