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Scotland, political division of Great Britain (2011 pop. 5,295,000), 30,414 sq mi (78,772 sq km), comprising the northern portion of the island of Great Britain and many surrounding islands. Scotland is separated from England by the Tweed River, the Cheviot Hills, the Liddell River, and Solway Firth. It is bounded on the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean and on the east by the North Sea. The capital is Edinburgh and the largest city is Glasgow.

Scotland, England, and Wales have been united since 1707 under the name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. They share a national parliament but Scotland has its own system of laws (based on Roman law rather than the common law of England), banking (including its own banknotes), and education. In 1999 the Scottish Parliament, which had been dissolved with the Act of Union, was reestablished; it is responsible for Scottish domestic affairs, including taxes.

Land and People

Scotland may be divided into three main geographical regions, which are divided politically (since 1996) into 32 local council areas. The southern uplands, a region of high, rolling moorland cut by numerous valleys, comprises the areas of Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders. The central lowlands, Scotland's most populous district and the locus of its commercial and industrial cities, includes the areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, West and East Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, North and South Lanarkshire, Falkirk, West Lothian, Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian, Argyll and Bute, Stirling, Clackmannanshire, Perth and Kinross, Fife, Dundee, Angus, and Aberdeen. Separated from the lowlands by the Grampian Mts. are the Highlands of the north, a rough, mountainous area divided by the Great Glen and containing Ben Nevis (4,411 ft/1,345 m) the highest peak in Great Britain. The Highland areas are Highland, Moray, and inland Aberbeenshire. The Orkney and Shetland islands lie off the northern coast of the mainland and the Hebrides off the western; most are north of the central lowlands. The Orkney and Shetland islands each comprise a council area; the Outer Hebrides comprise the area of the Western Isles, and the Inner Hebrides are divided between Highland and Argyll and Bute.

Because of Scotland's highly irregular outline (its breadth ranges from 154 mi/248 km to only 26 mi/42 km) and the deeply indented arms of the sea—usually called lochs when narrow and firths when broad—it has c.2,300 mi (3,700 km) of coastline. Scotland's principal rivers are the Clyde, the Forth, the Dee, the Tay, and the Tweed. The largest freshwater loch is Loch Lomond.

The Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian, is established, but there are no restrictions on religious liberty. English is the nearly universal language. Fewer than 1,000 people, primarily in the far north, still speak only Gaelic, and fewer than 60,000 speak Gaelic in addition to English. Among Scotland's universities, St. Andrews (the oldest), Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Strathclyde have their origins in institutions established before 1800.


Most Scottish industry and commerce is concentrated in a few large cities on the waterways of the central lowlands. Edinburgh, on the Firth of Forth, is a cultural center, the administrative capital of Scotland, and a center of paper production and publishing. Glasgow, one of the largest cities in Great Britain, lies on the Clyde; it is Scotland's leading seaport and a center of shipbuilding and it supports numerous light industries. Although heavy industry has declined, the high-technology “Silicon Glen” corridor has developed between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Tourism is also very important.

The significance of coal, once Scotland's most important mineral resource, has declined. Oil, however, gained prominence in Scotland's economy during the 1970s, with the growth of North Sea oil extraction companies. Natural gas is also abundant in the North Sea fields. Aberdeen is the center of the oil industry. Other important industries are textile production (woolens, worsteds, silks, and linens), distilling, and fishing. Textiles, beer, and whisky, which are among Scotland's chief exports, are produced in many towns. Salmon are taken from the Tay and the Dee, and numerous coastal towns and villages are supported by the herring catch from the North Sea. Only about one fourth of the land is under cultivation (principally in cereals and vegetables), but sheep raising is important in the mountainous regions. Because of the persistence of feudalism (fuedal tenure was not legally abolished until the early 21st cent.) and the land inclosures of the 19th cent. (see History, below), the ownership of most land in Scotland is concentrated in relatively few hands (some 400 people own about half the land). Beginning in 2000, the Scottish parliament passed a series of land reform acts; feudal tenure was abolished, tenant farmers and communities were empowered to purchase land even if the landlord did not want to sell, and ultimately long leases were converted to ownership.


Early History

The Picts, of obscure origin, inhabited Scotland from prehistoric times. The Romans attempted vainly to penetrate Scotland, and their successive lines of forts and walls proved inadequate to contain the northern tribes of Picts and Celts. Although the Romans had little influence on Scottish life, Christianity had been introduced into Scotland before they left by St. Ninian and his disciples in the 5th cent. In the century and a half after the Roman evacuation (mid-5th cent.), four Scottish kingdoms came into being—that of the Picts in the north; that of the Scots who came from Ireland and founded Dalriada in what is now Argyll and Bute; that of the Britains in Strathclyde; and that of Northumbria (which also included northern England), founded by the Angles and settled largely by Germanic immigrants.

The mission of St. Columba (563) from Ireland reintroduced Christianity to Scotland. The usages of the Celtic Church differed in various details from those of Rome, introduced in the south of Britain by St. Augustine. Conflict between the two was settled in favor of Roman usage decided at the Synod of Whitby in 663, but Scottish Christianity only slowly adopted the Roman forms. After the decline of the Northumbrian power in Scotland began the raids of the Norsemen, who harried the country from the 8th to the 12th cent. In 794 they attacked the islands off Scotland and soon returned to live in the Hebrides; by 870 they were established in what came to be Caithness and Sutherland. In the mid-9th cent. Kenneth I established his rule over nearly all the land N of the Firth of Forth. His descendants pushed into Northumbria and by the 11th cent. ruled all of present Scotland except N Pictland and the islands.

Under Malcolm III, who married St. Margaret of Scotland (an English princess), there began a reorganization of the Scottish church and a gradual anglicization of the Lowland peoples. Malcolm invaded England after rejecting the claim of William II of England to sovereignty over Scotland, but peace followed the marriage of Malcolm's daughter to Henry I of England and allowed the process of feudalization in Scotland to continue. Although the clan system, based on blood relationships and personal loyalty to a chieftain, survived in the Highlands, feudal property laws were generally adopted in the Lowlands in the 11th and 12th cent. David I (1124–53) supported feudalism with land grants from the crown, encouraged the growth of self-governing burghs, and backed his bishops in their refusal to recognize the supremacy of the archbishop of York.

The Struggle with England

In the reign of William the Lion Scotland became a fief of England by a treaty extorted (1174) from William by Henry II. In 1189 Richard I sold the Scots their freedom, but he couched the agreement in ambiguous terms that allowed later English kings to revive the claim. The Norsemen were gradually pushed out of Scotland and finally defeated in 1263; only the Orkneys and Shetlands remained in Norse hands until the 15th cent. When Alexander III died in 1286, his heiress was the infant Margaret Maid of Norway; she was betrothed to the son of Edward I of England but died (1290) as a child. In the ensuing struggle among many claimants to the throne, Edward I declared for John de Baliol (1249–1315), who was crowned (1292), with Edward acknowledged as overlord of Scotland.

In Edward's war (late 13th cent.), with Philip IV of France, the Scots allied with Philip, thus beginning the long relationship with France that characterizes much of Scottish history. Edward won Scottish submission, but Scotland rose in revolt, first under Sir William Wallace, then under Robert the Bruce (later Robert I). Robert was crowned king at Scone in 1306, recaptured Scottish castles and raided across the English border, and finally defeated Edward II at Bannockburn in 1314. Edward III in 1328 signed a treaty acknowledging Scotland's independence, but during the troubled minority (1329–41) of David II he supported the pretender, Edward de Baliol, and invaded Scotland.

The reigns of David II and his successors (of the royal house of Stuart) were years of dissension and turbulence among the nobles and royal heirs and of repeated attacks from England. Social chaos was compounded by the scourge of the Black Death plague epidemic, which killed nearly a third of the population. In 1424 James I, who had spent his youth a prisoner at the English court, returned to Scotland. James vigorously attempted to revamp the laws and to establish control over his nobles. His murder in 1437 threw Scotland back into the old pattern of civil conflict during long royal minorities over the next century (see James II, James III, and James V). A brief respite of internal peace in this period of strife was provided by the reign of James IV, who perished with the flower of Scottish nobility at the battle of Flodden Field (1513).

James V perpetuated the French alliance by marrying Mary of Guise, who brought a large French contingent to Scotland with her. The Reformation came to Scotland primarily through the efforts of John Knox (1505–1572; see also Presbyterianism and Scotland, Church of). The religious issue was inextricably connected with opposition to the French Roman Catholic party of Mary of Guise (queen regent after James's death in 1542) and of her daughter Mary Queen of Scots, who lived in France as dauphine and then as queen.

By the time Mary Queen of Scots arrived (1561) in Scotland, Catholicism had almost disappeared from the Lowlands. The turbulent career of the young queen hinged primarily on her personal involvements and on the conflict between the crown and the nobility, now divided into pro-French (Catholic) and pro-English (Protestant) parties. Elizabeth I of England maintained the Protestant party with money and arms. Mary's struggle ended in her loss of the throne (1567), imprisonment in England, and execution (1587). Her son, James VI, broke away from his guardians in 1583 and accomplished the difficult task of subduing the nobility and establishing once and for all the supremacy of royal authority. In 1603, on Elizabeth's death, he succeeded to the English throne as James I of England. United under one crown, Scotland and England were finally at peace.

Scotland to the Union

Scotland enjoyed comparative peace for a few years, as many of the nobility followed the court to England. Presbyterianism and its maintenance now became the great question. The desire to bar episcopacy (governance of the church by bishops), which was favored by the Stuarts, shaped every political move of the Scottish Parliament (Estates). The Covenanters declared their opposition to the liturgical forms imposed by Charles I and stoutly resisted his attempt to bring them to heel in the Bishops' Wars (1639–40). These wars led directly to the English civil war.

Although Scotland, like England, was somewhat divided in opinion, the great majority opposed the king, and Charles's efforts to win the Scots by yielding rights to Presbyterianism in 1641 came too late to sway the 8th earl of Argyll and his Covenanters. Yet James Graham, earl of Montrose, almost succeeded, with his wild Highlander troops, in winning Scotland for the king in 1644–45. Meanwhile, the Covenanters sought to force Presbyterianism on England, and the English Parliament proclaimed that form of religion in 1643. But the English army under Oliver Cromwell ultimately prevailed over Parliament, and the Scottish religion gained only toleration, not supremacy, in England.

Charles I surrendered to the Scots, who handed him over to the English Parliament. Scottish sympathies shifted to Charles, however, and their army fought for him in 1648. The execution of the king in 1649 caused a revulsion of feeling in Scotland, and the junction with England imposed by Cromwell (see Protectorate) was extremely unpopular. Many Scots rallied to Charles II, who was crowned at Scone in 1651, and the Restoration (1660) was cause for great rejoicing. The Stuarts, however, sought once more to restore episcopacy, and the Covenanters were, for many decades, subjected to severe persecution.

The Scots hated the Roman Catholic James II even more bitterly than the English did, and the accession in 1689 of William III and Mary II was met with widespread support, if not enthusiasm. With the Glorious Revolution (1688–89), Presbyterianism once more became the national church. But the Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Stuarts, caused great disruption, particularly in the Highlands, and the massacre of a Highland clan at Glencoe (1692) tended to discredit the new government. Scotland's commercial interests nursed economic grievances against William, primarily for his failure to support the Darién Scheme and for the discriminatory Navigation Acts.

Constitutional union of England and Scotland, which had been considered ever since the junction of the crowns, was rejected at this time by the English, but its desirability became increasingly apparent. The question of succession to the throne was a burning issue in the reign of Queen Anne (1702–14), whose children predeceased her, in face of assiduous Jacobite activity in both kingdoms. Finally, in order to assure the Hanoverian succession (provided in the Act of Settlement, 1701) after Anne's death, the union was voted by both Parliaments in 1707, providing for Scottish representatives in a Parliament of Great Britain. Equality of trading privileges and toleration of episcopacy, along with recognition of a Presbyterian Established Church of Scotland, were among the terms of the union. The Jacobites attempted in 1715 and again in 1745 to destroy the union, but without success, and Scotland had peace at last.

Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

In the 18th cent. Scotsmen such as David Hume and Adam Smith stood in the forefront of the European Enlightenment. Educational standards, from elementary to university level, were high, and many English religious dissenters, barred from Oxford and Cambridge, received excellent educations in Scotland. From its intellectually vibrant atmosphere came many practical inventions to further the Industrial Revolution, including the work of James Watt. The economic results of the union eventually proved wholly favorable to Scotland, and the people gradually enjoyed a higher standard of living. Feudal land tenure slowly gave way to modern leases. Thriving commerce within the British Empire led to expansion of shipping and shipbuilding, and Glasgow achieved eminence as a commercial center.

The increasing market for meat and wool spurred new developments in agriculture and cattle breeding but unfortunately led also to the dispossession of a large part of the population in the Highland grazing lands during the inclosure actions of the later 18th and early 19th cent. The resultant emigration of Highlanders to Canada, the United States, and Australia nearly depopulated parts of Scotland. Early in the 18th cent. linen manufacture and, to a lesser extent, woolcloth manufacture, came to be of major importance in the Lowland towns. Toward the end of the 18th cent. cotton spinning and weaving on the new power machinery of the Industrial Revolution became Scotland's leading industries.

By the end of the 19th cent., metallurgical industry had come to dominate the economy; the exploitation of rich coal and iron fields resulted in a concentration of heavy industry in a central belt running from Ayrshire to Fife. The rise of a new middle class and an urban working class necessitated the same reform of corrupt and outmoded local institutions that occurred in England. Industrialization also produced severe social and economic distress, for which traditional private philanthropy proved inadequate, and led to outbreaks of unrest in city and countryside alike—such as the Crofters' War of hard-pressed tenant farmers in the 1880s. From Scotland emerged some of the first leaders of the British labor movement. Under Alexander MacDonald a powerful miners union developed in the 1860s. The first labor representatives in Parliament came from Scottish mining areas. James Keir Hardie, founder of the Independent Labour party, and James Ramsay MacDonald, first Labour prime minister, were Scotsmen.

Modern Scotland

Concentration on heavy industry meant that Scotland was an important arsenal in World War I. It also meant that Scotland suffered heavily in the depression between the wars. In World War II, despite the fact that its industry supplied a great deal of the British war material, Scotland was not extensively damaged by bombing. After the war the steady exodus of population from the Highlands continued; in an effort to make the Highlands again profitably habitable, a program of reforestation and hydroelectric development, begun in a small way as early as 1922, was increased. Immigration from Ireland added to Scotland's urban population. Many new diversified industries, especially high-tech industries, were started to relieve the strong emphasis on heavy industry that had unbalanced the Scottish economy. Efforts to attract tourists led to the construction of many modern hotels and the development of the Edinburgh festival of arts.

These improvements did not lessen a persistent nationalist movement that urged greater autonomy for Scotland. The movement became prominent with the discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970s and gained momentum in the 1980s when many Scots felt the government of Margaret Thatcher was unresponsive to them. When Tony Blair became prime minister in May, 1997, he made the devolution of authority one of the principal objectives of his government. In Sept., 1997, Scottish voters approved the establishment of a parliament to run their domestic affairs, with the power to make laws and set taxes. Elections were held and the body began sitting in 1999. The Labour party won the most seats, although not a majority, and established a coalition with the Liberal Democrats; the proindependence Scottish Nationalist party (SNP) became the principal opposition.

The Labour–Liberal Democrat coalition remained in power after the 2003 elections, but the SNP won a plurality in 2007 and formed a minority government. The SNP retained power with majority after the 2011 vote, and subsequently began developing plans for a referendum on Scotland's status. Scottish and British governments agreed in 2012 to hold an independence referendum in late 2014, when independence was rejected by a solid majority. The British government, however, promised during the campaign to devolve additional powers to Scotland's parliament. Nonetheless, the SNP remained strong, and took nearly all of Scotland's seats in the British parliament in 2015. In the 2016 Scottish elections the SNP was again the largest party but narrowly lost its majority. Nicola Sturgeon, of the SNP, is the current Scottish first minister. In the 2016 referendum in which British voters as a whole approved leaving the European Union, Scottish voters strongly supported remaining in the EU. The Scottish government subsequently sought to hold a new independence referendum, but the SNP then suffered major losses in the 2017 British parliamentary elections, a situation significantly reversed in 2019. See also Great Britain.


The oldest detailed history of Scotland is W. Robertson, The History of Scotland during the Reigns of Queen Mary and of King James VI (1759). Two standard general histories are by P. H. Brown (3 vol., 1900–1909) and A. Lang (4 vol., 1900–1907). Invaluable also are four studies by W. L. Mathieson—Politics and Religion: A Study in Scottish History (1902), Scotland and the Union (1905), The Awakening of Scotland (1910), and Church and Reform in Scotland (1916). Six self-contained volumes (1935–41) by A. M. Mackenzie make up a history of Scotland to 1939. There are several good short histories, among them those by A. M. Mackenzie (rev. ed. 1957), J. D. Mackie (1964), E. Linklater (1968), and R. Murchison (1970).

See also V. G. Childe, Prehistoric Scotland (1940); G. Donaldson, The Scottish Reformation (1960); W. C. Dickinson and G. S. Pryde, A New History of Scotland (2 vol., 2d ed. 1965); G. Donaldson, Scottish Kings (1967); T. C. Smout, The History of the Scottish People, 1560–1830 (1969); N. T. Phillipson, ed., Scotland in the Age of Improvement (1970); E. G. Grant, Scotland (1982).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an administrative and political division of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comprising the northern part of the island of Great Britain and adjacent islands: the Hebrides, Shetland, and the Orkneys. Scotland, which maintains a degree of autonomy, has an area of 78,800 sq km; the population of 5.2 million (1971) is made up primarily of Scots, who speak a dialect of English. The literary language is English. The Gaels form a distinct ethnic group. Religious believers profess Protestantism.

For purposes of local administration, Scotland is divided into nine regions—Dumfries and Galloway, Borders, Strathclyde, Lothian, Fife, Central, Tayside, Grampian, and Highland—and the three island areas of Shetland, Orkney, and Western Isles. The regions and island areas are divided into administrative districts. The capital is the city of Edinburgh.

The terrain of Scotland is dominated by hills and mountains: the Highlands, which reach an elevation of 1,343 m at Ben Nevis (the highest point in Great Britain), and the Southern Uplands. Between these areas lie the Central Lowlands. Narrow, low-lying plains run along the coasts. Scotland has a temperate oceanic climate, with a mean temperature in Edinburgh of 3.4°C in January and 14.4°C in July. Annual precipitation is approximately 2,000 mm in the west and 700 mm in the east. The country has a dense network of rivers, the most famous of which is the Clyde. The numerous lakes include Loch Lomond and Loch Ness. Tracts of moorland are found throughout Scotland.

Economically, Scotland is divided into the Central Lowlands, a densely populated, primarily industrial region in which three-fourths of the population lives, and the Southern Uplands and the Highlands, which are sparsely populated and primarily agricultural. More than one-third of the economically active population works in industry, and less than one-tenth in agriculture. The main industrial centers are Edinburgh and the conurbation of Clydeside, whose center is Glasgow; other important industrial cities are those along the eastern coast, such as Aberdeen, Dundee, and Grangemouth.

Major industries include the coal, steel, petrochemical and chemical, printing, aluminum, electrical engineering, and food industries. The shipbuilding industry produces about one-third of all British ships. Scotland also produces electronic goods, office equipment, clocks, textiles, and paper. Petroleum is extracted off the eastern coast, on the North Sea shelf.

Agriculture is dominated by livestock raising. Large numbers of sheep are grazed in the hill country; in the plains of western Scotland chiefly beef and dairy cattle are raised. Along the coasts and the Central Lowlands, livestock raising is combined with the cultivation of barley, wheat, and potatoes.


Historical survey. The earliest archaeological remains discovered on Scottish soil date from the third millennium B.C. In the centuries immediately preceding the Common Era, Celtic tribes settled in Scotland; in the first centuries of the Common Era, the Picts were the principal inhabitants of the country. Among some tribes a class society began developing early in the Common Era. Beginning in the first century A.D. the Romans made repeated, but unsuccessful, attempts to conquer Scotland, which they called Caledonia. Between 360 and 367 the Picts invaded Roman Britain, reaching as far as the southern coast.

In the late fifth and early sixth centuries, tribes of Scots evidently began migrating from Ireland to Scotland. The name “Scotland,” derived from the Scots, became established in the 11th century. During the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries, large numbers of Britons were driven into Scotland. In the seventh century Scotland was invaded by the Angles, who settled in the south. Norsemen raided the country from the ninth to 13th centuries.

The emergence of feudalism was accompanied by the preservation of the clan system, which had developed as the primitive communal system disintegrated (seeCLAN). The process of feudalization was eased by the spread of Christianity in the sixth century. During the early feudal period the first state formations appeared. The Scottish kingdom was formed in the 11th century. In the second half of the 11th century Scotland was attacked by the Normans who had conquered England, and the Scottish king, Malcolm III (ruled 1058–93), acknowledged himself a vassal of the English king, William I (William the Conqueror). Beginning in the 12th century feudal relations gradually emerged in the southern plains of Scotland, where land cultivation was developed. In the north, where stock raising formed the basis of the economy, feudalism spread only in the 14th and 15th centuries. The majority of Scottish peasants were serfs, or velleins. Handicrafts and trade developed in southern Scotland.

In the late 13th century, English feudal lords increased their efforts to subjugate Scotland. The English king Edward I proclaimed himself suzerain of Scotland, which was invaded by English troops in 1296; this incursion touched off a revolt against the English that lasted from 1296 to 1314. In 1305 the rebel troops, under W. Wallace, were defeated, but the following year a new revolt was led by Robert Bruce, who was proclaimed King Robert I of Scotland (1306–29). In 1314, Scottish troops defeated the English army of Edward II at Bannockburn. An invasion of Scotland in 1322 by English troops was unsuccessful.

In 1328, England recognized Scotland’s independence, but English lords retained the holdings in Scotland that they had received earlier. The Scottish Parliament was formed in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Gradually, the Scottish nationality took form, although centralization was hampered by feudalism and tribal separatism. Royal authority was weakened considerably in the late 14th century under the first Stuart kings. Internecine feudal wars undermined Scotland’s position in wars with England, which flared up anew in the late 14th century and in which Scotland was often allied with the French.

In the 16th century elements of capitalist production emerged in the south, although Scotland remained, on the whole, a country whose productive forces were little developed. The cities of the south carried on a brisk trade with English cities. In the mid-16th century the Calvinist Reformation, headed by J. Knox, spread throughout the country. It embodied the interests of the nobility and the rising bourgeoisie. The former had concentrated five-sixths of the church property, which had gradually become secularized, in its hands, and the latter stood to gain an “inexpensive” church. In 1560, Parliament adopted Presbyterianism as the national religion.

As a result of an uprising by the Calvinist aristocracy in 1567, Mary Stuart, who had tried to restore Catholicism in Scotland, was overthrown. With the accession of the Stuarts to the English, in addition to the Scottish, throne in 1603, Scotland was bound by a personal union to England. The absolutist government used every means to strengthen its authority over Scotland. The rights of the Scottish Parliament were restricted, and measures were taken to Anglicanize the Scottish Church (seeCHURCH OF ENGLAND). Attempts by Charles I to introduce a liturgy on the Anglican model triggered an uprising, and, in 1638, Scottish Presbyterians signed the National Covenant, in which they swore to defend the true faith against all encroachments (seeCOVENANT). Charles tried to suppress the uprising using armed force but was defeated in the ensuing Bishops’ Wars of 1639–40, which served as an immediate cause of the English Bourgeois Revolution (English Civil War).

During the first stage of the revolution, Scottish Presbyterians who had signed the Covenant—the Whigs—entered into an alliance with the English Long Parliament against the king. In late 1647, however, the leaders of the Presbyterian elite, fearing that the conflict might deepen, concluded a secret agreement with the king in which they promised to help him in his struggle against the rebel army; in return, Charles would preserve Presbyterianism in Scotland. The Scottish army that invaded England was defeated in August 1648 near Preston by O. Cromwell.

Charles’ execution in January 1649 and the declaration of the Independent republic in England were met with hostility by the Presbyterian leadership of Scotland. In February 1649 the Scottish Parliament recognized Charles II, the son of the executed king, as its sovereign; for his part, Charles accepted the National Covenant and other conditions limiting his power. In early 1650 the Marquess of Montrose staged an unsuccessful coup that would have allowed Charles to occupy the throne without submitting to any conditions; Montrose was executed.

England’s ruling classes took advantage of the royalist danger threatening the English republic from the north in order to completely subjugate Scotland. In July 1650, Cromwell’s army entered Scotland, and on September 3 it was victorious at Dunbar. Exactly one year later, Scottish troops under Charles invaded England and suffered a shattering defeat at the battle of Worcester. By May 1652 all Scotland had been taken by English troops. In April 1654 Cromwell issued an ordinance that made official the union of Scotland with England.

The lands of the Scottish aristocracy and royalist nobility were confiscated and given to new owners, mainly members of the English bourgeoisie and new nobility; this policy led to the destruction of the old agrarian relations in Scotland. Peasant holdings were partially expropriated, and many peasant landowners became tenant farmers. Increasing numbers of landless poor left to seek work in the cities.

The Restoration (1660–88) was a period of political reaction in both Scotland and England. The reestablished Scottish Parliament abolished the Covenant. The peasant movement became stronger, as evidenced by the march on Edinburgh of 1666 and the uprising of 1678–80. Anti-English uprisings in 1679 and 1685 were put down. The bourgeoisie and part of the nobility of southern Scotland supported the Glorious Revolution of 1688–89. Several Highland clans that rose in defense of the deposed Stuarts were crushed.

By the Act of Union of 1707, Scotland was fully united with England to form Great Britain. Under the act, the Scottish Parliament was dissolved, but Scotland was given the right to elect representatives to the Parliament in London; in addition, the Presbyterian Church remained independent. The Scottish commercial bourgeoisie entered into trade with the English colonies and helped exploit them. At the beginning of the 18th century, Scotland, which lagged behind England to a marked degree in economic development, principally exported food and raw materials. Workers in the coal and salt mines remained virtual serfs until the late 18th century. Peasants in southern Scotland held their farms under one-year leases. The main occupation of the Highlanders remained stock raising.

In the first half of the 18th century, much of the hereditary aristocracy of northern Scotland supported the claims of Stuarts to the throne. Various armed uprisings on behalf of the Stuarts by some of the Highland clans, notably those of 1715–16 and 1745–46 were, however, unsuccessful. The abortive uprising of 1745–46, which also reflected the protest of the Highlanders against their landlessness and oppression by the exploiting classes of England and Scotland, was followed by the final destruction of the outmoded clan system. In the second half of the 18th century tenants of small farms were driven off the land in increasing numbers; these land clearances continued until the 1880’s and served as a source for the primitive accumulation of capital in Great Britain.

As a result of the industrial revolution, which began in the last third of the 18th century, a highly developed industrial capitalist system was established in Scotland and England. The textile industry, and later mining, metallurgy, and shipbuilding, underwent extensive development. Southern Scotland became one of Great Britain’s chief industrial regions. During the industrial revolution the popular masses of Scotland suffered on a greater scale than did those of England. Emigration became commonplace; it has been estimated that more than 2 million persons left Scotland in the 19th and first half of the 20th century.

Under the influence of the French Revolution, organizations were formed that favored radical democratic change; such groups were crushed by the British government. The working-class movement developed in earnest in the early 19th century. A mass strike that took place in 1820, although essentially spontaneous, was the first general political strike in Great Britain; it received unusually strong support in Glasgow. Scottish workers took an active part in the Chartist movement (seeCHARTISM).

In 1858 the Trades Union Council was formed in Glasgow. Progressive Scottish workers took part in the First International. In 1884 the Scottish Land and Labour League, founded in Edinburgh, merged with the British Social Democratic Federation. In 1888 the Scottish Labour Party was founded by J. Hardie, who became its leader; in 1893 the party merged with the Independent Labour Party. In 1897 the Scottish Trades Union Congress was founded.

With the transition to imperialism, the exploitation of Scotland by British monopoly capitalism accelerated, becoming particularly marked as Great Britain lost its world industrial monopoly. In Scotland, as in the rest of Great Britain, the labor movement revived and experienced an upsurge between 1907 and 1912. During World War I the shop steward movement in the industrial region of Clydeside took on a wide scope and eventually spread throughout Great Britain (seeSHOP STEWARD). V. I. Lenin described the shop steward movement as a profoundly proletarian, mass movement (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 41, p. 266). In 1915 and 1916 shop stewards led several strikes in Clydeside. In 1916 J. MacLean, W. Gallacher, and other leaders of the shop stewards were arrested and imprisoned, and A. MacManus was expelled from Clydeside.

The October Revolution fostered a new upswing in the struggle of the Scottish workers. A mass movement, under the slogan “Hands off Russia,” developed in Scotland in the course of a revolutionary upsurge that enveloped the entire country. A strike in Clydeside in January and February 1919 involved over 100,000 workers (seeCLYDE STRIKE OF 1919). Many participants in the Scottish working-class movement joined the Communist Party of Great Britain, formed in 1920. Scottish workers took part in the miners’ strike of May to November 1926, the General Strike of 1926 in Great Britain, and other strikes in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Britain’s weakened position in the world market after World War I led to a substantial deterioration of British export industries, including the textile, coal, and shipbuilding industries, which had undergone extensive development in Scotland. In the period from 1931 to 1935 there were mass demonstrations of the unemployed. From Sept. 15 to 17, 1931, sailors mutinied at the port of Invergordon, on Scotland’s northern coast (seeINVERGORDON REVOLT OF 1931).

After World War II, Scotland was greatly affected by the widespread changes that took place in British industry and by the general weakening of the economic and political position of British imperialism. As new and advanced industries grew rapidly— notably the automobile, electrical engineering, electronics, chemical, and nuclear industries—the old, traditional Scottish industries, including the textile, mining, and shipbuilding industries, suffered a further decline. The modern industries that were being developed in Scotland, such as the chemical, electronics, and petroleum-refining industries, were to a considerable extent controlled by foreign, chiefly American, capital. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, American companies controlled the exploration and development of rich petroleum and gas deposits on the continental shelf of the North Sea off the northern coast of Scotland.

For many years, unemployment in Scotland has been much higher than in the rest of Great Britain; the mining industry has been particularly hard hit. As a result, emigration has doubled since the war. In the 1960’s and 1970’s the Scottish National Party, founded in 1928, became more active, and its leaders capitalized on the heightened national consciousness of the Scottish people.

Scotland has remained a major center of the working-class movement in Great Britain. For several months in 1971 and 1972, workers along the upper Clyde managed the shipyards when the owners tried to close them down. Supported by trade unions throughout Great Britain, the workers of the upper Clyde forced the government to keep the shipyards open. A characteristic feature of the working-class movement in Scotland, as in Great Britain as a whole, from the 1950’s to the 1970’s was its close association with the peace movement. A drive to remove American military bases found widespread response. Cultural and other ties with the USSR have been strengthened; this trend has been facilitated by the Scottish USSR Society, founded in 1945.

Communists have played an active role in the struggle of Scottish working people for their rights. A special resolution of the Thirty-first Congress of the Communist Party of Great Britain (November 1969) emphasized that the Scottish people have the right to determine their own fate. The Communist Party has supported autonomous parliaments for Scotland and Wales. At the same time, the party opposes bourgeois separatist slogans calling for the complete separation of Scotland from Great Britain and does not support attempts by the leaders of the Scottish National Party to divert the nationalist movement from the resolution of the class and social problems facing Scottish working people. The Communists have repeatedly stressed that the primary goal remains the common struggle of all British working people against monopolies and for democracy and socialism.


Literature. Scottish literature has developed in the English and Scots languages. The earliest extant poetic texts date from the 14th century, but Scottish literature emerged before that time. Popular ballads first appeared no later than the 13th century, flourished in the 15th century, and were set down in printed leaflets beginning in the 16th century. The poet and chronicler Andrew of Wyntoun (15th century) attributed to Huchown, among the first to use alliterative verse, the narrative poems The Awntyrs of Arthure, Sir Gawain and the Grene Knight, and The Pistil of Susan. The victories of the Scottish people in its struggle for independence from England in the late 13th and early 14th centuries inspired such patriotic poetry as the epic Bruce (published 1571) by J. Barbour (c. 1316–95) and the narrative poem Schir William Wallace (modernized text published 1722) by Harry the Minstrel, or Blind Harry (fl. 1470–92).

Scottish poetry of the 15th and 16th centuries reflects a set of ideas common to European literature in the period when humanism emerged and became established. Notable works of this period are The Kingis Quair (1423) by the lyric poet and king James I (1394–1437), the fables and the narrative poem Testament of Cresseid (published 1593) by R. Henryson (c. 1430–1506), and the narrative poems and satires of W. Dunbar (1460-c. 1517). A precursor of the Renaissance was the poet G. Douglas (c. 1474–1522), who translated Vergil’s Aeneid and wrote the narrative poem King Hart (1516). Brilliant examples of the humanist lyric were created by A. Scott (1525?–85?) and A. Montgomerie (1556?–1610?).

The union of Scotland and England influenced the development of Scottish literature. Although the literature of the 17th century reflects the political and religious struggle of the time, it is markedly inferior to that of the preceding period. In the 18th century many Scottish writers wrote in English but made use of local color; writers of this period include J. Home (1722–1808) and W.Wilkie (1721–72).

The contradictions of bourgeois development in Scotland and the loss of national independence aroused in literature a nostalgia for a vanished past, a yearning that awakened an interest in folklore and medieval literature. A. Ramsay (1686–1758) and R. Fergusson (1750–74) reproduced in Scots verse the features of folk poetry, its joyousness and love of freedom. The Ossianic fragments (1765) of J. Macpherson, which were written in a style suggestive of ancient Erse poetry, were influential throughout Europe; imbued with melancholy, they became one of the most important examples of preromantic poetry.

The profoundly democratic and original poems of R. Burns (1759–96), the best known of which appear in the collection Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786), embodied the freedom-loving spirit of the people and its dreams of justice and equality. Walter Scott (1771–1832), who wrote in English, created the genre of the historical novel in modern literature. He began his artistic career as a collector of Scottish folk poetry, which he published in Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802), and he wrote several romantic narrative poems on medieval subjects. Scott’s historical novels, beginning with Waverly (1814), depict Scottish life in the 16th to 18th centuries.

The Edinburgh Review (1802–1929) and Blackwood’s Magazine played an important role in the development of British literature in the romantic period. Scottish romantic poets of note included John Wilson (1785–1854), whose City of the Plague (1816) was used by A. S. Pushkin in The Feast During the Plague. R. L. Stevenson (1850–94), a representative of late romanticism, achieved world renown with his novels of adventure and his historical novels. The naturalistic prose of the Kailyard school, represented by such writers as G. Macdonald (1824–1905) and J. Watson (1850–1907), showed that literature had turned to modern subjects. In the novel The House With the Green Shutters (1901), G. Brown (1869–1902) exposed avarice and self-interest.

The social novel appeared in the first half of the 20th century. D. Allan (Hunger March, 1934), A. McArthur (1901–47; No Mean City, 1935), and G. Blake (1893–1961; The Shipbuilders, 1935), turning to industrial subject matter, depicted Scotland during the world economic crisis and described the class struggle in their country. L. Grassic Gibbon (1901–35) wrote the epic trilogy A Scots Quair (1932–34), which traces the stories of Scottish farmers against the background of the events of the early 20th century.

The 1920’s witnessed the beginning of the Scottish renaissance, a period in which poetry in the Scots language flourished. The central figure in this renaissance was the brilliant poet Hugh Mac-Diarmid (real name, C. M. Grieve; born 1892), the author of two “Hymns to Lenin” (1931 and 1935) and the founder of a new school of modern Scottish poetry. Many poets, although influenced by W. H. Auden and other English poets of the 1930’s, kept alive the Scottish literary tradition in their work; these include E. Muir (1887–1959; Collected Poems, 1960), G. Bruce (born 1909; the collection Sea Talk, 1944), R. Todd (born 1914; Garland for the Winter Solstice, 1962), W. Soutar (1898–1943; Collected Poems, 1948), A. Young (1885–1971), S. G. Smith (born 1915), and A. Mackie (born 1925; Clytach, 1972).

The most important contemporary prose writers include R. Jenkins (born 1912; the novels Guest of War, 1956, and The Changeling, 1958), G. M. Brown (born 1921; Calendar of Love, 1967), I. C. Smith (born 1928; Consider the Lilies, 1968, and The Lost Summer, 1969), and Muriel Spark (born 1918; The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, 1961).

The drama has been relatively little developed. Among playwrights writing in English were James M. Barrie 1860–1937), whose works include The Admirable Crichton (staged 1902), Peter Pan (1904), and What Every Woman Knows (1918), and James Bridie (real name, O. H. Mavor; 1881–1951), whose works include Sunlight Sonata (1930), Tobias and the Angel (1931), and Dr. Angelus (1950). Social themes are particularly evident in the plays of Joe Corrie (1894–1968; In Time of Strife, 1929), W. D. Home (born 1912), and Ewan MacColl.


Architecture and art. Dating from the period of the clan system are stone ramparts, cylindrical towers (brochs), and the remains of shepherds’ settlements with stone huts. Early Christian churches are closely related to the art of Ireland, as are stone crosses decorated with pagan and Christian images that are combined with complex geometric and plant designs.

Romanesque architecture appeared in Scotland in the 12th century, and Gothic in the 13th. The Romanesque and Gothic structures of Scotland, which include many castles, are notable for their severe formal simplicity; in addition to lierne vaults, tunnel vaults were used extensively in Gothic structures. A distinct type of Scottish castle is the peel tower, which has four sides and rises vertically from the ground. In the 15th and 16th centuries the castles were transformed into palaces with towers, in a style known as Scottish Baronial; this style gradually absorbed features of French Renaissance architecture.

The finest Scottish architects of the 17th and 18th centuries— J. Vanbrugh, J. Gibbs, W. Chambers, and the Adam brothers— built little in their own country, preferring the rapidly growing industrial centers of England. Scottish classicism, however, engendered not only many interesting structures but many noteworthy examples of city planning, such as Edinburgh’s New Town, built according to the plan of J. Craig in the second half of the 18th century. The romantic period, in which the Gothic revival dominated Scottish architecture, is the golden age of Scottish visual art. Notable painters of this period are the portraitists A. Geddes and H. Raeburn, the landscape painters A. Nasmyth, P. Nasmyth, and J. Thomson, and the genre painter D. Wilkie.

National and romantic trends were continued in the work of such masters as B. Scott, who developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries new types of cottages and established a school of interior design. A prominent figure in art nouveau was the Scottish architect C. R. Mackintosh. In the 20th century Scottish architecture has developed along the same lines as that of England, as evidenced in the construction of satellite cities in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Large-scale residential housing is dominated by low-rise, multi-unit buildings, that, although somewhat severe in outline, are nevertheless united in attractive complexes.

Scottish visual art of the 20th century has produced the works of W. Macgregor (and other members of the Glasgow school) and W. McTaggart and the expressionist canvases of the Scottish colorists S. Peploe, L. Hunter, and J. Maxwell. From the 1950’s to 1970’s such Scottish artists as J. Eardley and R. Philipson have turned away from France as the sole source of artistic ideas.

In addition to wood carvings and woven articles, Scottish folk art is represented by such textiles as the woolen fabrics tweed, cheviot, and tartan.


Hardie, W. Scottish Painting, 1837–1939. London, 1976.
Music. The sources of Scottish music lie in the folk songs and dances of the tribes that inhabited the country, notably the Celts, Scots, and Norsemen. Music has long been an important part of the everyday life of fishermen, shepherds, and farmers, as well as fullers and other artisans; such working people composed a variety of songs, including work songs, love songs, and humorous songs. The distinctive national narratives were disseminated and preserved by wandering Celtic popular singers and tellers of tales, who were known as bards and who flourished from the earliest times to the 19th century, and later by minstrels and harpers. The bards, minstrels, and harpers composed and performed epics, heroic songs, sagas, ballads, and love songs.
Scottish folk songs typically are written in the pentatonic scale or are modal. Melodies often contain leaps of great intervals. The rhythm of the folk song, such as the Lombardic rhythm and the Scotch snap, are associated with the specific features of such folk dances as the reel, the strathspey, and the Highland fling (seeÉCOSSAISE). Singing and dancing were accompanied by the clar-sach (a kind of harp that appeared in the 12th century), the bagpipe, and the fiddle and later by the violin and vioIa. The bagpipe has been the principal national instrument of Scotland since the 15th century; there are military orchestras made up of bagpipes.
Church and secular court music developed on a formal basis in the 12th century. In the 13th century singing schools (sang scuils) were established, in which instruction was provided in the Gregorian chant and in instrumental, primarily organ, performance. The first organs were installed in churches in the 1440’s. Notable organists and composers of the 15th century were J. Malison, J. Fethy, J. Black, P. Davidson, A. Melville, and L. de France.
After Edinburgh became the capital of Scotland, in the mid-15th century, a royal chapel was built there and many foreign musicians were attracted to the court. Extant 16th-century manuscript collections contain religious and secular vocal and instrumental works; religious compositions include masses, motets, anthems, and psalms, and secular music is represented by dances and potpourris. Scottish composers of the first half of the 16th century include R. Carver, R. Johnson, D. Peebles, R. Douglas, and A. Blackhall.
The spread of the Reformation and the establishment of Pres-byterianism retarded Scotland’s musical development, but music flourished anew in the 17th century. Scottish music reached a high level of development under the Stuarts, beginning in 1603, as attested by numerous manuscripts, including the Skene Manuscript (1615–35), which contains the melodies to songs, dances, arias, and instrumental music, all notated in lute tablature. Scottish national melodies were used by such English composers as H. Purcell and G. Playford (works for the virginal) and later appeared in the works of F. Mendelssohn (Scottish Symphony) and M. Bruch (Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra).
In the 18th century, musical societies and choral, orchestral, and opera societies and associations were founded. Interest in Scottish folk music increased in Scotland and England. Many collections of folk music were published, notably Orpheus Caledonius (1726) and The Scots Musical Museum (1787–1803). Scottish folk songs provided a basis for the first Scottish ballad opera: A. Ramsay’s The Gentle Shepherd (1725), which served as a model for other Scottish and English works in this genre and influenced the German Singspiel.
The performing arts attained a high level of professionalism in the 18th and 19th centuries. Musical education underwent development: in 1838 a chair of music was endowed at the University of Edinburgh, and in 1890 the Glasgow Athenaeum School of Music (now the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) was founded. Prominent composers of the second half of the 18th and 19th centuries were T. Erskine, J. Fergus, W. McGibbon, D. Dow, and N. Howe. A. Mackenzie, who flourished in the late 19th and the first third of the 20th century, founded the modern school of Scottish composition; his works include five operas, oratorios, cantatas, fantasias, and piano concerti. Mackenzie’s followers include H. MacCunn, C. Macpherson, W. Wallace, F. G. Scott, and L. Drysdale.
Contemporary composers include C. Davie, R. Crawford, and T. Musgrave. Outstanding German and English conductors, no tably C. von Bülow, C. Hallé, and J. Barbirolli spent part of their careers in Scotland, as did the musicologists J. Thomson, H. R. Bishop, F. Niecks, and D. Tovey. An international festival of music, drama, and ballet has been held annually in Edinburgh since 1947. The country’s chief musical centers are Glasgow and Edinburgh, the latter of which has a symphony orchestra and choruses.
Theater. The dramatic theater in Scotland dates from the mid-18th century. In 1767 a patent was granted to the Concert Hall in Edinburgh, which thereupon became the Theatre Royal. By the mid-18th century three theaters had been built in Glasgow, all of which were burned down by religious fanatics. In 1769 the actor and entrepreneur D. Ross built a new Theatre Royal in Edinburgh, at which the plays of English authors were staged, primarily with English actors. In 1883 the Lyceum Theatre opened. Initially, the finest English companies, such as that of H. Irving’s, appeared at the theater, and their performances were an important influence on the formation of a national school of drama. In 1964 the Lyceum was acquired by a company in Edinburgh, and since 1965 it has been a repertory theater; its artistic director is C. Perry.
In Glasgow, the Dunlop Street Theatre existed from 1782 to 1863, the Queen Street Theatre from 1805 to 1829, and the Adel-phi from 1842 to 1848; the City Theatre opened in 1845, followed by the Queen’s Theatre and the Prince’s Theatre. In 1909 the Glasgow Repertory Theatre was founded, with A. Wareing as its director. Although the theater survived for only five seasons, it played an important part in the establishment of a national theatrical art. In addition to the plays of English and foreign writers, several works by Scottish playwrights were staged, including J. Ferguson’s highly successful Campbell of Kilmohr. The theater closed down during World War I, and its funds were used to launch the movement that in 1921 produced the Scottish National Players, a company that performed the works of Scottish dramatists. When the company ceased its activities in the early 1930’s because of financial difficulties, its work was carried on by the Curtain Theatre in Glasgow (1933–40).
The first Scottish Theatre Festival was held in 1939. Since that time the Scottish Community Drama Association has organized annual festivals in which all professional and amateur groups in Scotland take part. In 1943 the Glasgow Citizen’s Theatre was founded. In the 1970’s interesting productions have been staged by the Traverse Theatre Club in Edinburgh and the Close Theatre Club in Glasgow. There are repertory theaters in Perth, Dun dee, Pitlochry, and St. Andrews. Theaters are subsidized by the Scottish Committee of the Arts Council and by municipal arts councils. The Edinburgh Festival of Music and Drama has been held annually since 1947.


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Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 37, pp. 113–14; vol. 41, pp. 63–65 and 200–01.
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A New History of Scotland, vols. 1–2. London, 1962.
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Reader’s Guide to Scotland: A Bibliography. London, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

United Kingdom

Official name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (note - Great Britain includes England, Scotland, and Wales)

Capital city: London

Internet country code: .uk

Flag description: Blue field with the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) edged in white superim­posed on the diagonal red cross of Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland), which is superimposed on the diagonal white cross of Saint Andrew (patron saint of Scotland); properly known as the Union Flag, but commonly called the Union Jack; the design and colors (especially the Blue Ensign) have been the basis for a number of other flags including other Commonwealth countries and their con­stituent states or provinces, and British overseas territo­ries

National anthem: “God Save the Queen”

Geographical description: Western Europe, islands includ­ing the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France

Total area: 93,000 sq. mi. (243,000 sq. km.)

Climate: Temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than onehalf of the days are overcast

Nationality: noun: Briton(s), British (collective plural); adjective: British

Population: 60,776,238 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: English 83.6%, Scottish 8.6%, Welsh 4.9%, Northern Irish 2.9%, African 2%, Indian 1.8%, Pakistani 1.3%, mixed 1.2%, other 1.6%

Languages spoken: English, Welsh, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic

Religions: Christian (Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyte­rian, Methodist) 71.6%, Muslim 2.7%, Hindu 1%, other 1.6%, unspecified or none 23.1%

Legal Holidays:

England and Wales

Boxing DayDec 26
Christmas DayDec 25
Early May Bank HolidayMay 2, 2011; May 7, 2012; May 6, 2013; May 5, 2014; May 4, 2015; May 2, 2016; May 1, 2017; May 7, 2018; May 6, 2019; May 4, 2020; May 3, 2021; May 2, 2022; May 1, 2023
Easter MondayApr 25, 2011; Apr 9, 2012; Apr 1, 2013; Apr 21, 2014; Apr 6, 2015; Mar 28, 2016; Apr 17, 2017; Apr 2, 2018; Apr 22, 2019; Apr 13, 2020; Apr 5, 2021; Apr 18, 2022; Apr 10, 2023
Good FridayApr 22, 2011; Apr 6, 2012; Mar 29, 2013; Apr 18, 2014; Apr 3, 2015; Mar 25, 2016; Apr 14, 2017; Mar 30, 2018; Apr 19, 2019; Apr 10, 2020; Apr 2, 2021; Apr 15, 2022; Apr 7, 2023
New Year's DayJan 1
Spring Bank HolidayMay 30, 2011; May 28, 2012; May 27, 2013; May 26, 2014; May 25, 2015; May 30, 2016; May 29, 2017; May 28, 2018; May 27, 2019; May 25, 2020; May 31, 2021; May 30, 2022; May 29, 2023
Summer Bank HolidayAug 29, 2011; Aug 27, 2012; Aug 26, 2013; Aug 25, 2014; Aug 31, 2015; Aug 29, 2016; Aug 28, 2017; Aug 27, 2018; Aug 26, 2019; Aug 31, 2020; Aug 30, 2021; Aug 29, 2022; Aug 28, 2023

Northern Ireland

Battle of the BoyneJul 12
Boxing DayDec 26
Christmas DayDec 25
Early May Bank HolidayMay 2, 2011; May 7, 2012; May 6, 2013; May 5, 2014; May 4, 2015; May 2, 2016; May 1, 2017; May 7, 2018; May 6, 2019; May 4, 2020; May 3, 2021; May 2, 2022; May 1, 2023
Easter MondayApr 25, 2011; Apr 9, 2012; Apr 1, 2013; Apr 21, 2014; Apr 6, 2015; Mar 28, 2016; Apr 17, 2017; Apr 2, 2018; Apr 22, 2019; Apr 13, 2020; Apr 5, 2021; Apr 18, 2022; Apr 10, 2023
Good FridayApr 22, 2011; Apr 6, 2012; Mar 29, 2013; Apr 18, 2014; Apr 3, 2015; Mar 25, 2016; Apr 14, 2017; Mar 30, 2018; Apr 19, 2019; Apr 10, 2020; Apr 2, 2021; Apr 15, 2022; Apr 7, 2023
New Year's DayJan 1
Spring Bank HolidayMay 30, 2011; May 28, 2012; May 27, 2013; May 26, 2014; May 25, 2015; May 30, 2016; May 29, 2017; May 28, 2018; May 27, 2019; May 25, 2020; May 31, 2021; May 30, 2022; May 29, 2023
St. Patrick's DayMar 21, 2011; Mar 19, 2012; Mar 18, 2013; Mar 17, 2014; Mar 16, 2015; Mar 21, 2016; Mar 20, 2017; Mar 19, 2018; Mar 18, 2019; Mar 16, 2020; Mar 15, 2021; Mar 21, 2022; Mar 20, 2023
Summer Bank HolidayAug 29, 2011; Aug 27, 2012; Aug 26, 2013; Aug 25, 2014; Aug 31, 2015; Aug 29, 2016; Aug 28, 2017; Aug 27, 2018; Aug 26, 2019; Aug 31, 2020; Aug 30, 2021; Aug 29, 2022; Aug 28, 2023


Boxing DayDec 26
Christmas DayDec 25
Early May Bank HolidayMay 2, 2011; May 7, 2012; May 6, 2013; May 5, 2014; May 4, 2015; May 2, 2016; May 1, 2017; May 7, 2018; May 6, 2019; May 4, 2020; May 3, 2021; May 2, 2022; May 1, 2023
Spring Bank HolidayMay 30, 2011; May 28, 2012; May 27, 2013; May 26, 2014; May 25, 2015; May 30, 2016; May 29, 2017; May 28, 2018; May 27, 2019; May 25, 2020; May 31, 2021; May 30, 2022; May 29, 2023
St. Andrew's DayNov 30
Summer Bank HolidayAug 29, 2011; Aug 27, 2012; Aug 26, 2013; Aug 25, 2014; Aug 31, 2015; Aug 29, 2016; Aug 28, 2017; Aug 27, 2018; Aug 26, 2019; Aug 31, 2020; Aug 30, 2021; Aug 29, 2022; Aug 28, 2023

Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


a country that is part of the United Kingdom, occupying the north of Great Britain: the English and Scottish thrones were united under one monarch in 1603 and the parliaments in 1707: a separate Scottish parliament was established in 1999. Scotland consists of the Highlands in the north, the central Lowlands, and hilly uplands in the south; has a deeply indented coastline, about 800 offshore islands (mostly in the west), and many lochs. Capital: Edinburgh. Pop.: 5 057 400 (2003 est.). Area: 78 768 sq. km (30 412 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
"From Scotland Yard," he answered, stretching himself before the fire in his stocking soles.
I had more reasons for going to Scotland Yard, my dear fellow, than I had the face to tell you at the time."
It was nearly four hours since Raffles had stolen away from my side in the ominous precincts of Scotland Yard.
I was standing with my back to the chair in which I had been asleep; behind the chair was the round lodging-house table; and there, reposing on the cloth with the whiskey and sandwiches, was the whole collection of Raffles Relics which had occupied the lid of the silver-chest in the Black Museum at Scotland Yard!
The IFS report, Fiscal Sustainability of an Independent Scotland, said that policymakers would be forced to slash public spending by up to 8% or increase taxes.
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We're establishing a Scotland Advisory Group to guide all of our work here.The group will provide a platform through which supporters, people affected by Parkinson's and professionals in Scotland will advise the Scotland team on how best to deliver better support and services for people with Parkinson's and their carers, families, and friends.
The awards, which are celebrating their 20th anniversary, are calling on businesses of all sizes and sectors across Scotland who are implementing sustainable practices to get in touch and apply before 5pm on Friday, May 10.