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Introduction

Scotland

Scotland (Scots: Scotland, Scottish Gaelic: Alba [ˈal̪ˠapə] (audio speaker iconlisten)) 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-kilometre) 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 9th century 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

Banners of Knights of the Thistle, hanging in St Giles High Kirk
Banners of Knights of the Thistle, hanging in St Giles High Kirk

The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry associated with Scotland. The current version of the Order was founded in 1687 by King James VII of Scotland (James II of England and Ireland) who asserted that he was reviving an earlier Order. The Order consists of the Sovereign and sixteen Knights and Ladies, as well as certain "extra" knights (members of the British Royal Family and foreign monarchs). The Sovereign alone grants membership of the Order; he or she is not advised by the Government, as occurs with most other Orders.

The Order's primary emblem is the thistle, the national flower of Scotland. The motto is Nemo me impune lacessit (Latin for "No one provokes me with impunity"). The same motto appears on the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom for use in Scotland and some pound coins, and is also the motto of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, the Scots Guards, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada. The patron saint of the Order is St Andrew. (Full article...) Read more...

Selected quotes

" ...   No man can become rich without himself enriching others   ... "

Andrew Carnegie

" ...   The old cathedrals are good, but the great blue dome that hangs over everything is better   ... "

Thomas Carlyle

In the news

27 March 2022 – Wildfires in 2022
A wildfire engulfs the uninhabited Gruinard Island in Gruinard Bay, Scotland. (BBC News)
10 March 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland
Scotland reports a record 14,387 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours. (The Herald)
25 February 2022 – Protests against the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Protesters gather at the Russian consulate in Edinburgh, Scotland, for a second consecutive day to express outrage over the war. (AOL)
29 January 2022 – 2021–22 European windstorm season
Storm Malik impacts the British Isles, killing two people, and causing widespread damage in Scotland and Northern England. (The Independent)
3 January 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland

Selected biography

Charles Rennie Mackintosh, c. 1900
Charles Rennie Mackintosh, c. 1900

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (7 June 1868 – 10 December 1928) was a Scottish architect, designer, water colourist and artist. His artistic approach had much in common with European Symbolism. His work, alongside that of his wife Margaret Macdonald, was influential on European design movements such as Art Nouveau and Secessionism and praised by great modernists such as Josef Hoffmann. Mackintosh was born in Glasgow and died in London. He is among the most important figures of Modern Style (British Art Nouveau style). (Full article...) Read more ...

Selected picture

Did You Know...

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Scotland Related WikiProjects
and Task forces
WikiProject Clans of Scotland talk
WikiProject Medieval Scotland talk
WikiProject Scottish Castles talk
WikiProject Scottish Islands talk
WikiProject Scottish Television talk
WikiProject Transport in Scotland talk
WikiProject Edinburgh talk
Fife task force talk
Scottish Gaelic task force talk

For editor resources and to collaborate with other editors on improving Wikipedia's Scotland-related articles, see WikiProject Scotland.

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Wikipedia ann an Gàidhlig na h-Alba and Scots Wikipaedia

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