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

Royal Observatory Edinburgh, gate and East Tower

The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh (ROE) is an astronomical institution located on Blackford Hill in Edinburgh. The site is owned by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). The ROE comprises the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) of STFC, the Institute for Astronomy of the School of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Edinburgh, and the ROE Visitor Centre.

The observatory carries out astronomical research and university teaching; design, project management, and construction of instruments and telescopes for astronomical observatories; and teacher training in astronomy and outreach to the public. The ROE Library includes the Crawford Collection of books and manuscripts gifted in 1888 by James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford. Before it moved to the present site in 1896, the Royal Observatory was located on Calton Hill, close to the centre of Edinburgh, at what is now known as the City Observatory. (Full article...) Read more ...

Selected quotes

" ...   A good gulp of whisky at bedtime – it’s not scientific but it helps   ... "

Sir Alexander Fleming

" ...   I have been trying all my life to like Scotchmen, and am obliged to desist from the experiment in despair   ... "

Charles Lamb

In the news

In the news
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)
29 August 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon self-isolates after being close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. (The Guardian)

Selected biography

Bust of Hamish Henderson in Edinburgh Park, South Gyle

Hamish Scott Henderson (11 November 1919 – 9 March 2002; was a Scottish poet, songwriter, communist, intellectual and soldier.

He was a catalyst for the folk revival in Scotland. He was also an accomplished folk song collector and discovered such notable performers as Jeannie Robertson, Flora MacNeil and Calum Johnston. (Full article...) Read more ...

Selected picture

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

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