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Portal:Scotland

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Introduction

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Scotland
Scotland in Europe

Scotland ( Scots: Scotland, Scottish Gaelic: Alba [ˈal̪ˠapə] ( About this sound 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 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

View of the bridge from South Queensferry

The Forth Road Bridge is a suspension bridge in east central Scotland. The bridge opened in 1964 and at the time was the longest suspension bridge in the world outside the United States. The bridge spans the Firth of Forth, connecting Edinburgh, at South Queensferry, to Fife, at North Queensferry. It replaced a centuries-old ferry service to carry vehicular traffic, cyclists and pedestrians across the Forth; railway crossings are made by the nearby Forth Bridge, opened in 1890.

The Scottish Parliament voted to scrap tolls on the bridge from February 2008. The adjacent Queensferry Crossing was opened in August 2017 to carry the M90 motorway across the Firth of Forth, replacing the Forth Road Bridge which had exceeded its design capacity. At its peak, the Forth Road Bridge carried 65,000 vehicles per day.

The Forth Road Bridge was subsequently closed for repairs and refurbishment. It reopened in February 2018, now redesignated as a dedicated Public Transport Corridor, with access to motor vehicles other than buses and taxis restricted; pedestrians and cyclists are still permitted to use the bridge. Starting in or before 2021, Stagecoach Fife will be carrying out the first driverless bus trial to carry passengers in the United Kingdom along a park-and-ride route which includes the Forth Road Bridge as its main section. ( Full article...) Read more ...

Selected quotes

" ...   Fashion as King is sometimes a very stupid ruler   ... "

Eric Temple Bell

" ...   There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement   ... "

Lord Kelvin, address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1900

In the news

In the news
26 May 2021 –
Jan Graffius, the curator of the Stonyhurst Collections states that the theft of the gold rosary that Mary, Queen of Scots took to her execution is a “very tragic loss” for Catholic history. Thieves broke into Arundel Castle in West Sussex, southern England, stealing the rosary and other items worth more than $1.4 million. (Catholic News Agency)
17 May 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
Lockdown restrictions are eased in England, Wales, and Scotland with museums, cinemas, children's play areas, and hotels reopening. Pubs, bars, and restaurants can now serve customers indoors again with social distancing rules in place. In England, people can now gather in groups of 30 outdoors and meet indoors in groups of up to six. A ban on international travel is also lifted. (BBC)
8 May 2021 – 2021 Scottish Parliament election
The Scottish National Party wins a historic fourth term in office. Along with the Scottish Greens, the majority of seats in the new Scottish Parliament will belong to parties favouring a proposed second independence referendum. Voter turnout also reaches a record high of 64%. (The Guardian)
6 May 2021 – Elections in the United Kingdom
2021 Senedd election, 2021 Scottish Parliament election
Wales and Scotland hold elections for their respective national parliaments. The elections use the proportional additional member system, unlike the first past the post system used in House of Commons elections. (The Guardian)
17 April 2021 – Death and funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
The official funeral service takes place for Prince Philip, prince consort of the United Kingdom to Elizabeth II. The Duke's body is led in a limited procession to St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, for interment in the Royal Vault. (AP on MSN)

Selected biography

Carnegie in 1913

Andrew Carnegie (Scots pronunciation:  [kɑrˈnɛːɡi], English approximation: /kɑːrˈnɛɡi/ kar-NEH-ghee; November 25, 1835 – August 11, 1919) was a Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist. Carnegie led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century and became one of the richest Americans in history. He became a leading philanthropist in the United States and in the British Empire. During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away ~$350 million (roughly $5.2 billion in 2020) to many charities, foundations, and universities – almost 90 percent of his fortune. His 1889 article proclaiming " The Gospel of Wealth" called on the rich to use their wealth to improve society, expressed support for progressive taxation and an estate tax, and stimulated a wave of philanthropy.

Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1848 at age 12. Carnegie started work as a telegrapher, and by the 1860s had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges, and oil derricks. He accumulated further wealth as a bond salesman, raising money for American enterprise in Europe. He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company, which he sold to J. P. Morgan in 1901 for $303,450,000. It became the U.S. Steel Corporation. After selling Carnegie Steel, he surpassed John D. Rockefeller as the richest American for the next several years.

Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education, and scientific research. With the fortune he made from business, he built Carnegie Hall in New York, NY, and the Peace Palace and founded the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, Carnegie Hero Fund, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, among others. ( Full article...) Read more ...

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