Scotland Overview

Scotland, country and administrative division of the United Kingdom, which occupies the northern part of the island of Great Britain. It is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the east by the North Sea, on the southeast by England, on the south by Solway Firth and by the Irish Sea and on the west by the North Channel, which separates it from the island of Ireland and the Atlantic Ocean.

Scotland comprises 186 islands, most of them included in three groups: the Hebrides islands, near the west coast, the Orkney islands, close to the northern coast, and the Shetland islands, northeast of the previous ones. Including the islands, the total area is 78,080 km 2 and 1,500 km 2 of inland waters. Edinburgh is the capital.


The topography of Scotland reflects the effects of glaciation, especially on the west coast, with numerous protrusions to the sea, known in the region as sea lakes, and wide streams, called firths (estuaries). The territory can be divided into three different areas from north to south: the Highlands (Highlands), the Central Lowlands (Central Lowlands) and the Southern Uplands (Southern Highlands).

The Highlands are a very rugged region that has several parallel mountain ranges in the northeast-southeast direction interrupted by deep canyons and valleys. The region is crossed by the Grampian hills, the main mountain system.

The Central Lowlands are a narrow strip that covers a tenth of Scotland’s surface. The Southern Uplands are constituted by a plateau of paramos.

Rivers and lakes are abundant. Among these, the Ness, Oich and Lochy lakes stand out, joined by the Caledonia channel, which connects the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea.

The climate is influenced by sea currents. In the western coast region, which suffers the effects of the warm Gulf Stream, the climate is milder than on the eastern coast.


Scotland’s inhabitants are descended from various ethnic groups, such as Picts, Celts, Scandinavians and Romans.

According to 1993 data, the population is 5,120,000 inhabitants and has a demographic density of approximately 66 inhabitants / km2.

The most populated city is Glasgow (with 654,542 inhabitants). In addition to Edinburgh, which, according to 1991 estimates, had 421,213 inhabitants, Dundee (165,548 inhabitants) and Aberdeen (201,099 inhabitants) are also important cities.

The official church in Scotland is the Presbyterian. The Catholic Church is the second most important. The official language is English.

According to INTERSHIPPINGRATES, Scotland is an integral part of the United Kingdom. A British ministerial office, chaired by the Secretary of State, manages Scottish affairs.

The country is represented by 72 members in the House of Commons and 16 Scottish peers in the House of Lords.


The main crops are cereals and potatoes. Cattle breeding is also very important. Forestry accounts for more than a third of Britain’s timber production.

Fishing is a fundamental activity, especially sea fishing in the Northeast and the islands.

Due to the rich coal reserves, mining played a key role in industrialization. However, in recent decades, mining has been based mainly on the exploration of oil reserves and natural gas, recently discovered.

The main industries are chemicals, light industries, engineering instruments and, recently, electronics.

There are approximately 110 distilleries and tourism is another growing sector.


Scotland is Roman Caledonia. The Picts, to which groups of British rebels were joined, successfully resisted the conquest of the Romans, whose sovereignty ended in the year 409 AD In the early sixth century, the Scots, Celtic invaders, occupied the region and established the kingdom of Dalry.

In the middle of the sixth century, the Angles invaded most of Caledonia. This region, along with the various Douglas possessions to the north of what is now England, has become part of the English kingdom of Nortumbria. In the 10th century, the kings of Alban occupied Northumbria during the reign of Malcolm II Mackenneth (1005-1034) and Duncan I inherited the crown from Strathclyde.

As a result, the domains of Scotland (it has since been known by that name) have spread across the territory to the north of the Solway Firth and the River Tweed. England’s influence greatly increased during the reigns of Alexander the Ferocious and David I, who established the Anglo-Norman feudal monarchical system and abolished the traditional system of clan-owned land. Alexander III died in 1286 and left the throne for his only living descendant, his granddaughter Margarida, still a girl.

Margarida’s death produced a political crisis and Edward I of England took advantage of the situation to proclaim English sovereignty over Scotland, intervening in favor of John de Baliol, grandson of David I. In 1295, Baliol, in the face of the popular demand to end the English control, formed an alliance with France to achieve independence.

The first phase of the war ended when Edward I decreed the annexation of Scotland to England, after removing Baliol. The struggle against England resumed in 1297 under the command of Scottish patriot Sir William Wallace, who restored the Scottish monarchy. After his death in 1305, Roberto Bruce, a descendant of David I, took the lead in the resistance movement. In 1306, he was crowned Robert I, King of Scotland, and began a systematic guerrilla campaign against the British.

The war ended in 1328 when the regents of Edward III of England accepted the independence of Scotland in the Treaty of Northampton. Early in the 16th century, James IV married Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England. The Reformation began to gain supporters in Scotland and, in 1560, the Catholic Church was abolished, adopting Calvinism.

In 1603, James VI, king of Scotland, inherited the English crown as James I Stuart. With his son Carlos I of England (1625 and 1649), attempts to impose Anglican forms of worship led to the clashes known as The Wars of the Bishops (1639-1649), one of the causes of the beginning of the English Civil War, which culminated in the triumph of parliamentary forces under Oliver Cromwell.

In 1660, Scotland again separated politically from England. In 1707 the Scottish Parliament voted in favor of its annexation to the United Kingdom of Great Britain, with guarantees to maintain its own legal, political and religious system. Many Scots were opposed to this union.

Scotland Overview

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