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Portal:Scotland Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Scotland

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Introduction

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Scotland
Scotland in Europe

Scotland (Scots: Scotland, Scottish Gaelic: Alba [ˈal̪ˠapə] (listen)) 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. It 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. It 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

Loch Leven Castle from the Ferry

Lochleven Castle is a ruined castle on an island in Loch Leven, in the Perth and Kinross local authority area of Scotland. Possibly built around 1300, the castle was the site of military action during the Wars of Scottish Independence (1296–1357). In the latter part of the 14th century, the castle was granted to William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas, by his uncle. It remained in the Douglases' hands for the next 300 years. Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned there in 1567–68, and forced to abdicate as queen, before escaping with the help of her gaoler's family. In 1588, the queen's gaoler inherited the title of Earl of Morton, and moved away from the castle. In 1675, Sir William Bruce, an architect, bought the castle and used it as a focal point for his garden; it was never again used as a residence.

Today, the remains of the castle are protected as a scheduled monument in the care of Historic Environment Scotland. Lochleven Castle is open to the public in summer, and access is available by ferry. (Full article...) Read more ...

Selected quotes

" ...   Every new opinion, at its starting, is precisely in a minority of one   ... "

Thomas Carlyle

" ...   Every man at the bottom of his heart believes that he is a born detective   ... "

John Buchan

In the news

In the news
19 July 2022 – 2022 European heat waves
Scotland reports a record temperature of 35.1 °C (95.2 °F) at Floors Castle. Initially, the highest temperature was thought to have been set at RAF Charterhall, reaching 34.8 °C (94.6 °F). (BBC News) (BBC News 2)
28 June 2022 – Scottish independence
Proposed second Scottish independence referendum
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister, announces during a parliamentary debate session that an independence referendum bill will be tabled in the Scottish Parliament. The bill sets the date for the break-up vote at October 19, 2023. Sturgeon will try to bypass Prime Minister Boris Johnson's unlikely permission to conduct the referendum by referring the bill to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. (CNBC) (The Guardian)
23 May 2022 – 2022 monkeypox outbreak
Scotland confirms its first case of monkeypox. The patient has been hospitalized. In response, smallpox vaccines are being stockpiled in the country. (Reuters) (BBC News) (Glasgow Times)
20 May 2022 – Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II
The Cabinet Office announces that eight British towns will become cities as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee. The new cities are Milton Keynes, Colchester, and Doncaster in England, Dunfermline in Scotland, Wrexham in Wales, and Bangor in Northern Ireland, as well as Stanley, Falkland Islands, and Douglas, Isle of Man, which become the first towns in the British Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies, respectively, to receive city status. (BBC News)
20 May 2022 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland

Selected biography

Engraving of John Knox by William Holl, c. 1860

John Knox (Scottish Gaelic: Iain Knox), born (c. 1514 – 24 November 1572) was a Scottish minister, Reformed theologian, and writer who was a leader of the country's Reformation. He was the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

Born in Giffordgate, a street in Haddington, East Lothian, Knox is believed to have been educated at the University of St Andrews and worked as a notary-priest. Influenced by early church reformers such as George Wishart, he joined the movement to reform the Scottish church. He was caught up in the ecclesiastical and political events that involved the murder of Cardinal David Beaton in 1546 and the intervention of the regent Mary of Guise. He was taken prisoner by French forces the following year and exiled to England on his release in 1549.

While in exile, Knox was licensed to work in the Church of England, where he rose in the ranks to serve King Edward VI of England as a royal chaplain. He exerted a reforming influence on the text of the Book of Common Prayer. In England, he met and married his first wife, Margery Bowes. When Mary I ascended the throne of England and re-established Catholicism, Knox was forced to resign his position and leave the country. Knox moved to Geneva and then to Frankfurt. In Geneva, he met John Calvin, from whom he gained experience and knowledge of Reformed theology and Presbyterian polity. He created a new order of service, which was eventually adopted by the reformed church in Scotland. He left Geneva to head the English refugee church in Frankfurt but he was forced to leave over differences concerning the liturgy, thus ending his association with the Church of England.

On his return to Scotland, Knox led the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Protestant nobility. The movement may be seen as a revolution since it led to the ousting of Mary of Guise, who governed the country in the name of her young daughter Mary, Queen of Scots. Knox helped write the new confession of faith and the ecclesiastical order for the newly created reformed church, the Kirk. He wrote his five-volume The History of the Reformation in Scotland between 1559 and 1566. He continued to serve as the religious leader of the Protestants throughout Mary's reign. In several interviews with the Queen, Knox admonished her for supporting Catholic practices. After she was imprisoned for her alleged role in the murder of her husband Lord Darnley, and King James VI was enthroned in her stead, Knox openly called for her execution. He continued to preach until his final days. (Full article...) Read more ...

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