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Introduction

Flag of Scotland
Flag of Scotland
Scotland
Scotland in Europe

Scotland (Scots: Scotland; Scottish Gaelic: Alba) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It contains nearly one-third of the United Kingdom's land area, consisting of the northern part of the island of Great Britain and more than 790 adjacent islands, principally in the archipelagos of the Hebrides and the Northern Isles. To the south-east, Scotland has its only land border, which is 96 miles (154 km) long and shared with England; the country is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the north-east and east, and the Irish Sea to the south. The population in 2022 was 5,439,842 and accounts for 8% of the population of the UK. Edinburgh is the capital and Glasgow is the largest of the cities of Scotland.

The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the 9th century. In 1603, James VI inherited the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Ireland, forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. On 1 May 1707 Scotland and England combined to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain, with the Parliament of Scotland subsumed into the Parliament of Great Britain. In 1999 a Scottish Parliament was re-established, and has devolved authority over many areas of domestic policy. The country has a distinct legal system, educational system, and religious history from the rest of the UK, which have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity. Scottish English and Scots are the most widely spoken languages in the country, existing on a dialect continuum with each other. Scottish Gaelic speakers can be found all over Scotland, however the language is largely spoken natively by communities within the Hebrides. The number of Gaelic speakers numbers less than 2% of the total population, though state-sponsored revitalisation attempts have led to a growing community of second language speakers.

The mainland of Scotland is broadly divided into three regions: the Highlands, a mountainous region in the north and north-west; the Lowlands, a flatter plain across the centre of the country; and the Southern Uplands, a hilly region along the southern border. The Highlands are the most mountainous region of the British Isles and contain its highest peak, Ben Nevis, at 4,413 feet (1,345 m). The region also contains many lakes, called lochs; the term is also applied to the many saltwater inlets along the country's deeply indented western coastline. The geography of the many islands is varied. Some, such as Mull and Skye, are noted for their mountainous terrain, while the likes of Tiree and Coll are much flatter. (Full article...)

Selected article

1.5 year old black Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier (Scottish Gaelic: Abhag Albannach; also known as the Aberdeen Terrier), popularly called the Scottie, is a breed of dog. Initially one of the highland breeds of terrier that were grouped under the name of Skye Terrier, it is one of five breeds of terrier that originated in Scotland, the other four being the modern Skye, Cairn, Dandie Dinmont, and West Highland White terriers. They are an independent and rugged breed with a wiry outer coat and a soft dense undercoat. The first Earl of Dumbarton nicknamed the breed "the diehard". According to legend, the Earl of Dumbarton gave this nickname because of the Scottish Terriers' bravery, and Scotties were also the inspiration for the name of his regiment, The Royal Scots, Dumbarton’s Diehard. Scottish Terriers were originally bred to hunt vermin on farms.

They are a small breed of terrier with a distinctive shape and have had many roles in popular culture. They have been owned by a variety of celebrities, including the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose Scottie Fala is included with FDR in a statue in Washington, D.C., as well as by the 43rd president, George W. Bush. They are also well known for being a playing piece in the board game Monopoly. Described as territorial, feisty dogs, they can make a good watchdog and tend to be very loyal to their family. Healthwise, Scottish Terriers can be more prone to bleeding disorders, joint disorders, autoimmune diseases, allergies, and cancer than some other breeds of dog, and there is a condition named after the breed called Scotty cramp. They are also one of the more successful dog breeds at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show with a best in show in 2010. (Full article...) Read more ...

Selected quotes

" ...   Few delights can equal the presence of one whom we trust utterly   ... "

George MacDonald

" ...   The real price of every thing, what every thing really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it   ... "

Adam Smith

In the news

In the news
In the news
7 May 2024 – Premiership of John Swinney
The Scottish Parliament votes to elect John Swinney as First Minister of Scotland with 64 votes in favour and seven abstentions from the Scottish Greens. (BBC News)
6 May 2024 – 2024 Scottish National Party leadership election
John Swinney is elected leader of the Scottish National Party following the resignation of First Minister Humza Yousaf. (The Guardian)
4 May 2024 – International reactions to the Israel–Hamas war
Palestinian doctor and rector at the University of Glasgow Ghassan Abu-Sittah is denied entry into France after landing at Charles de Gaulle airport on his way to speak at the French Senate. Last month, he was denied entry into Germany. (Al Jazeera)
1 May 2024 – 2024 Scottish government crisis
The Scottish National Party administration survives the vote of no confidence earlier this week, prompting the party to seek a replacement for outgoing First Minister Humza Yousaf. (Al Jazeera)
29 April 2024 – 2024 Scottish government crisis
Ahead of a planned vote of no confidence, Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf announces that he will resign from office. (CNBC) (The New York Times)
25 April 2024 – 2024 Scottish government crisis
Premiership of Humza Yousaf

Selected biography

Photographic portrait of Bell, c. 1914 -1919

Alexander Graham Bell (/ˈɡreɪ.əm/, born Alexander Bell; March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was a Scottish-born Canadian-American inventor, scientist and engineer who is credited with patenting the first practical telephone. He also co-founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in 1885.[additional citation(s) needed]

Bell's father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech, and both his mother and wife were deaf; profoundly influencing Bell's life's work. His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone, on March 7, 1876. Bell considered his invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study.

Many other inventions marked Bell's later life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils, and aeronautics. Bell also had a strong influence on the National Geographic Society and its magazine while serving as the second president from January 7, 1898, until 1903.

Beyond his work in engineering, Bell had a deep interest in the emerging science of heredity. His work in this area has been called "the soundest, and most useful study of human heredity proposed in nineteenth-century America... Bell's most notable contribution to basic science, as distinct from invention."

           Read more ...


Selected picture

A peat bog below the top of Doune Hill, Luss Hills, Scotland
A peat bog below the top of Doune Hill, Luss Hills, Scotland

A peat bog below the top of Doune Hill in the Luss hills.

Photo credit: Michal Klajban

Did You Know...

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Get involved

Scotland Related WikiProjectsand Task forces
WikiProject Clans of Scotland talk
WikiProject Medieval Scotland talk
WikiProject Scottish Castles talk
WikiProject Scottish Islands talk
WikiProject Scottish Television talk
WikiProject Transport in Scotland talk
WikiProject Edinburgh talk
Fife task force talk
Scottish Gaelic task force talk

For editor resources and to collaborate with other editors on improving Wikipedia's Scotland-related articles, see WikiProject Scotland.

To get involved in helping to improve Wikipedia's Scotland related content, please consider doing some of the following tasks or joining one or more of the associated Wikiprojects:

  • Visit the Scottish Wikipedians' notice board and help to write new Scotland-related articles, and expand and improve existing ones.
  • Visit Wikipedia:WikiProject Scotland/Assessment, and help out by assessing unrated Scottish articles.
  • Add the Project Banner to Scottish articles around Wikipedia.
  • Participate in WikiProject Scotland's Peer Review, including responding to PR requests and nominating Scottish articles.
  • Help nominate and select new content for the Scotland portal.

Do you have a question about The Scotland Portal that you can't find the answer to?
Post a question on the Talk Page or consider asking it at the Wikipedia reference desk.

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This page was last updated at 2024-06-08 02:36 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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