Geographic characteristics of Scotland
Consideration of geographical location and national symbols (the royal coat of arms) in Scotland. Investigation of the level of economic development, production, the climate and culture of the state. Characterization of Scotland within the United Kingdom.
|Рубрика||География и экономическая география|
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Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, Scotland constitutes over 790 islands including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
Edinburgh, the country's capital and second largest city, is one of Europe's largest financial centres. Edinburgh was the hub of the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century, which transformed Scotland into one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, was once one of the world's leading industrial cities and now lies at the centre of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union. This has given Aberdeen, the third largest city in Scotland, the title of Europe's oil capital.
The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707, although it had been in a personal union with the kingdoms of England and Ireland since James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English and Irish thrones in 1603. On 1 May 1707, Scotland entered into an incorporating political union with England to create the united Kingdom of Great Britain. This union resulted from the Treaty of Union agreed in 1706 and enacted by the twin Acts of Union passed by the Parliaments of both countries, despite widespread protest across Scotland. Scotland's legal system continues to be separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, and Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in public and in private law.
The continued existence of legal, educational and religious institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the Union. In 1999, a devolved legislature, the Scottish Parliament, was founded with authority over many areas of home affairs following a successful referendum in 1997. In 2011, the Scottish National Party (SNP) won an overall majority in parliament and intends to hold a referendum on independence in the autumn of 2014.
Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period. It is believed that the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
Groups of settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9500 years ago, and the first villages around 6000 years ago. The well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the Mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation, burial and ritual sites are particularly common and well-preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone.
The discovery in Scotland of a 4000 year old tomb with burial treasures at Forteviot, near Perth, the capital of a Pictish Kingdom in the 8th and 9th centuries AD, is unrivalled anywhere in Britain. It contains the remains of an early Bronze Age ruler laid out on white quartz pebbles and birch bark. It was also discovered for the first time that early Bronze Age people placed flowers in their graves.
Scotland may have been part of a Late Bronze Age maritime trading culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that also included the other Celtic nations, England, France, Spain and Portugal.
The written protohistory of Scotland began with the arrival of the Roman Empire in southern and central Great Britain, when the Romans occupied what is now England and Wales, administering it as a province called Britannia. Roman invasions and occupations of southern Scotland were a series of brief interludes.
According to the Roman historian Tacitus, the Caledonians "turned to armed resistance on a large scale", attacking Roman forts and skirmishing with their legions. In a surprise night-attack, the Caledonians very nearly wiped out the whole 9th Legion until it was saved by Agricola's cavalry.
In AD 83-84 the general Gnaeus Julius Agricola defeated the Caledonians at the Battle of Mons Graupius. Before the battle Tacitus wrote that the Caledonian leader Calgacus, gave a rousing speech in which he called his people the "last of the free" and accused the Romans of "making the world a desert and calling it peace". After the Roman victory Roman forts were briefly set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line (only Cawdor near Inverness is known to have been constructed beyond that line). Three years after the battle the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands.
The Romans erected Hadrian's Wall to control tribes on both sides of the wall,and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the empire, although the army held the Antonine Wall in the Central Lowlands for two short periods--the last of these during the time of Emperor Septimius Severus from 208 until 210.
The Roman military occupation of a significant part of northern Scotland only lasted about 40 years, although their influence on the southern section of the country, occupied by Brythonic tribes such as the Votadini and Damnonii, would still have been considerable between the first and fifth centuries. The Welsh term Hen Ogledd ("Old North") is used by scholars to describe the North of England and South of Scotland during its habitation by Brythonic speaking people around AD 500 to 800.In the 400s, Gaels from Ireland established the kingdom of Dбl Riata.
Historical subdivisions of Scotland included the mormaerdom, stewartry, earldom, burgh, parish, county and regions and districts. These names are still sometimes used as geographical descriptors.
Modern Scotland is subdivided in various ways depending on the purpose. For local government, there have been 32 council areas since 1996, whose councils are unitary authorities responsible for the provision of all local government services. Community councils are informal organisations that represent specific sub-divisions of a council area.
For the Scottish Parliament, there are 73 constituencies and eight regions. For the Parliament of the United Kingdom, there are 59 constituencies. The Scottish fire brigades and police forces are still based on the system of regions introduced in 1975. For healthcare and postal districts, and a number of other governmental and non-governmental organisations such as the churches, there are other long-standing methods of subdividing Scotland for the purposes of administration.
City status in the United Kingdom is conferred by letters patent. There are seven cities in Scotland: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Stirling and Perth.
Flag of Scotland
The Flag of Scotland, (Scottish Gaelic: Bratach nаiseanta na h-Alba,Scots: Banner o Scotland), also known as Saint Andrew's Cross or the Saltire, is the national flag of Scotland. As the national flag it is the Saltire, rather than the Royal Standard of Scotland, which is the correct flag for all individuals and corporate bodies to fly in order to demonstrate both their loyalty and Scottish nationality.It is also, where possible, flown from Scottish Government buildings every day from 8am until sunset, with certain exceptions.
According to legend, the Christian apostle and martyr Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, was crucified on an X-shaped cross at Patras, (Patrae), in Achaea. Use of the familiar iconography of his martyrdom, showing the apostle bound to an X-shaped cross, first appears in the Kingdom of Scotland in 1180 during the reign of William I. This image was again depicted on seals used during the late 13th century; including on one particular example used by the Guardians of Scotland, dated 1286.
Use of a simplified symbol associated with Saint Andrew which does not depict his image, namely the saltire, or crux decussata, (from the Latin crux, 'cross', and decussis, 'having the shape of the Roman numeral X'), has its origins in the late 14th century; the Parliament of Scotland having decreed in 1385 that Scottish soldiers shall wear a white Saint Andrew's Cross on their person, both in front and behind, for the purpose of identification.
The earliest reference to the Saint Andrew's Cross as a flag is to be found in the Vienna Book of Hours, circa 1503, where a white saltire is depicted with a red background. In the case of Scotland, use of a blue background for the Saint Andrew's Cross is said to date from at least the 15th century, with the first certain illustration of a flag depicting such appearing in Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount's Register of Scottish Arms, circa 1542.
The legend surrounding Scotland's association with the Saint Andrew's Cross was related by Walter Bower and George Buchanan, who claimed that the flag originated in a 9th century battle, where Уengus II led a combined force of Picts and Scots to victory over the Angles, led by Жthelstan. Supposedly, a miraculous white saltire appeared in the blue sky and Уengus' troops were roused to victory by the omen, making the saltire "the oldest continually used sovereign flag in the world". Consisting of a blue background over which is placed a white representation of an X-shaped cross, the Saltire is one of Scotland's most recognisable symbols.
Royal coat of arms of Scotland
The royal coat of arms of Scotland (commonly referred to as the Royal Arms of Scotland) was the official coat of arms of the monarchs of Scotland, and was used as the official coat of arms of the Kingdom of Scotland until the Acts of Union of 1707. The blazon of the arms of the Kingdom of Scotland changed markedly following the Union of the Crowns in 1603, and ultimately went on to become the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom as used in Scotland.
Scotland within the UK
scotland economy culture
A policy of devolution had been advocated by the three main UK parties with varying enthusiasm during recent history. The late Labour leader John Smith described the revival of a Scottish parliament as the "settled will of the Scottish people".The constitutional status of Scotland is nonetheless subject to ongoing debate. In 2007, the Scottish Government established a "National Conversation" on constitutional issues, proposing a number of options such as increasing the powers of the Scottish Parliament, federalism, or a referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. In rejecting the last option, the three main opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament have proposed a separate Scottish Constitutional Commission to investigate the distribution of powers between devolved Scottish and UK-wide bodies.In August 2009 the SNP proposed a referendum bill to hold a referendum on independence in November 2010. Immediate opposition from all other major parties led to an expected defeat.These plans were put on hold by the Scottish National Party until after the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections.With the outcome of the May 2011 elections allowing an SNP majority in the Scottish Parliament, a referendum on Scotland's future within the UK is to be held in Autumn 2014, with the Scottish Government launching its consultation on 25 January 2012.
The climate of Scotland is temperate and oceanic, and tends to be very changeable. It is warmed by the Gulf Stream from the Atlantic, and as such has much milder winters (but cooler, wetter summers) than areas on similar latitudes, for example Labrador, Moscow, or the Kamchatka Peninsula on the opposite side of Eurasia. However, temperatures are generally lower than in the rest of the UK, with the coldest ever UK temperature of ?27.2 °C (?16.96 °F) recorded at Braemar in the Grampian Mountains, on 11 February 1895. Winter maximums average 6 °C (42.8 °F) in the lowlands, with summer maximums averaging 18 °C (64.4 °F). The highest temperature recorded was 32.9 °C (91.22 °F) at Greycrook, Scottish Borders on 9 August 2003.
In general, the west of Scotland is usually warmer than the east, owing to the influence of Atlantic ocean currents and the colder surface temperatures of the North Sea. Tiree, in the Inner Hebrides, is one of the sunniest places in the country: it had more than 300 hours of sunshine in May 1975. Rainfall varies widely across Scotland. The western highlands of Scotland are the wettest place, with annual rainfall exceeding 3,000 mm (118.1 in).In comparison, much of lowland Scotland receives less than 800 mm (31.5 in) annually.Heavy snowfall is not common in the lowlands, but becomes more common with altitude. Braemar experiences an average of 59 snow days per year,while many coastal areas average fewer than 10 days of lying snow per annum.
Economy and infrastructure
Scotland has a western style open mixed economy that is closely linked with the rest of Europe and the wider world. Traditionally, the Scottish economy has been dominated by heavy industry underpinned by the shipbuilding in Glasgow, coal mining and steel industries. Petroleum related industries associated with the extraction of North Sea oil have also been important employers from the 1970s, especially in the north east of Scotland.
De-industrialisation during the 1970s and 1980s saw a shift from a manufacturing focus towards a more service-oriented economy. Edinburgh is the financial services centre of Scotland and the sixth largest financial centre in Europe in terms of funds under management, behind London, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich and Amsterdam, with many large finance firms based there, including: Lloyds Banking Group (owners of the Halifax Bank of Scotland); the Government owned Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Life.
In 2005, total Scottish exports (excluding intra-UK trade) were provisionally estimated to be Ј17.5 billion, of which 70% (Ј12.2 billion) were attributable to manufacturing. Scotland's primary exports include whisky, electronics and financial services. The United States, Netherlands, Germany, France and Spain constitute the country's major export markets.Scotland's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), including oil and gas produced in Scottish waters, was estimated at Ј137.5 billion for the calendar year 2009.
Tourism is widely recognised as a key contributor to the Scottish economy. A briefing published in 2002 by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre, (SPICe), for the Scottish Parliament's Enterprise and Life Long Learning Committee, stated that tourism accounted for up to 5% of GDP and 7.5% of employment.
As of May 2009 the unemployment rate in Scotland stood at 6.6%-- slightly lower than the UK average and lower than that of the majority of EU countries.The Scottish Government's most recent figures (for 2009/10) suggest that Scotland's finances are in a healthier state than for the UK as a whole, with Scotland contributing 9.4% of UK taxes but receiving 9.3% of public expenditure.
Scottish music is a significant aspect of the nation's culture, with both traditional and modern influences. A famous traditional Scottish instrument is the Great Highland Bagpipe, a wind instrument consisting of three drones and a melody pipe (called the chanter), which are fed continuously by a reservoir of air in a bag. Bagpipe bands, featuring bagpipes and various types of drums, and showcasing Scottish music styles while creating new ones, have spread throughout the world. The clаrsach (harp), fiddle and accordion are also traditional Scottish instruments, the latter two heavily featured in Scottish country dance bands. Today, there are many successful Scottish bands and individual artists in varying styles including Runrig, Susan Boyle and Texas.
Scotland has a literary heritage dating back to the early Middle Ages. The earliest extant literature composed in what is now Scotland was in Brythonic speech in the 6th century, but is preserved as part of Welsh literature. Later medieval literature included works in Latin, Gaelic, Old English and French. The first surviving major text in Early Scots is the 14th century poet John Barbour's epic Brus, focusing on the life of Robert I, and was soon followed by a series of vernacular romances and prose works. In the 16th century the crown's patronage helped the development of Scots drama and poetry, but the accession of James VI to the English throne removed a major centre of literary patronage and Scots was sidelined as a literary language. Interest in Scots literature was revived in the 18th century by figures including James Macpherson, whose Ossian Cycle made him the first Scottish poet to gain an international reputation and was a major influence on the European Enlightenment.It was also a major influence on Robert Burns, considered by many to be the national poet, and Walter Scott, whose Waverley Novels did much to define Scottish identity in the 19th century.Towards the end of the Victorian era a number of Scottish-born authors achieved international reputations as writers in English, including Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, J. M. Barrie and George MacDonald. In the 20th century the Scottish Renaissance saw a surge of literary activity and attempts to reclaim the Scots language as a medium for serious literature.Members of the movement were followed by a new generation of post-war poets including Edwin Morgan, who would be appointed the first Scots Makar by the inaugural Scottish government in 2004. From the 1980s Scottish literature enjoyed another major revival, particularly associated with a group of Glasgow writers including Irvine Welsh. Scottish poets who emerged in the same period included Carol Ann Duffy, who was named as the first Scot to be UK Poet Laureate in May 2009.
Scottish theatre has for many years played an important role in Scottish society, from the music hall variety of Sir Harry Lauder and his contemporaries to the more serious plays put on at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow and many other theatres throughout Scotland.
Television in Scotland is largely the same as UK-wide broadcasts, however the national broadcaster is BBC Scotland, a constituent part of the British Broadcasting Corporation, the publicly funded broadcaster of the United Kingdom. It runs three national television stations, and the national radio stations, BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio nan Gaidheal, amongst others. Scotland also has some programming in the Gaelic language. BBC Alba is the national Gaelic-language channel. The main Scottish commercial television station is STV. National newspapers such as the Daily Record, The Herald, and The Scotsman are all produced in Scotland.Important regional dailies include the Evening News in Edinburgh 'The Courier in Dundee in the east, and The Press and Journal serving Aberdeen and the north.Scotland is represented at the Celtic Media Festival, which showcases film and television from the Celtic countries. Scottish entrants have won many awards since the festival began in 1980.
As one of the Celtic nations, Scotland and Scottish culture is represented at interceltic events at home and over the world. Scotland hosts several music festivals including Celtic Connections (Glasgow), and the Hebridean Celtic Festival (Stornoway). Festivals celebrating Celtic culture, such as Festival Interceltique de Lorient (Brittany), the Pan Celtic Festival (Ireland), and the National Celtic Festival (Portarlington, Australia), feature elements of Scottish culture such as language, music and dance.
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