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Scotland




Scotland

Scotland got its name from the Scots, also called Scotty, who first came to the country in the 5th century. They built up a sizeable colony and spoke Irish. Scots is a Germanic language like English. 'Scotty' is, what the Romans called them.
Scotland has a population of 5 million people. The language is Scottish English and a few people are still speaking Gaelic.
Scotland is one of the four countries, the UK consists of. It is situated in the north of Great Britain and also contains some Islands.
Landscape

Scotland is divided into three parts called Lowlands, Highlands and Southern Uplands.
 But this area is also known for their scenic grandeur. Moorland plateaus, mountain lakes, sea lochs, swift-flowing streams, and dense thickets are common to the Highlands. Furthermore the Highlands are divided into two parts by a depression known as the Glen More, or Great Glen, which extends from Moray Firth to Loch Linnhe. Southeast of this cutting line the topography is highly diversified. This region is traversed by the Grampian Mountains, the principal mountain system in Scotland.  Ben Nevis is the highest mountain (1343m) . It's Britain's highest one.



In the South of the Highlands there are the Lowlands, a narrow belt comprising only about one-tenth of the area of Scotland, but containing the majority of the country's population. The terrain of the Southern Uplands is much less elevated and rugged than the Highlands. It consists largely of a moorland plateau traversed by rolling hills and broken by mountainous outcroppings. Adjoining the Southern Uplands region along the boundary with England are the Cheviot Hills. The Southern Uplands are less rugged than the Highlands, but there are larger Moorland plateaus with rolling hills. The terrain borders on the Cheviot Hills, what also is the border between Scotland and England.
The Lowlands include most of the county's cultivated farmland and a few chains of rolling hills as well. They are compromising the area between Edinburgh in the east and Glasgow in the west.
Although it is the smallest part of Scotland, there are living most of the people, because there is managed most of Scotland's industry, so there is a lot of work to do. Situated off the north and west coasts of Scotland are the Islands, the main groups being the Orkneys and Shetlands off the north coast and the Hebrides off the west coasts. The largest of the other islands is Arran. All of the islands are sparsely populate.
 The main industry is fishing, farming, coal production, shipbuilding and computer production. And because so many computer companies have set there, people started to call the area 'Silicon Glen'.
In Scotland are a lot of things, which are recommendable, maybe like one of the about 500 castles inclusive its ghost or one of the hundreds lochs. The most famous one is 'Loch Ness' , because that is supposed to be the home of a monster, called 'Nessie'. But until today there is no real proof, except some pictures, which are not very convincing.

Like the rest of the British island, Scotland is known for his significant reserves of coal and zinc. The soil is generally rocky, except for that of the central Lowlands. There it is possible to do some farming. In the North of Scotland you can find a great potential of hydroelectric power. Hydroelectric power plants are likely to see there.

People

The people of Scotland are descendants of various racial stocks, including the Picts, Celts, Scandinavians and Romans. Scotland has become a mixed society. Scots divide themselves into Highlanders, who consider themselves of purer Celtic blood and retain a stronger feeling of clan, and Lowlanders, who are largely of Teutonic blood.

Scotland's government is in Edinburgh. It's also the capital and has 400000 inhabitants. A castle of the Scottish kings was built above the town in the middle ages. Edinburgh is the cultural and political point of Scotland, situated at the Firth of Forth. It is the home of the ' Church of Scotland' and the catholic archbishop. The residence of the Queen is also in Edinburgh. Its name is 'Holyrood Palace'.

Before talking about Scotland's culture, you have to consider, that Scotland was not one country, but two - the Highlands and the Lowlands. The Lowlands were poorer than England, but more prosperous than the Highlands.

The Highlands lived in a system of rural economy based on cattle and goats even the Highland soil and climate did not encourage the economy. It was often compared with the "Wild West" of America, a lawless society, where murder, looting and the theft of cattle (and wives) were common. The society was dominated by the clans and their chief's, who's authority was absolute. Furthermore the Gaelic language was widely spread in the Highlands. Today still 100,000 people are able to speak Gaelic. The Highlands dress is the kilt, with a pattern called tartan, which consists of the colours of the clan. They were especially worn in the military. Today also Lowlanders are allowed to wear the famous kilt.

The Lowlands were, compared to the Highlands, more advanced in their economy and in their agricultural structure. Presbyterianism was widely spread in this area, whereas many Highlanders remained catholic.

The result of this differences was animosity and prejudice. Highlanders looked down on Lowlanders as gloomy cabbage eaters dressed in dark clothes contrasting with the heroic Highlander in his bright tartan. Lowlanders considered Highlanders to be lazy, uncivilized people, who stole honest Lowlanders cattle.

Famous for Scotland is the kilt with a tartan. Tartan is the pattern of the kilt. It is chequered without any specific colour. Every Scottish clan has its own colour. Today there are 96 different Tartans known and every one is named after a clan. The Kilt is the national costume, which is mostly worn by men at special holidays. In addition to it belongs the national instrument, the bagpipe. You need a lot of breath, to get some sounds out of it. Typical for the bagpipe is the uninterrupted sound, because you keep pressing the bag.
Both things were used or worn in battles and the military band.




Despite of the controverse Highlanders against Lowlanders and their cultural belief, bagpipes are a famous Scottish tradition. This instrument is usually associated with Scottish music, but was probably introduced by the Romans, who acquired them in Middle East.

One of the most celebrated days is the 25th of January, where people think of Robert Burns, who was a famous Scottish writer. On this day people are playing their bagpipes and wearing kilts. The dish is brought into the room accompanied by a piper. Furthermore people drink a toast to Robert Burns, and they also consume plenty of whisky.

There are finance companies, distilleries and a lot of industry, like electronic, technique and chemic. There also is an university, an airport and Leith
(Edinburgh's high sea harbour).
Every August the 'Edinburgh Festival' takes place. It is an international Arts festival and includes theatre, music, opera, dance and comedy. At this time there are much more plays and concerts, than in 'normal' times.
History

Constant tension lead to the war between England and Scotland resulted in the Scots forming an alliance with France in the 12th century. Known as the "Auld Alliance", it lasted until the 16th century. During the War of Independence the Scots, led by William Wallace and later by Robert Bruce, successfully resisted English invasions.

William Wallace was the first leader of the Scots. He fought with his recruited army in a guerrilla warfare against the oppression of England. Later on Wallace was betrayed to the English, convicted of treason and executed.

After Wallace's death Robert Bruce became the leader of the resistance movement. Even he has not been in favour of Wallace he was crowned Robert I. In the following period he continued Wallace's way of guerrilla warfare and tried to persuade the Scottish nobility to oppose England.

In 1328 the war ended and Scotland was recognized as an independent kingdom.

Cities

Scotland's great industrial area centres on Glasgow, its largest city. On the banks of the River Clyde below the city are world-famous shipyards that once produced every kind of ship. A fall in demand and overseas competition, however, have caused a major decline in the industry. In Glasgow and the cities clustered around it are iron and steel mills and other metal plants, engineering works, machinery factories, chemical works and textile mills. Heavy industries were once based on the iron ore and coal deposits of the Lanarkshire field near the city. Today the iron ore is virtually exhausted, and ore must be imported. The Lanarkshire coal is also depleted, but more is available in fields around the Firth of Forth. The traditional heavy industries of southern Scotland have become less significant, but a new major electronics industry has created considerable employment for people who live in that area.

The industrial area of Glasgow almost meets that of Edinburgh to the east. Edinburgh also has engineering industries, but it specializes in light manufactures printing, paper (made from imported wood pulp), beer, and biscuits. North of Edinburgh across the Firth of Forth are Dunfermline, which manufactures linen; Perth, known for its dye works; and Dundee, which specializes in jute manufacture and marmalade. South of Edinburgh in the Tweed Valley are manufacturing towns that produce woolen cloths. Cotton spinning and weaving have declined, but the North Sea petroleum industry has created new jobs in the building and servicing of oil platforms, terminals, and refineries.

Glasgow is by far the largest and busiest port. Following it in volume of foreign trade are Leith, Grangemouth, and Dundee. Freight also moves to England, Wales, and Northern Ireland by coastal vessels and by rail and road.

Scotland`s great international airport, Prestwick, is on the west coast southwest of Glasgow. Other major airports are at Edinburgh and Glasgow.










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