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STIRLING UNIVERSITY, SCOTLAND, UK

STIRLING UNIVERSITY- one of the best UK universities ( one reason is that I studied there :) and definitely the most beautiful campus on Earth

University of Stirling

Academic Excellence in Scotland, UK

Innovative 3D animations used by Stirling researchers to motivate young asthma sufferers

News at StirlingA collaborative study led by the University of Stirling is bringing together behavioural theorists, artists and 3D animators to create new ways of encouraging and motivating young asthma sufferers to exercise.

Events

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Robert Leighton and His Books: an exhibition

Robert Leighton
7th Dec 2011

The latest exhibition in the Library features Archbishop Robert Leighton, who was Bishop of Dunblane and then Archbishop of Glasgow in the 17th century.

Strategic PlanStrategic Plan

Our strategic plan sets out the objectives that will inform our work through to 2016. It articulates our vision, our institutional priorities and the actions required to succeed. More information.

Image of student and familyFamily Programme

The Family Programme offers parents and families the opportunity to get more involved and become part of our wider community. Register here.

Adopt a bookAdopt a Book

To celebrate the reopening and transformation of the library we have launched an ‘Adopt a Book’ campaign. We are inviting all our graduates and friends to adopt a book, and all donations will go to the Library Special Collections Fund to enable us to purchase valuable papers and materials.

UK UniversitiesThe most beautiful of UK Universities

The University of Stirling boasts a collection of campuses across Scotland. Stirling campus is frequently noted as the most scenic and visually outstanding of any in the UK.

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WEB CAMERAS IN LONDON…and all over the world

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EarthCam: Trafalgar Square Cam details

London, England

Enjoy a live tour of London‘s Trafalgar Square, the junction of some of the busiest streets in London and its famous landmarks.

http://www.earthcam.com

Albert Bridge Webcam details

London, England

Check out this live London HD web cam in the centre of London overlooking many well known and famous landmarks on the River Thames.

http://www.camvista.com

Beatles Abbey Road Crossing details

London, England

A webcam looking at the famous Abbey Road pedestrian crossing that was made famous by The Beatles by being on the cover of their Abbey Road album…

http://www.abbeyroad.com

 

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04/07

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BBC-London-Traffic Cams details

London, England

royalwedding Over 160 traffic cams in the London area.

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2003

25 Most Interesting - 2003

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ABC Royal Wedding Cam details

London, England

ABC News will have live coverage of the Royal Wedding in London, England. They should have streaming video and sound so you can watch the event o…

abcnews.go.com

London Movie Premiere Webcam details

London, England

This webcam offers the best views of Leicester Square, London. The webcam has 8 set views to choose from including close ups of the Odeon Cinema …

http://www.radissonedwardian.co.uk

 

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06/07

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London Monument details

London, England

A computer controlled digital camera provides a 360-degree panoramic view from the top of the Monument. Webcam image refreshes every 60 seconds.

http://www.themonument.info

 

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02/09

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London 2012 Olympic Park Webcams details

London, England

These are the latest London 2012 webcam images taken of the Olympic Park site. The webcams update you on the progress taking place on the Park an…

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Tower Bridge Cam details

London, England

A live view of the Tower Bridge. Was instantly hailed as a London icon and one of the great engineering marvels of its age. Images are flash stre…

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London, Ont. Canada details

London, Canada

Two webcams located on Dundas St., one looking east towards Wellington Rd & the London Public Library (central branch), with the other looking w…

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WALES

Wales

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the country. For other uses, see Wales (disambiguation).
Page semi-protected
Wales

Cymru
A flag of a red dragon passant on a green and white field.
Flag
MottoCymru am byth
(English: Wales forever)
AnthemHen Wlad Fy Nhadau
(English: Land of my fathers)
Location of  Wales  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)– in the United Kingdom  (camel)
Location of  Wales  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)
– in the United Kingdom  (camel)

Capital
(and largest city)
Cardiff (Caerdydd)
51°29′N 3°11′W
Official languages Welsh, English
Demonym Welsh (Cymry)
Government Devolved Government in a Constitutional monarchy
 – Monarch Elizabeth II
 – First Minister (Head of Welsh Government) Carwyn Jones AM
 – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron MP
 – Secretary of State (in the UK government) Cheryl Gillan MP
Legislature UK Parliament
National Assembly for Wales
Unification
 – by Gruffydd ap Llywelyn [1] 1057
Area
 – Total 20,779 km2
8,022 sq mi
Population
 – mid 2010 estimate 3,006,400
 – 2001 census 2,903,085
 – Density 140/km2
361/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2006 (for national statistics) estimate
 – Total US$85.4 billion
 – Per capita US$30,546
Currency Pound sterling (GBP)
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 – Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Date formats d/m/yy (AD)
Drives on the left
ISO 3166 code GB
Internet TLD .uk [2]
Calling code 44
Patron saint Saint David, Dewi

Wales (/ˈweɪlz/ ( listen), Welsh: Cymru;[3] pronounced [ˈkəmrɨ] ( listen)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain,[4] bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km² (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,200 km (746 mi) of coastline, including its offshore islands; the largest, Anglesey (Ynys Môn), is also the largest island in the Irish Sea. Generally mountainous, its highest mountains are in the north and central areas, especially in Snowdonia (Eryri), which contains Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest peak.

During the Iron Age and early medieval period, Wales was inhabited by the Celtic Britons. A distinct Welsh national identity emerged in the centuries after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations today. Gruffydd ap Llywelyn was recognised as king of Wales in 1057. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd‘s death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England‘s conquest of Wales. The castles and town walls erected to ensure its permanence are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to what was to become modern Wales, in the early 15th century. Wales was subsequently annexed by England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 since when, excluding those matters now devolved to Wales, English law has been the legal system of Wales and England. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party. Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (The Welsh Language Society) in 1962. The National Assembly for Wales, created in 1999 following a referendum, holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters.

Wales lies within the north temperate zone, its changeable, maritime climate making it one of the wettest countries in Europe. It was an agricultural society for most of its early history, the country’s terrain making arable farming secondary to pastoral farming, the primary source of Wales’ wealth. In the 18th century, the introduction of the slate and metallurgical industries, at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, began to transform the country into an industrial nation; the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape date from that period. The south Wales coalfield‘s exploitation in the Victorian era caused a rapid expansion of the Welsh population. Two-thirds of Wales’ three million population live in south Wales, mainly in and around the cities of Cardiff (Caerdydd), Swansea (Abertawe) and Newport (Casnewydd), and in the nearby valleys. Another concentration live in eastern north Wales. Cardiff, Wales’ capital, is the country’s most populous city, with 317,500 residents, and for a period was the biggest coal port in the world. Today, with the country’s traditional heavy industries (coal, steel, copper, tinplate and slate) either gone or in decline, Wales’ economy depends on the public sector, light and service industries, and tourism.

Although Wales shares a close political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, it has retained a distinct cultural identity. Wales is officially bilingual, the Welsh and English languages having equal status. The Welsh language is an important element of Welsh culture, and its use is supported by national policy. Over 580,000 Welsh speakers live in Wales, more than 20% of the population. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the “land of song,” attributable in part to the revival of the eisteddfod tradition. At international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales is represented by national teams regulated and organised by over fifty national governing bodies of sports in Wales. At the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Although football has traditionally been the more popular sport in north Wales, rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness.

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SCOTLAND

Scotland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Scotland (disambiguation).
Scotland  (English/Scots)
Alba  (Scottish Gaelic)
Flag Royal Standard
MottoIn My Defens God Me Defend (Scots)
(often shown abbreviated as IN DEFENS)
AnthemNone (de jure)
Various de facto – see National anthem of Scotland and note 1
Location of  Scotland  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)– in the United Kingdom  (camel)
Location of  Scotland  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)
– in the United Kingdom  (camel)

Capital Edinburgh
55°57′N 3°12′W
Largest city Glasgow
Official language(s) English
Recognised regional languages Gaelic, Scots2
Ethnic groups 89% Scottish, 7% English, Irish, Welsh, 4% other[1]
Demonym Scots, Scottish3
Government Devolved Government within a Constitutional monarchy4
 – Monarch Elizabeth II
 – First Minister Alex Salmond MSP
 – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron, MP
Legislature Scottish Parliament
Establishment Early Middle Ages; exact date of establishment unclear or disputed; traditional 843, by King Kenneth MacAlpin[2]
Area
 – Total 78,772 km2
30,414 sq mi
 – Water (%) 1.9
Population
 – mid-2010 estimate 5,222,100[3]
 – 2001 census 5,062,011
 – Density 65.9/km2
170.8/sq mi
GDP (nominal) 2006 estimate
 – Total GBP 124 billion[4]
Currency Pound sterling (GBP)
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 – Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Drives on the left
ISO 3166 code GB
Internet TLD .uk5
Calling code 44
Patron saint St Andrew[5]
St Margaret
St Columba
1 Flower of Scotland, Scotland the Brave and Scots Wha Hae have been used in lieu of an official anthem.
2 Both Scots and Scottish Gaelic are officially recognised as autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages;[6] the Bòrd na Gàidhlig is tasked, under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, with securing Gaelic as an official language of Scotland, commanding “equal respect” with English.[7]
3 Historically, the use of “Scotch” as an adjective comparable to “Scottish” was commonplace, particularly outwith Scotland. However, the modern use of the term describes only products of Scotland, usually food or drink related.
4 Scotland’s head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom, currently Queen Elizabeth II (since 1952). Scotland has limited self-government within the United Kingdom as well as representation in the UK Parliament. It is also a UK electoral region for the European Parliament. Executive and legislative powers have been devolved to, respectively, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh.
5 Also .eu, as part of the European Union. ISO 3166-1 is GB, but .gb is unused.

Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Alba, Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈalˠ̪apə]) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom.[8][9][10] 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 includes over 790 islands[11] including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Edinburgh, the country’s capital and second largest city, is one of Europe‘s largest financial centres.[12] 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[13] 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.[14]

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.[15][16] 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.[17][18] 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.[19]

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.[20] In 1999, a devolved legislature, the Scottish Parliament, was founded with authority over many areas of home affairs following a successful referendum in 1997. Issues surrounding devolution and independence continue to be debated. The Scottish National Party won an overall majority in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election,[21] and have announced their intention to hold a referendum on independence sometime during the second half of the present five-year parliamentary term.[22]

Contents

[hide]

ENGLAND

England

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from ENGLAND)
For other uses, see England (disambiguation).
England
Flag Royal Banner
MottoDieu et mon droit  (French)
“God and my right”[1][2]
AnthemNone (de jure)
God Save the Queen (de facto)
Location of  England  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)– in the United Kingdom  (camel)
Location of  England  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)
– in the United Kingdom  (camel)

Capital
(and largest city)
London
51°30′N 0°7′W
Official language(s) English (de facto)[note 1]
Recognised regional languages Cornish
Ethnic groups (2009
[3][4])
87.5% White, 6.0% South Asian, 2.9% Black, 1.9% Mixed race, 0.8% Chinese, 0.8% Other
Demonym English
Government Non-devolved state within a constitutional monarchy
 – Monarch Elizabeth II
 – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron MP
Legislature Parliament of the United Kingdom
Area
 – Total 130,395 km2
50,346 sq mi
Population
 – 2008 estimate 51,446,000[5]
 – 2001 census 49,138,831
 – Density 395/km2
1,023/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2006 estimate
 – Total $1.9 trillion
 – Per capita US$38,000
GDP (nominal) 2006 estimate
 – Total $2.2 trillion[dubiousdiscuss]
 – Per capita $44,000
Currency Pound sterling (GBP)
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 – Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Date formats d/m/yy (AD)
Drives on the left
ISO 3166 code GB
Internet TLD .uk[note 2]
Calling code 44
Patron saint Saint George
Wikisourcehas original text related to this article:

England (Listeni /ˈɪŋɡlənd/) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom.[6][7][8] It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the North Sea to the east, with the English Channel to the south separating it from continental Europe. Most of England comprises the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain in the North Atlantic. The country also includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but it takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in AD 927, and since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world.[9] The English language, the Anglican Church, and English law—the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world—developed in England, and the country’s parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations.[10] The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world’s first industrialised nation.[11] England’s Royal Society laid the foundations of modern experimental science.[12]

England’s terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north (for example, the mountainous Lake District, Pennines, and Yorkshire Dales) and in the south west (for example, Dartmoor and the Cotswolds). London, England’s capital, is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures.[note 3] England’s population is about 51 million, around 84% of the population of the United Kingdom, and is largely concentrated in London, the South East and conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East and Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century. Meadowlands and pastures are found beyond the major cities.

The Kingdom of England—which after 1284 included Wales—was a sovereign state until 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain.[13][14] In 1800, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922, the Irish Free State was established as a separate dominion, but the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 reincorporated into the kingdom six Irish counties to officially create the current United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Contents

[hide]

ENGLAND

England

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from ENGLAND)
For other uses, see England (disambiguation).
Page semi-protected
England
Flag Royal Banner
MottoDieu et mon droit  (French)
“God and my right”[1][2]
AnthemNone (de jure)
God Save the Queen (de facto)
Location of  England  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)– in the United Kingdom  (camel)
Location of  England  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)
– in the United Kingdom  (camel)

Capital
(and largest city)
London
51°30′N 0°7′W
Official language(s) English (de facto)[note 1]
Recognised regional languages Cornish
Ethnic groups (2009
[3][4]
)
87.5% White, 6.0% South Asian, 2.9% Black, 1.9% Mixed race, 0.8% Chinese, 0.8% Other
Demonym English
Government Non-devolved state within a constitutional monarchy
 – Monarch Elizabeth II
 – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron MP
Legislature Parliament of the United Kingdom
Area
 – Total 130,395 km2
50,346 sq mi
Population
 – 2008 estimate 51,446,000[5]
 – 2001 census 49,138,831
 – Density 395/km2
1,023/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2006 estimate
 – Total $1.9 trillion
 – Per capita US$38,000
GDP (nominal) 2006 estimate
 – Total $2.2 trillion[dubiousdiscuss]
 – Per capita $44,000
Currency Pound sterling (GBP)
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 – Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Date formats d/m/yy (AD)
Drives on the left
ISO 3166 code GB
Internet TLD .uk[note 2]
Calling code 44
Patron saint Saint George
Wikisourcehas original text related to this article:

England (Listeni /ˈɪŋɡlənd/) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom.[6][7][8] It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the North Sea to the east, with the English Channel to the south separating it from continental Europe. Most of England comprises the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain in the North Atlantic. The country also includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but it takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in AD 927, and since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world.[9] The English language, the Anglican Church, and English law—the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world—developed in England, and the country’s parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations.[10] The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world’s first industrialised nation.[11] England’s Royal Society laid the foundations of modern experimental science.[12]

England’s terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north (for example, the mountainous Lake District, Pennines, and Yorkshire Dales) and in the south west (for example, Dartmoor and the Cotswolds). London, England’s capital, is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures.[note 3] England’s population is about 51 million, around 84% of the population of the United Kingdom, and is largely concentrated in London, the South East and conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East and Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century. Meadowlands and pastures are found beyond the major cities.

The Kingdom of England—which after 1284 included Wales—was a sovereign state until 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain.[13][14] In 1800, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922, the Irish Free State was established as a separate dominion, but the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 reincorporated into the kingdom six Irish counties to officially create the current United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Etymology

The name “England” is derived from the Old English name Engla land, which means “land of the Angles“.[15] The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Angeln peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea.[16] According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first known use of “England” to refer to the southern part of the island of Great Britain occurs in 897, and its modern spelling was first used in 1538.[17]

The earliest attested mention of the name occurs in the 1st century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used.[18] The etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars; it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape.[19] How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe that was less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons.[20]

An alternative name for England is Albion. The name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo:[21] “Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth. In it are two very large islands called Britannia; these are Albion and Ierne“.[21] The word Albion (Ἀλβίων) or insula Albionum has two possible origins. It either derives from the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover, which is the first view of Britain from the European Continent,[22] or from the phrase in Massaliote Periplus, the “island of the Albiones“.[23] Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity.[24] Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, Lloegr, and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend.

History

Main article: History of England

Prehistory and antiquity

Main article: Prehistoric Britain
Sun shining through row of upright standing stones with other stones horizontally on the top.

Stonehenge, a Neolithic monument

The earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago.[25] Modern humans are known to have first inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years.[26][27] After the last ice age only large mammals such as mammoths, bison and woolly rhinoceros remained. Roughly 11,000 years ago, when the ice sheets began to recede, humans repopulated the area; genetic research suggests they came from the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula.[28] The sea level was lower than now, and Britain was connected by land to both Ireland and Eurasia.[29] As the seas rose, it was separated from Ireland 10,000 years ago and from Eurasia two millennia later.

The Beaker culture arrived around 2500 BC, introducing drinking and food vessels constructed from clay, as well as vessels used as reduction pots to smelt copper ores.[30] It was during this time that major Neolithic monuments such as Stonehenge and Avebury were constructed. By heating together tin and copper, both of which were in abundance in the area, the Beaker culture people made bronze, and later iron from iron ores. According to John T. Koch and others, England in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-networked culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that included all of Britain and also Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal. In those areas, Celtic languages developed; Tartessian may have been the earliest written Celtic language.[31][32][33]

Painting of woman, with outstretched arm, in white dress with red cloak and helmet, with other human figures to her right and below her to the left.

Boudica led an uprising against the Roman Empire.

During the Iron Age, Celtic culture, deriving from the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, arrived from Central Europe. The development of iron smelting allowed the construction of better ploughs, advancing agriculture (for instance, with Celtic fields), as well as the production of more effective weapons.[34] Brythonic was the spoken language during this time. Society was tribal; according to Ptolemy‘s Geographia there were around 20 different tribes in the area. However, earlier divisions are unknown because the Britons were not literate. Like other regions on the edge of the Empire, Britain had long enjoyed trading links with the Romans. Julius Caesar of the Roman Republic attempted to invade twice in 55 BC; although largely unsuccessful, he managed to set up a client king from the Trinovantes.

The Romans invaded Britain in AD 43 during the reign of Emperor Claudius, subsequently conquering much of Britain, and the area was incorporated into the Roman Empire as Britannia province.[35] The best-known of the native tribes who attempted to resist were the Catuvellauni led by Caratacus. Later, an uprising led by Boudica, queen of the Iceni, ended with Boudica’s suicide following her defeat at the Battle of Watling Street.[36] This era saw a Greco-Roman culture prevail with the introduction of Roman law, Roman architecture, sewage systems, many agricultural items, and silk.[37][38][39] In the 3rd century, Emperor Septimius Severus died at York, where Constantine was subsequently proclaimed emperor.[40] Christianity was first introduced around this time, though there are traditions linked to Glastonbury claiming an introduction through Joseph of Arimathea, while others claim through Lucius of Britain.[41] By 410, as the empire declined, Britain was left exposed by the withdrawal of Roman army units, to defend the frontiers in continental Europe and take part in civil wars.[42]

Middle Ages

Studded and decorated metallic mask of human face.

A 7th century ceremonial helmet from the Kingdom of East Anglia, found at Sutton Hoo.

Roman military withdrawals left Britain open to invasion by pagan, seafaring warriors from north-western continental Europe, chiefly the Angles, Saxons and Jutes who had long raided the coasts of the Roman province and now began to settle, initially in the eastern part of the country.[42] Their advance was contained for some decades after the Britons’ victory at the Battle of Mount Badon, but subsequently resumed, over-running the fertile lowlands of Britain and reducing the area under Brythonic control to a series of separate enclaves in the more rugged country to the west by the end of the 6th century. Contemporary texts describing this period are extremely scarce, giving rise to its description as a Dark Age. The nature and progression of the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain is consequently subject to considerable disagreement. Christianity had in general disappeared from the conquered territories, but was reintroduced by missionaries from Rome led by Augustine from 597 onwards and by Irish missionaries led by Aidan around the same time.[43] Disputes between the varying influences represented by these missions ended in victory for the Roman tradition.

During the settlement period the lands ruled by the incomers seem to have been fragmented into numerous tribal territories, but by the 7th century, when substantial evidence of the situation again becomes available, these had coalesced into roughly a dozen kingdoms including Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex, East Anglia, Essex, Kent and Sussex. Over the following centuries this process of political consolidation continued.[44] The 7th century saw a struggle for hegemony between Northumbria and Mercia, which in the 8th century gave way to Mercian preeminence.[45] In the early 9th century Mercia was displaced as the foremost kingdom by Wessex. Later in that century escalating attacks by the Danes culminated in the conquest of the north and east of England, overthrowing the kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia. Wessex under Alfred the Great was left as the only surviving English kingdom, and under his successors it steadily expanded at the expense of the kingdoms of the Danelaw. This brought about the political unification of England, first accomplished under Æthelstan in 927 and definitively established after further conflicts by Eadred in 953. A fresh wave of Scandinavian attacks from the late 10th century ended with the conquest of this united kingdom by Sweyn Forkbeard in 1013 and again by his son Cnut in 1016, turning it into the centre of a short-lived North Sea empire that also included Denmark and Norway. However the native royal dynasty was restored with the accession of Edward the Confessor in 1042.

King Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt, 1415.

King Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt, fought on Saint Crispin’s Day and concluded with an English victory against a larger French army in the Hundred Years’ War.

A dispute over the succession to Edward led to the Norman conquest of England in 1066, accomplished by an army led by Duke William of Normandy.[46] The Normans themselves originated from Scandinavia and had settled in Normandy in the late 9th and early 10th centuries.[47] This conquest led to the almost total dispossession of the English elite and its replacement by a new French-speaking aristocracy, whose speech had a profound and permanent effect on the English language.[48]

The House of Plantagenet from Anjou inherited the English throne under Henry II, adding England to the budding Angevin Empire of fiefs the family had inherited in France including Aquitaine.[49] They reigned for three centuries, proving noted monarchs such as Richard I, Edward I, Edward III and Henry V.[49] The period saw changes in trade and legislation, including the signing of the Magna Carta, an English legal charter used to limit the sovereign’s powers by law and protect the privileges of freemen. Catholic monasticism flourished, providing philosophers and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge were founded with royal patronage. The Principality of Wales became a Plantagenet fief during the 13th century[50] and the Lordship of Ireland was gifted to the English monarchy by the Pope.

During the 14th century, the Plantagenets and House of Valois both claimed to be legitimate claimants to House of Capet and with it France—the two powers clashed in the Hundred Years’ War.[51] The Black Death epidemic hit England, starting in 1348, it eventually killed up to half of England’s inhabitants.[52][53] From 1453 to 1487 civil war between two branches of the royal family occurred—the Yorkists and Lancastrians—known as the Wars of the Roses.[54] Eventually it led to the Yorkists losing the throne entirely to a Welsh noble family the Tudors, a branch of the Lancastrians headed by Henry Tudor who invaded with Welsh and Breton mercenaries, gaining victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field where the Yorkist king Richard III was killed.[55]

Early Modern

During the Tudor period, the Renaissance reached England through Italian courtiers, who reintroduced artistic, educational and scholarly debate from classical antiquity.[56] During this time England began to develop naval skills, and exploration to the West intensified.[57][58]

Henry VIII broke from communion with the Catholic Church, over issues relating to divorce, under the Acts of Supremacy in 1534 which proclaimed the monarch head of the Church of England. In contrast with much of European Protestantism, the roots of the split were more political than theological.[note 4] He also legally incorporated his ancestral land Wales into the Kingdom of England with the 1535–1542 acts. There were internal religious conflicts during the reigns of Henry’s daughters, Mary I and Elizabeth I. The former brought the country back to Catholicism, while the later broke from it again, more forcefully asserting the supremacy of Anglicanism.

An English fleet under Francis Drake defeated an invading Spanish Armada during the Elizabethan period. Competing with Spain, the first English colony in the Americas was founded in 1585 by explorer Walter Raleigh in Virginia and named Roanoke. The Roanoke colony failed and is known as the lost colony, after it was found abandoned on the return of the late arriving supply ship.[60] With the East India Company, England also competed with the Dutch and French in the East. The political structure of the island was changed in 1603, when the Stuart James VI of Scotland, a kingdom which was a long time rival, inherited the throne of England as James I—creating a personal union .[61][62] He styled himself King of Great Britain, although this had no basis in English law.[63]

Painting of seated male figure, with long black hair wearing a white cape and breeches.

The English Restoration restored the monarchy under King Charles II and peace after the English Civil War.

Based on conflicting political, religious and social positions, the English Civil War was fought between the supporters of Parliament and those of King Charles I, known as Roundheads and Cavaliers respectively. This was an interwoven part of the wider multifaceted Wars of the Three Kingdoms, involving Scotland and Ireland. The Parliamentarians were victorious, Charles I was executed and the kingdom replaced with the Commonwealth. Leader of the Parliament forces, Oliver Cromwell declared himself Lord Protector in 1653, a period of personal rule followed.[64] After Cromwell’s death, and his son Richard’s resignation as Lord Protector, Charles II was invited to return as monarch in 1660 with the Restoration. It was now constitutionally established that King and Parliament should rule together, though Parliament would have the real power. This was established with the Bill of Rights in 1689. Among the statutes set down were that the law could only be made by Parliament and could not be suspended by the King, and the King could not impose taxes or raise an army without prior approval by Parliament.[65] With the founding of the Royal Society in 1660, science was greatly encouraged.

The Great Fire of London in 1666 gutted the City of London but it was rebuilt shortly afterwards.[66] In Parliament two factions had emerged—the Tories and Whigs. The former were royalists while the latter were classical liberals. Though the Tories initially supported Catholic king James II, some of them, along with the Whigs, deposed him in the Revolution of 1688 and invited Dutch prince William III to become monarch. Some English people, especially in the north, were Jacobites and continued to support James and his sons. After the parliaments of England and Scotland agreed,[67] the two countries joined in political union, to create the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707.[61] To accommodate the union, institutions such as the law and national church of each remained separate.[68]

Late Modern and contemporary

A stone factory stands against a vivid blue sky, its reflection mirrored in the waters below.

Saltaire, West Yorkshire, is a model mill town from the Industrial Revolution, and a World Heritage Site.

Under the newly formed Kingdom of Great Britain, output from the Royal Society and other English initiatives combined with the Scottish Enlightenment to create innovations in science and engineering. This paved the way for the establishment of the British Empire. Domestically it drove the Industrial Revolution, a period of profound change in the socioeconomic and cultural conditions of England, resulting in industrialised agriculture, manufacture, engineering and mining, as well as new and pioneering road, rail and water networks to facilitate their expansion and development.[69] The opening of Northwest England’s Bridgewater Canal in 1761 ushered in the canal age in Britain.[70][71] In 1825 the world’s first permanent steam locomotive-hauled passenger railway—the Stockton and Darlington Railway—opened to the public.[70]

During the Industrial Revolution, many workers moved from England’s countryside to new and expanding urban industrial areas to work in factories, for instance at Manchester and Birmingham, dubbed “Warehouse City” and “Workshop of the World” respectively.[72][73] England maintained relative stability throughout the French Revolution; William Pitt the Younger was British Prime Minister for the reign of George III. During the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon planned to invade from the south-east. However this failed to manifest and the Napoleonic forces were defeated by the British at sea by Lord Nelson and on land by the Duke of Wellington. The Napoleonic Wars fostered a concept of Britishness and a united national British people, shared with the Scots and Welsh.[74]

A cuboid granite cenotaph.

The Cenotaph at Whitehall is a memorial to members of the British Armed Forces who died during the two World Wars.

London became the largest and most populous metropolitan area in the world during the Victorian era, and trade within the British Empire—as well as the standing of the British military and navy—was prestigious.[75] Political agitation at home from radicals such as the Chartists and the suffragettes enabled legislative reform and universal suffrage.[76] Power shifts in east-central Europe led to World War I; hundreds of thousands of English soldiers died fighting for the United Kingdom as part of the Allies.[note 5] Two decades later, in World War II, the United Kingdom was again one of the Allies. At the end of the Phoney War, Winston Churchill became the wartime Prime Minister. Developments in warfare technology saw many cities damaged by air-raids during the Blitz. Following the war, the British Empire experienced rapid decolonisation, and there was a speeding up of technological innovations; automobiles became the primary means of transport and Frank Whittle‘s development of the jet engine led to wider air travel.[78] Residential patterns were altered in England by private motoring, and by the creation of the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948. England’s NHS provided publicly funded health care to all UK permanent residents free at the point of need, being paid for from general taxation. Combined, these changes prompted the reform of local government in England in the mid-20th century.[79][80]

Since the 20th century there has been significant population movement to England, mostly from other parts of the British Isles, but also from the Commonwealth, particularly the Indian subcontinent.[81] Since the 1970s there has been a large move away from manufacturing and an increasing emphasis on the service industry.[82] As part of the United Kingdom, the area joined a common market initiative called the European Economic Community which became the European Union. Since the late 20th century the administration of the United Kingdom has moved towards devolved governance in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.[83] England and Wales continues to exist as a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom.[84] Devolution has stimulated a greater emphasis on a more English-specific identity and patriotism.[85][86] There is no devolved English government, but an attempt to create a similar system on a sub-regional basis was rejected by referendum.[87]

Governance

Politics

Main article: Politics of England

As part of the United Kingdom, the basic political system in England is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system.[88] There has not been a Government of England since 1707, when the Acts of Union 1707, putting into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union, joined England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.[67] Before the union England was ruled by its monarch and the Parliament of England. Today England is governed directly by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, although other countries of the United Kingdom have devolved governments.[89] In the House of Commons which is the lower house of the British Parliament based at the Palace of Westminster, there are 532 Members of Parliament (MPs) for constituencies in England, out of the 650 total.[90]

In the United Kingdom general election, 2010 the Conservative Party had won an absolute majority in England’s 532 contested seats with 61 seats more than all other parties combined (the Speaker of the House not being counted as a Conservative). However, taking Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales into account this was not enough to secure an overall majority, resulting in a hung parliament.[91] In order to achieve a majority the Conservative party, headed by David Cameron, entered into a coalition agreement with the third largest party, the Liberal Democrats, led by Nick Clegg. Subsequently Gordon Brown announced he was stepping down as prime minister[92] and leader of the Labour party, now led by Ed Miliband.

As the United Kingdom is a member of the European Union, there are elections held regionally in England to decide who is sent as Members of the European Parliament. The 2009 European Parliament election saw the regions of England elect the following MEPs: twenty-three Conservatives, ten Labour, nine UK Independence Party (UKIP), nine Liberal Democrats, two Greens and two British National Party (BNP).[93]

Since devolution, in which other countries of the United Kingdom—Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland—each have their own devolved parliament or assemblies for local issues, there has been debate about how to counterbalance this in England. Originally it was planned that various regions of England would be devolved, but following the proposal’s rejection by the North East in a referendum, this has not been carried out.[87]

One major issue is the West Lothian question, in which MPs from Scotland and Wales are able to vote on legislation affecting only England, while English MPs have no equivalent right to legislate on devolved matters.[94] This when placed in the context of England being the only country of the United Kingdom not to have free cancer treatment, prescriptions, residential care for the elderly and free top-up university fees,[95] has led to a steady rise in English nationalism.[96] Some have suggested the creation of a devolved English parliament,[97] while others have proposed simply limiting voting on legislation which only affects England to English MPs.[98]

Law

Main article: English law

The English law legal system, developed over the centuries, is the foundation of many legal systems throughout the Anglosphere.[99] Despite now being part of the United Kingdom, the legal system of the Courts of England and Wales continued, under the Treaty of Union, as a separate legal system from the one used in Scotland. The general essence of English law is that it is made by judges sitting in courts, applying their common sense and knowledge of legal precedentstare decisis—to the facts before them.[100]

The court system is headed by the Supreme Court of Judicature, consisting of the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice for civil cases, and the Crown Court for criminal cases.[101] The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the highest court for criminal and civil cases in England and Wales. It was created in 2009 after constitutional changes, taking over the judicial functions of the House of Lords.[102] A decision of the Supreme Court is binding on every other court in the hierarchy, which must follow its directions.[103]

Crime increased between 1981 and 1995, but fell by 42% in the period 1995–2006.[104] The prison population doubled over the same period, giving it the highest incarceration rate in Western Europe at 147 per 100,000.[105] Her Majesty’s Prison Service, reporting to the Ministry of Justice, manages most prisons, housing over 80,000 convicts.[105]

Regions, counties, and districts

The subdivisions of England consist of up to four levels of subnational division controlled through a variety of types of administrative entities created for the purposes of local government. The highest tier of local government are the nine regions of England: North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East, South East, South West, and London. These were created in 1994 as Government Offices, used by the British Government to deliver a wide range of policies and programmes regionally, but there are no elected bodies at this level, except in London.[106] The same boundaries are used for electing Members of the European Parliament on a regional basis.

After devolution began to take place in other parts of the United Kingdom it was planned that referendums for the regions of England would take place for their own elected regional assemblies as a counterweight. London accepted in 1998: the London Assembly was created two years later. However, when the proposal was rejected by the northern England devolution referendums, 2004 in the North East, further referendums were cancelled.[87] There are plans to abolish the remaining regional assemblies in 2010 and transfer their functions to respective Regional Development Agencies and a new system of Local authority leaders’ boards.[107]

Below the regional level, all of England is divided into 48 ceremonial counties.[108] These are used primarily as a geographical frame of reference and have developed gradually since the Middle Ages, with some established as recently as 1974.[109] Each has a Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff; these posts are used to represent the British monarch locally.[108] Outside Greater London and the Isles of Scilly, England is also divided into 83 metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties; these correspond to areas used for the purposes of local government[110] and may consist of a single district or be divided into several.

There are six metropolitan counties based on the most heavily urbanised areas, which do not have county councils.[110] In these areas the principal authorities are the councils of the subdivisions, the metropolitan boroughs. Elsewhere, 27 non-metropolitan “shire” counties have a county council and are divided into districts, each with a district council. They are typically, though not always, found in more rural areas. The remaining non-metropolitan counties are of a single district and usually correspond to large towns or counties with low populations; they are known as unitary authorities. Greater London has a different system for local government, with 32 London boroughs, plus the City of London covering a small area at the core, governed by the City of London Corporation.[111] At the most localised level, much of England is divided into civil parishes with councils; they do not exist in Greater London.[112]

Geography

Main article: Geography of England

Landscape and rivers

Geographically England includes the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, plus such offshore islands as the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly. It is bordered by two other countries of the United Kingdom—to the north by Scotland and to the west by Wales. England is closer to the European continent than any other part of mainland Britain. It is separated from France by a 34-kilometre (21 mi)[113] sea gap, though the two countries are connected by the Channel Tunnel near Folkestone.[114] England also has shores on the Irish Sea, North Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

The ports of London, Liverpool, and Newcastle lie on the tidal rivers Thames, Mersey and Tyne respectively. At 354 kilometres (220 mi), the Severn is the longest river flowing through England.[115] It empties into the Bristol Channel and is notable for its Severn Bore tidal waves, which can reach 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height.[116] However, the longest river entirely in England is the Thames, which is 346 kilometres (215 mi) in length.[117] There are many lakes in England; the largest is Windermere, within the aptly named Lake District.[118]

Green hills with trees in the foreground.

Terrain of Dartmoor, Devon

In geological terms, the Pennines, known as the “backbone of England”, are the oldest range of mountains in the country, originating from the end of the Paleozoic Era around 300 million years ago.[119] Their geological composition includes, among others, sandstone and limestone, and also coal. There are karst landscapes in calcite areas such as parts of Yorkshire and Derbyshire. The Pennine landscape is high moorland in upland areas, indented by fertile valleys of the region’s rivers. They contain three national parks, the Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland, and the Peak District. The highest point in England, at 978 metres (3,209 ft), is Scafell Pike in Cumbria.[118] Straddling the border between England and Scotland are the Cheviot Hills.

The English Lowlands are to the south of the Pennines, consisting of green rolling hills, including the Cotswold Hills, Chiltern Hills, North and South Downs—where they meet the sea they form white rock exposures such as the cliffs of Dover. The granite Southwest Peninsula in the West Country includes upland moorland, such as Dartmoor and Exmoor, and enjoys a mild climate; both are national parks.[120]

Climate

Main article: Climate of England

England has a temperate maritime climate: it is mild with temperatures not much lower than 0 °C (32 °F) in winter and not much higher than 32 °C (90 °F) in summer.[121] The weather is damp relatively frequently and is changeable. The coldest months are January and February, the latter particularly on the English coast, while July is normally the warmest month. Months with mild to warm weather are May, June, September and October.[121] Rainfall is spread fairly evenly throughout the year.

Important influences on the climate of England are its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, its northern latitude and the warming of the sea by the Gulf Stream.[121] Rainfall is higher in the west, and parts of the Lake District receive more rain than anywhere else in the country.[121] Since weather records began, the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C (101.3 °F) on 10 August 2003 at Brogdale in Kent,[122] while the lowest was −26.1 °C (−15.0 °F) on 10 January 1982 in Edgmond, Shropshire.[123]

[hide]Climate data for England
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7
(45)
7
(45)
9
(48)
12
(54)
15
(59)
18
(64)
21
(70)
21
(70)
18
(64)
14
(57)
10
(50)
7
(45)
13
(55)
Average low °C (°F) 1
(34)
1
(34)
2
(36)
4
(39)
6
(43)
9
(48)
11
(52)
11
(52)
9
(48)
7
(45)
4
(39)
2
(36)
6
(43)
Precipitation mm (inches) 84
(3.31)
60
(2.36)
67
(2.64)
57
(2.24)
56
(2.2)
63
(2.48)
54
(2.13)
67
(2.64)
73
(2.87)
84
(3.31)
84
(3.31)
90
(3.54)
838
(32.99)
Source: Met Office[124]

Major conurbations

The Greater London Urban Area is by far the largest metropolitan area in England[125] and one of the busiest cities in the world. It is considered a global city and has a population larger than other countries in the United Kingdom besides England itself.[125] Other urban areas of considerable size and influence tend to be in northern England or the English Midlands.[125] There are fifty settlements which have been designated city status in England, while the wider United Kingdom has sixty-six.

While many cities in England are quite large in size, such as Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Bradford, Nottingham and others, a large population is not necessarily a prerequisite for a settlement to be afforded city status.[126] Traditionally the status was afforded to towns with diocesan cathedrals and so there are smaller cities like Wells, Ely, Ripon, Truro and Chichester.[126] According to the Office for National Statistics the ten largest, continuous built-up urban areas are:[125]

Rank Urban area Population Localities Major localities
1 Greater London Urban Area 8,278,251 67 Greater London, divided into the City of London and 32 London boroughs including Croydon, Barnet, Ealing, Bromley[127]
2 West Midlands Urban Area 2,284,093 22 Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall
3 Greater Manchester Urban Area 2,240,230 57 Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Stockport, Oldham
4 West Yorkshire Urban Area 1,499,465 26 Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Halifax
5 Tyneside 879,996 25 Newcastle, North Shields, South Shields, Gateshead, Jarrow
6 Liverpool Urban Area 816,216 8 Liverpool, St Helens, Bootle, Huyton-with-Roby
7 Nottingham Urban Area 666,358 15 Nottingham, Beeston and Stapleford, Carlton, Long Eaton
8 Sheffield Urban Area 640,720 7 Sheffield, Rotherham, Chapeltown, Mosborough
9 Bristol Urban Area 551,066 7 Bristol, Kingswood, Mangotsfield, Stoke Gifford
10 Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton 461,181 10 Brighton, Worthing, Hove, Littlehampton, Shoreham, Lancing

Economy

Main article: Economy of England
An aerial photograph of the City of London and its surrounding London boroughs.

The City of London is the world’s largest financial centre.[128][129]

England’s economy is one of the largest in the world, with an average GDP per capita of £22,907.[130] Usually regarded as a mixed market economy, it has adopted many free market principles, yet maintains an advanced social welfare infrastructure.[131] The official currency in England is the pound sterling, also known as the GBP. Taxation in England is quite competitive when compared to much of the rest of Europe—as of 2009 the basic rate of personal tax is 20% on taxable income up to £37,400, and 40% on any additional earnings above that amount.[132]

The economy of England is the largest part of the UK’s economy,[130] which has the 18th highest GDP PPP per capita in the world. England is a leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors and in key technical industries, particularly aerospace, the arms industry, and the manufacturing side of the software industry. London, home to the London Stock Exchange, the United Kingdom’s main stock exchange and the largest in Europe, is England’s financial centre—100 of Europe’s 500 largest corporations are based in London.[133] London is the largest financial centre in Europe, and as of 2009 is also the largest in the world.[134]

A blue coloured car.

The Bentley Mulsanne. Bentley is a well-known English automobile company.

The Bank of England, founded in 1694 by Scottish banker William Paterson, is the United Kingdom’s central bank. Originally instituted to act as private banker to the Government of England, it carried on in this role as part of the United Kingdom—since 1946 it has been a state-owned institution.[135] The Bank has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales, although not in other parts of the United Kingdom. Its Monetary Policy Committee has devolved responsibility for managing the monetary policy of the country and setting interest rates.[136]

England is highly industrialised, but since the 1970s there has been a decline in traditional heavy and manufacturing industries, and an increasing emphasis on a more service industry oriented economy.[82] Tourism has become a significant industry, attracting millions of visitors to England each year. The export part of the economy is dominated by pharmaceuticals, automobiles—although many English marques are now foreign-owned, such as Rolls-Royce, Lotus, Jaguar and Bentleycrude oil and petroleum from the English parts of North Sea oil along with Wytch Farm, aircraft engines and alcoholic beverages.[137] Agriculture is intensive and highly mechanised, producing 60% of food needs with only 2% of the labour force.[138] Two thirds of production is devoted to livestock, the other to arable crops.[139]

Science and technology

Torso of man with long white hair and dark coloured jacket

Sir Isaac Newton is one of the most influential figures in the history of science.

Prominent English figures from the field of science and mathematics include Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Joseph Priestley, J. J. Thomson, Charles Babbage, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, Christopher Wren, Alan Turing, Francis Crick, Joseph Lister, Tim Berners-Lee, Paul Dirac, Andrew Wiles and Richard Dawkins. Some experts claim that the earliest concept of a metric system was invented by John Wilkins, first secretary of the Royal Society in 1668.[140] As birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, England was home to many significant inventors during the late 18th and early 19th century. Famous English engineers include Isambard Kingdom Brunel, best known for the creation of the Great Western Railway, a series of famous steamships, and numerous important bridges, hence revolutionising public transport and modern-day engineering.[141] Thomas Newcomen‘s steam engine helped spawn the Industrial Revolution.[142] The physician Edward Jenner‘s smallpox vaccine is said to have “saved more lives […] than were lost in all the wars of mankind since the beginning of recorded history.”[143][144][145]

Inventions and discoveries of the English include; the jet engine, the first industrial spinning machine, the first computer and the first modern computer, the World Wide Web along with HTTP and HTML, the first successful human blood transfusion, the motorised vacuum cleaner,[146] the lawn mower, the seat belt, the hovercraft, the electric motor, steam engines, and theories such as the Darwinian theory of evolution and atomic theory.[147] Newton developed the ideas of universal gravitation, Newtonian mechanics, and infinitesimal calculus, and Robert Hooke his eponymously named law of elasticity. Other inventions include the iron plate railway, the thermosiphon, tarmac, the rubber band, the mousetrap, “cat’s eye” road safety device, joint development of the light bulb, steam locomotives, the modern seed drill and many modern techniques and technologies used in precision engineering.[147]

Transport

Main article: Transport in England
Planes congregate by a building.

London Heathrow Airport has more international passenger traffic than any other airport in the world.[148]

The Department for Transport is the government body responsible for overseeing transport in England. There are many motorways in England, and many other trunk roads, such as the A1 Great North Road, which runs through eastern England from London to Newcastle[149] (much of this section is motorway) and onward to the Scottish border. The longest motorway in England is the M6, from Rugby through the North West up to the Anglo-Scottish border.[149] Other major routes include: the M1 from London to Leeds, the M25 which encircles London, the M60 which encircles Manchester, the M4 from London to South Wales, the M62 from Liverpool via Manchester to East Yorkshire, and the M5 from Birmingham to Bristol and the South West.[149]

Bus transport across the country is widespread; major companies include National Express, Arriva and Go-Ahead Group. The red double-decker buses in London have become a symbol of England. There is a rapid rail network in two English cities: the London Underground; and the Tyne and Wear Metro in Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland.[150] There are several tram networks, such as the Blackpool tramway, Manchester Metrolink, Sheffield Supertram and Midland Metro, and the Tramlink system centred on Croydon in South London.[150]

Rail transport in England is the oldest in the world: passenger railways originated in England in 1825.[151] Much of Britain’s 16,116 kilometres (10,014 mi) of rail network lies in England, covering the country fairly extensively, although a high proportion of railway lines were closed in the second half of the 20th century. These lines are mostly standard gauge (single, double or quadruple track) though there are also a few narrow gauge lines. There is rail transport access to France and Belgium through an undersea rail link, the Channel Tunnel, which was completed in 1994.

England has extensive domestic and international aviation links. The largest airport is London Heathrow, which is the world’s busiest airport measured by number of international passengers.[152] Other large airports include Manchester Airport, London Stansted Airport, Luton Airport and Birmingham Airport.[148] By sea there is ferry transport, both local and international, including to Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium.[153] There are around 7,100 km (4,400 mi) of navigable waterways in England, half of which is owned by British Waterways (Waterscape)[153], however water transport is very limited. The Thames is the major waterway in England, with imports and exports focused at the Port of Tilbury in the Thames Estuary, one of the United Kingdom’s three major ports.[153]

Healthcare

Main article: Healthcare in England

The National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly funded healthcare system in England responsible for providing the majority of healthcare in the country. The NHS began on 5 July 1948, putting into effect the provisions of the National Health Service Act 1946. It was based on the findings of the Beveridge Report, prepared by economist and social reformer William Beveridge.[154] The NHS is largely funded from general taxation including National Insurance payments,[155] and it provides most of its services free at the point of use, although there are charges for some people for eye tests, dental care, prescriptions and aspects of personal care.[156]

The government department responsible for the NHS is the Department of Health, headed by the Secretary of State for Health, who sits in the British Cabinet. Most of the expenditure of the Department of Health is spent on the NHS—£98.6 billion was spent in 2008–2009.[157] In recent years the private sector has been increasingly used to provide more NHS services despite opposition by doctors and trade unions.[158] The average life expectancy of people in England is 77.5 years for males and 81.7 years for females, the highest of the four countries of the United Kingdom.[159]

Demography

Population

Map of England with regions shaded in different shades of blue.

The non-metropolitan counties and unitary authorities of England, colour-coded to show population.

With over 51 million inhabitants, England is by far the most populous country of the United Kingdom, accounting for 84% of the combined total.[5] England taken as a unit and measured against international states has the fourth largest population in the European Union and would be the 25th largest country by population in the world.[160] With a density of 395 people per square kilometre, it would be the second most densely populated country in the European Union after Malta.[161][162]

The English people are a British people[3] Genetic evidence suggests that 75–95% descend in the paternal line from prehistoric settlers who originally came from the Iberian Peninsula.[163][164][165] There is a significant Norse element, as well as a 5% contribution from Angles and Saxons,[163] though other geneticists place the Norse-Germanic estimate up to half.[166][167] Over time, various cultures have been influential: Prehistoric, Brythonic,[168] Roman, Anglo-Saxon,[169] Norse Viking,[170] Gaelic cultures, as well as a large influence from Normans. There is an English diaspora in former parts of the British Empire; especially the United States, Canada, Australia, Chile, South Africa and New Zealand.[note 6] Since the late 1990s, English people have migrated to Spain.[175][176]

Pie chart with main body in blue and multiple smaller segments in other colours.

2009 estimates of ethnic groups in England

At the time of the Domesday Book, compiled in 1086, more than 90% of the English population of about two million lived in the countryside.[177] By 1801 the population had grown to 8.3 million, and by 1901 had grown to 30.5 million.[178] Due in particular to the economic prosperity of South East England, there are many economic migrants from the other parts of the United Kingdom.[3] There has been significant Irish migration.[179] The proportion of ethnically European residents totals at 87.50%, including Germans[180] and Poles.[3]

Other people from much further afield in the former British colonies have arrived since the 1950s: in particular, 6.00% of people living in England have family origins in the Indian subcontinent, mostly India and Pakistan.[3][180] 2.90% of the population are black, mostly from the Caribbean.[3][180] There is a significant number of Chinese and British Chinese.[3][180] As of 2007, 22% of primary school children in England were from ethnic minority families.[181] About half of the population increase between 1991 and 2001 was due to immigration.[182] Debate over immigration is politically prominent;[183] according to a Home Office poll, 80% of people want to cap it.[184] The ONS has projected that the population will grow by six million between 2004 and 2029.[185]

Language

The English-speaking world. Countries in dark blue have a majority of native speakers. Countries in light blue have English as an official language, de jure or de facto. English is also one of the official languages of the European Union.[186]

As its name suggests, the English language, today spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world, originated as the language of England, where it remains the principal tongue today. It is an Indo-European language in the Anglo-Frisian branch of the Germanic family.[187] After the Norman conquest, the Old English language was displaced and confined to the lower social classes as Norman French and Latin were used by the aristocracy.

By the 15th century, English came back into fashion among all classes, though much changed; the Middle English form showed many signs of French influence, both in vocabulary and spelling. During the English Renaissance, many words were coined from Latin and Greek origins.[188] Modern English has extended this custom of flexibility, when it comes to incorporating words from different languages. Thanks in large part to the British Empire, the English language is the world’s unofficial lingua franca.[189]

English language learning and teaching is an important economic activity, and includes language schooling, tourism spending, and publishing. There is no legislation mandating an official language for England,[190] but English is the only language used for official business. Despite the country’s relatively small size, there are many distinct regional accents, and individuals with particularly strong accents may not be easily understood everywhere in the country.

Cornish, which died out as a community language in the 18th century, is being revived,[191][192][193][194] and is now protected under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.[195] It is spoken by 0.1% of people in Cornwall,[196] and is taught to some degree in several primary and secondary schools.[197][198] State schools teach students a second language, usually French, German or Spanish.[199] Due to immigration, it was reported in 2007 that around 800,000 school students spoke a foreign language at home,[181] the most common being Punjabi and Urdu.[200]

Religion

Main article: Religion in England

Christianity is the most widely practised religion in England, as it has been since the Early Middle Ages, although it was first introduced much earlier, in Gaelic and Roman times. It continued through Early Insular Christianity, and today about 72% of English people identify as Christians.[201] The largest form practised in the present day is Anglicanism,[202] dating from the 16th century Reformation period, with the 1536 split from Rome over Henry VIII wanting to divorce Catherine of Aragon; the religion regards itself as both Catholic and Reformed.

There are High Church and Low Church traditions, and some Anglicans regard themselves as Anglo-Catholics, after the Tractarian movement. The monarch of the United Kingdom is the head of the Church, acting as its Supreme Governor. It has the status of established church in England. There are around 26 million adherents to the Church of England and they form part of the Anglican Communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury acting as the symbolic worldwide head.[203] Many cathedrals and parish churches are historic buildings of significant architectural importance, such as Westminster Abbey, York Minster, Durham Cathedral and Salisbury Cathedral.

Icon of man in armour on white horse fighting black dragon to his left.

Saint George, the patron saint of England

The second largest Christian practice is the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, which traces its formal, corporate history in England to the 6th century with Augustine’s mission and was the main religion on the entire island for around a thousand years. Since its reintroduction after the Catholic Emancipation, the Church has organised ecclesiastically on an England and Wales basis where there are 4.5 million members (most of whom are English).[204] There has been one Pope from England to date, Adrian IV; while saints Bede and Anselm are regarded as Doctors of the Church.

A form of Protestantism known as Methodism is the third largest and grew out of Anglicanism through John Wesley.[205] It gained popularity in the mill towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire, and amongst tin miners in Cornwall.[206] There are other non-conformist minorities, such as Baptists, Quakers, Congregationalists, Unitarians and The Salvation Army.[207]

The patron saint of England is Saint George; he is represented in the national flag, as well as the Union Flag as part of a combination.[208][208] There are many other English and associated saints; some of the best known include: Cuthbert, Alban, Wilfrid, Aidan, Edward the Confessor, John Fisher, Thomas More, Petroc, Piran, Margaret Clitherow and Thomas Becket. There are non-Christian religions practised. Jews have a history of a small minority on the island since 1070.[209] They were expelled from England in 1290 following the Edict of Expulsion, only to be allowed back in 1656.[209]

Especially since the 1950s, Eastern religions from the former British colonies have begun to appear, due to foreign immigration; Islam is the most common of these, accounting for around 3.1% in England.[201] Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism are next in number, adding up to 2% combined,[201] introduced from India and South East Asia.[201] Around 14.6% claim to have no religion.[201]

Education

Senate House of the University of London.

Senate House, the administrative centre of the University of London

The Department for Education is the government department responsible for issues affecting people in England up to the age of 19, including education.[210] State-run and -funded schools are attended by approximately 93% of English schoolchildren.[211] Of these, a minority are faith schools, primarily Church of England or Catholic. Between three and four is nursery school, four and eleven is primary school, and eleven to sixteen is secondary school, with an option for a two-year extension to attend sixth form college.

Although most English secondary schools are comprehensive, in some areas there are selective intake grammar schools, to which entrance is subject to passing the eleven plus exam. Around 7.2% of English schoolchildren attend private schools, which are funded by private sources.[212] Standards in state schools are monitored by the Office for Standards in Education, and in private schools by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.[213]

Large yellow stone building with an arched window and two towers at the end nearest the photographer. In the foreground is grass and water with people in a punt.

King’s College, University of Cambridge

After finishing compulsory education, pupils take a GCSE examination, following which they may decide to continue in further education and attend a further education college. Students normally enter universities in the United Kingdom from 18 onwards, where they study for an academic degree. There are over 90 universities England, all but one of which are public. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is the government department responsible for higher education in England.[214] Students are generally entitled to student loans for maintenance.[note 7] The first degree offered to undergraduates is the Bachelor’s degree, which usually takes three years to complete. Students are then eligible for a postgraduate degree, a Master’s degree, taking one year, or a Doctorate degree, which takes three.

England’s universities include some of the highest-ranked universities in the world; the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, the University of Oxford and University College London are all ranked in the global top 10 in the 2010 QS World University Rankings.[215] The London School of Economics has been described as the world’s leading social science institution for both teaching and research.[216] The London Business School is considered one of the world’s leading business schools and in 2010 its MBA programme was ranked best in the world by the Financial Times.[217] Academic degrees in England are usually split into classes: first class (I), upper second class (II:1), lower second class (II:2) and third (III), and unclassified (below third class).

The King’s School, Canterbury and King’s School, Rochester are the oldest schools in the English-speaking world.[218] Many of England’s better-known schools, such as Winchester College, Eton College, St Paul’s School, Rugby School, and Harrow School are fee-paying institutions.[219]

Culture

Architecture

Many ancient standing stone monuments were erected during the prehistoric period, amongst the best known are Stonehenge, Devil’s Arrows, Rudston Monolith and Castlerigg.[220] With the introduction of Ancient Roman architecture there was a development of basilicas, baths, amphitheaters, triumphal arches, villas, Roman temples, Roman roads, Roman forts, stockades and aqueducts.[221] It was the Romans who founded the first cities and towns such as London, Bath, York, Chester and St Albans. Perhaps the best known example is Hadrian’s Wall stretching right across northern England.[221] Another well preserved example is the Roman Baths at Bath, Somerset.[221]

Early Medieval architecture’s secular buildings were simple constructions mainly using timber with thatch for roofing. Ecclesiastical architecture ranged from a synthesis of HibernoSaxon monasticism,[222][223] to Early Christian basilica and architecture characterised by pilaster-strips, blank arcading, baluster shafts and triangular headed openings. After the Norman conquest in 1066 various Castles in England were created so law lords could uphold their authority and in the north to protect from invasion. Some of the best known medieval castles include the Tower of London, Warwick Castle, Durham Castle and Windsor Castle amongst others.[224]

Yellow stone tower with two circular turrets which run the height of the building.

The Broadway Tower is a folly, or mock tower, in Worcestershire.

Throughout the Plantagenet era an English Gothic architecture flourished—the medieval cathedrals such as Canterbury Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and York Minster are prime examples.[224] Expanding on the Norman base there was also castles, palaces, great houses, universities and parish churches. Medieval architecture was completed with the 16th century Tudor style; the four-centred arch, now known as the Tudor arch, was a defining feature as were wattle and daub houses domestically. In the aftermath of the Renaissance a form of architecture echoing classical antiquity, synthesised with Christianity appeared—the English Baroque style, architect Christopher Wren was particularly championed.[225]

Georgian architecture followed in a more refined style, evoking a simple Palladian form; the Royal Crescent at Bath is one of the best examples of this. With the emergence of romanticism during Victorian period, a Gothic Revival was launched—in addition to this around the same time the Industrial Revolution paved the way for buildings such as The Crystal Palace. Since the 1930s various modernist forms have appeared whose reception is often controversial, though traditionalist resistance movements continue with support in influential places.[note 8]

Folklore

Main article: English folklore
Drawing depicting Robin Hood, wearing Lincoln green clothing, and Sir Guy of Gisbourne, wearing brown furs, in a forest preparing to shoot with bows and arrows.

Robin Hood illustrated in 1912 wearing Lincoln green

English folklore developed over many centuries. Some of the characters and stories are present across England, but most belong to specific regions. Common folkloric beings include pixies, giants, elfs, bogeymen, trolls, goblins and dwarves. While many legends and folk-customs are thought to be ancient, for instance the tales featuring Offa of Angel and Wayland the Smith,[227] others date from after the Norman invasion; Robin Hood and his Merry Men of Sherwood and their battles with the Sheriff of Nottingham being, perhaps, the best known.[228]

During the High Middle Ages tales originating from Brythonic traditions entered English folklore—the Arthurian myth.[229][230][231] These were derived from Anglo-Norman, French and Welsh sources,[230] featuring King Arthur, Camelot, Excalibur, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table such as Lancelot. These stories are most centrally brought together within Geoffrey of Monmouth‘s Historia Regum Britanniae.[note 9] Another early figure from British tradition, King Cole, may have been based on a real figure from Sub-Roman Britain. Many of the tales and pseudo-histories make up part of the wider Matter of Britain, a collection of shared British folklore.

Men in bright red clothing holding sticks in the air.

Some folk figures are based on semi or actual historical people whose story has been passed down centuries; Lady Godiva for instance was said to have ridden naked on horseback through Coventry, Hereward the Wake was a heroic English figure resisting the Norman invasion, Herne the Hunter is an equestrian ghost associated with Windsor Forest and Great Park and Mother Shipton is the archetypal witch.[233] On 5 November people make bonfires, set off fireworks and eat toffee apples in commemoration of the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot centred around Guy Fawkes. The chivalrous bandit, such as Dick Turpin, is a recurring character, while Blackbeard is the archetypal pirate. There are various national and regional folk activities, participated in to this day, such as Morris dancing, Maypole dancing, Rapper sword in the North East, Long Sword dance in Yorkshire, Mummers Plays, bottle-kicking in Leicestershire, and cheese-rolling at Cooper’s Hill.[234] There is no official national costume, but a few are well established such as the Pearly Kings and Queens associated with cockneys, the Royal Guard, the Morris costume and Beefeaters.[235]

Cuisine

Main article: English cuisine
Fish and chips.

Fish and chips is a widely consumed part of English cuisine.

Since the Early Modern Period the food of England has historically been characterised by its simplicity of approach, honesty of flavour, and a reliance on the high quality of natural produce.[236] During the Middle Ages and through the Renaissance period, English cuisine enjoyed an excellent reputation, though a decline began during the Industrial Revolution with the move away from the land and increasing urbanisation of the populace. The French sometimes referred to English people as les rosbifs, as a stereotype to suggest English food is unsophisticated or crude.[237] The cuisine of England has, however, recently undergone a revival, which has been recognised by the food critics with some good ratings in Restaurants best restaurant in the world charts.[238] An early book of English recipes is the Forme of Cury from the royal court of Richard II.[239]

An apple pie on a red table cloth, with green apples next to it.

Apple pie has been consumed in England since the Middle Ages.

Traditional examples of English food include the Sunday roast; featuring a roasted joint, usually beef, lamb or chicken, served with assorted boiled vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and gravy.[240] Other prominent meals include fish and chips and the full English breakfast—consisting of bacon, grilled tomatoes, fried bread, black pudding, baked beans, fried mushrooms, sausages and eggs. Various meat pies are consumed such as steak and kidney pie, cottage pie, Cornish pasty and pork pie, the latter of which is consumed cold.[240]

Sausages are commonly eaten, either as bangers and mash or toad in the hole. Lancashire hotpot is a well known stew. Some of the most popular cheeses are Cheddar and Wensleydale. Many Anglo-Indian hybrid dishes, curries, have been created such as chicken tikka masala and balti. Sweet English dishes include apple pie, mince pies, spotted dick, scones, Eccles cakes, custard and sticky toffee pudding. Common drinks include tea, which became far more widely drunk due to Catherine of Braganza,[241] while alcoholic drinks include wines and English beers such as bitter, mild, stout, and brown ale.[242]

Visual arts

The earliest known examples are the prehistoric rock and cave art pieces, most prominent in North Yorkshire, Northumberland and Cumbria, but also feature further south, for example at Creswell Crags.[243] With the arrival of Roman culture in the 1st century, various forms of art utilising statues, busts, glasswork and mosaics were the norm. There are numerous surviving artefacts, such as those at Lullingstone and Aldborough.[244] During the Early Middle Ages the style was sculpted crosses and ivories, manuscript painting, gold and enamel jewellery, demonstrating a love of intricate, interwoven designs such as in the Staffordshire Hoard discovered in 2009. Some of these blended Gaelic and Anglian styles, such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and Vespasian Psalter.[245] Later Gothic art was popular at Winchester and Canterbury, examples survive such as Benedictional of St. Æthelwold and Luttrell Psalter.[246]

The Tudor era saw prominent artists as part of their court, portrait painting which would remain an enduring part of English art, was boosted by German Hans Holbein, natives such as Nicholas Hilliard built on this.[246] Under the Stuarts, Continental artists were influential especially the Flemish, examples from the period include—Anthony van Dyck, Peter Lely, Godfrey Kneller and William Dobson.[246] The 18th century was a time of significance with the founding of the Royal Academy, a classicism based on the High Renaissance prevailed—Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds became two of England’s most treasured artists.[246]

The Norwich School continued the landscape tradition, while the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with their vivid and detailed style revived the Early Renaissance style—Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Everett Millais were leaders.[246] Prominent amongst twentieth century artists was Henry Moore, regarded as the voice of British sculpture, and of British modernism in general.[247] Contemporary painters include Lucian Freud, whose work Benefits Supervisor Sleeping in 2008 set a world record for sale value of a painting by a living artist.[248]

Literature, poetry and philosophy

Main article: English literature
A man dressed in grey with a beard, holding a rosary, depicted next to a coat of arms.

Geoffrey Chaucer was an English author, poet and philosopher, best remembered for his unfinished frame narrative The Canterbury Tales.

Early authors wrote in Latin such as Bede and Alcuin.[249] The period of Old English literature provided the epic poem Beowulf, the secular prose the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,[250] along with Christian writings such as Judith, Cædmon’s Hymn and saintly hagiographies.[249] Following the Norman conquest Latin continued amongst the educated classes, as well as an Anglo-Norman literature.

Middle English literature emerged with Geoffrey Chaucer author of The Canterbury Tales, along with Gower, the Pearl Poet and Langland. Franciscans, William of Ockham and Roger Bacon were major philosophers of the Middle Ages. Julian of Norwich with her Revelations of Divine Love was a prominent Christian mystic. With the English Renaissance literature in the Early Modern English style appeared. William Shakespeare, whose works include Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, remains one of the most championed authors in English literature.[251]

Marlowe, Spenser, Sydney, Kyd, Donne, Jonson are other established authors of the Elizabethan age.[252] Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes wrote on empiricism and materialism, including scientific method and social contract.[252] Filmer wrote on the Divine Right of Kings. Marvell was the best known poet of the Commonwealth,[253] while John Milton authored Paradise Lost during the Restoration.

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, this earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, this other Eden, demi-paradise; this fortress, built by nature for herself. This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

Some of the most prominent philosophers from the Enlightenment were Locke, Paine, Johnson and Benthem. More radical elements were later countered by Edmund Burke who is regarded as the founder of conservatism.[255] The poet Alexander Pope with his satirical verse became well regarded. The English played a significant role in romanticismColeridge, Byron, Keats, M Shelley, PB Shelley, Blake and Wordsworth were major figures.[256]

In response to the Industrial Revolution, agrarian writers looked to find a way between liberty and tradition; Cobbett, Chesterton and Belloc were main exponents, while founder of guild socialism, Penty and cooperative movement advocate Cole are somewhat related.[257] Empiricism continued through Mill and Russell, while Williams was involved in analytics. Authors from around the time of the Victorian era include Dickens, the Brontë sisters, Austen, Eliot, Kipling, Hardy, H. G. Wells, Carroll and Underhill.[258] Since then England has continued to produce novellists such as C. S. Lewis, Orwell, D. H. Lawrence, Woolf, Blyton, Huxley, Christie, Pratchett, J. R. R. Tolkien, and J. K. Rowling.[259]

Performing arts





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The traditional folk music of England is centuries old and has contributed to several genres prominently; mostly sea shanties, jigs, hornpipes and dance music. It has its own distinct variations and regional peculiarities. Wynkyn de Worde printed ballads of Robin Hood from the 16th century are an important artefact, as are John Playford‘s The Dancing Master and Robert Harley’s Roxburghe Ballads collections.[260] Some of the best known songs are The Good Old Way, Pastime with Good Company, Maggie May and Spanish Ladies amongst others. Many nursery rhymes are of English origin such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Roses are red, Jack and Jill, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush and Humpty Dumpty.[261]

Early English composers in classical music include Renaissance artists Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, followed up by Henry Purcell from the Baroque period. German-born George Frideric Handel became a British subject[262] and spent most of his composing life in London, creating some of the most well-known works of classical music, The Messiah, Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks. There was a revival in the profile of composers from England in the 20th century led by Benjamin Britten, Frederick Delius, Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams and others.[263] Present-day composers from England include Michael Nyman, best known for The Piano.

In the field of popular music many English bands and solo artists have been cited as the most influential and best-selling musicians of all time. Acts such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Queen, Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones are among the highest selling recording artists in the world.[264] Many musical genres have origins or strong associations with England, such as British invasion, hard rock, glam rock, heavy metal, mod, britpop, drum and bass, progressive rock, punk rock, indie rock, gothic rock, shoegazing, acid house, UK garage, trip hop and dubstep.[265]

Large outdoor music festivals in the summer and autumn are popular, such as Glastonbury, V Festival, Reading and Leeds Festivals. The most prominent opera house in England is the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden.[266] The Proms, a season of orchestral classical music concerts held at the Royal Albert Hall, is a major cultural event held annually.[266] The Royal Ballet is one of the world’s foremost classical ballet companies, its reputation built on two prominent figures of 20th century dance, prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn and choreographer Frederick Ashton.

Museums, libraries, and galleries

Further information: Museums in England
A museum building entrance.

The Natural History Museum in London

English Heritage is a governmental body with a broad remit of managing the historic sites, artefacts and environments of England. It is currently sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The charity National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty holds a contrasting role. Seventeen of the twenty-five United Kingdom UNESCO World Heritage Sites fall within England.[267] Some of the best known of these include; Hadrian’s Wall, Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites, Tower of London, Jurassic Coast, Saltaire, Ironbridge Gorge, Studley Royal Park and various others.[268]

There are many museums in England, but the most notable is London’s British Museum. Its collection of more than seven million objects[269] is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world,[270] sourced from every continent, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginning to the present. The British Library in London is the national library and is one of the world’s largest research libraries, holding over 150 million items in all known languages and formats; including around 25 million books.[271] The most senior art gallery is the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, which houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900.[272] The Tate galleries house the national collections of British and international modern art; they also host the famously controversial Turner Prize.[273]

Sports

Main article: Sport in England
The interior of an empty stadium as viewed from its upper tier of seating. The seats are a vivid red and the pitch is a vivid green. The pale grey sky is visible through an opening in the ceiling above the pitch.

Inside Wembley Stadium, one of the most expensive stadiums ever built[274]

England has a strong sporting heritage, and during the 19th century codified many sports that are now played around the world. Sports originating in England include association football,[275] cricket, rugby union, rugby league, tennis, badminton, squash,[276] rounders,[277] hockey, boxing, snooker, billiards, darts, table tennis, bowls, netball, thoroughbred horseracing and fox hunting. It has helped the development of sailing and Formula One. Football is the most popular of these sports. The England national football team, whose home venue is Wembley Stadium, won the 1966 FIFA World Cup, the year the country hosted the competition.

At club level England is recognised by FIFA as the birth-place of club football, due to Sheffield FC founded in 1857 being the oldest club.[275] The Football Association is the oldest of its kind, FA Cup and The Football League were the first cup and league competitions respectively. In the modern day the Premier League is the world’s most lucrative football league[278] and amongst the elite.[279] The European Cup has been won by Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa, while Arsenal, Chelsea and Leeds United have reached the final.[280]

Men in cricket whites play upon a green grass cricket field amidst a stadium.

England on the way to victory against Australia in the 2009 Ashes series at Lord’s Cricket Ground

Cricket is generally thought to have been developed in the early medieval period among the farming and metalworking communities of the Weald.[281] The England cricket team is a composite England and Wales team. One of the game’s top rivalries is The Ashes series between England and Australia, contested since 1882. The finale of the 2009 Ashes was watched by nearly 2 million people, although the climax of the 2005 Ashes was viewed by 7.4 million as it was available on terrestrial television.[282] England are the current holders of the trophy and are fifth in both Test and One Day International cricket.[283]

England has hosted four Cricket World Cups (1975, 1979, 1983, 1999) and the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009. There are several domestic level competitions, including the County Championship in which Yorkshire are by far the most successful club having won the competition 31 times.[284] Lord’s Cricket Ground situated in London is sometimes referred to as the “Mecca of Cricket”.[285] William Penny Brookes was prominent in organising the format for the modern Olympic Games. London hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1908 and 1948, and will host them again in 2012. England competes in the Commonwealth Games, held every four years. Sport England is the governing body responsible for distributing funds and providing strategic guidance for sporting activity in England. A Grand Prix is held at Silverstone.[286]

White men in grey suits, pale blue shirts and red ties celebrate upon the top floor of an open-top bus. On man holds a golden trophy in the air with one hand.

The England rugby union team during their victory parade after winning the 2003 Rugby World Cup

The England rugby union team won the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the country was one of the host nations of the competition in the 1991 Rugby World Cup and is set to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup.[287] The top level of club participation is the English Premiership. Leicester Tigers, London Wasps, Bath Rugby and Northampton Saints have had success in the Europe-wide Heineken Cup. In another form of the sport—rugby league which was born in Huddersfield in 1895, the England national rugby league team are ranked third in the world and first in Europe.

Since 2008 England has been a full test nation in lieu of the Great Britain national rugby league team, which won three World Cups but is now retired. Club sides play in Super League, the present-day embodiment of the Rugby Football League Championship. Some of the most successful clubs include Wigan Warriors, St Helens, Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants; the former three have all won the World Club Challenge previously. The United Kingdom is to host the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.[288] In tennis, the Wimbledon Championships are the oldest tennis tournament in the world and is widely considered the most prestigious.[289][290]

National symbols

The national flag of England, known as St. George’s Cross, has been the national flag since the 13th century. Originally the flag was used by the maritime state the Republic of Genoa. The English monarch paid a tribute to the Doge of Genoa from 1190 onwards, so that English ships could fly the flag as a means of protection when entering the Mediterranean. A red cross acted as a symbol for many Crusaders in the 12th and 13th centuries. It became associated with Saint George, along with countries and cities, which claimed him as their patron saint and used his cross as a banner.[291] Since 1606 the St George’s Cross has formed part of the design of the Union Flag, a Pan-British flag designed by King James I.[208]

There are numerous other symbols and symbolic artefacts, both official and unofficial, including the Tudor rose, the nation’s floral emblem, the White Dragon and the Three Lions featured on the Royal Arms of England. The Tudor rose was adopted as a national emblem of England around the time of the Wars of the Roses as a symbol of peace.[292] It is a syncretic symbol in that it merged the white rose of the Yorkists and the red rose of the Lancastrians—cadet branches of the Plantagenets who went to war over control of the royal house. It is also known as the Rose of England.[293] The oak tree is a symbol of England, representing strength and endurance. The term Royal Oak is used to denote the escape of King Charles II from the grasps of the parliamentarians after his father’s execution; he hid in an oak tree to avoid detection before making it safely into exile.

The Royal Arms of England, a national coat of arms featuring three lions, dates back to its adoption by Richard the Lionheart from 1198–1340. It is described as gules, three lions passant guardant or and provide one of the most prominent symbols of England; it is similar to the traditional arms of Normandy. England does not have an official designated national anthem, as the United Kingdom as a whole has God Save the Queen. However, the following are often considered unofficial English national anthems: Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory (used for England during the 2002 Commonwealth Games),[294] and I Vow to Thee, My Country. England’s National Day is St George’s Day, as Saint George is the patron saint of England, it is held annually on 23 April.[295]ENGLAND

SCOTLAND

Scotland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Scotland (disambiguation).
Scotland  (English/Scots)
Alba  (Scottish Gaelic)
Flag Royal Standard
MottoIn My Defens God Me Defend (Scots)
(often shown abbreviated as IN DEFENS)
AnthemNone (de jure)
Various de facto – see National anthem of Scotland and note 1
Location of  Scotland  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)– in the United Kingdom  (camel)
Location of  Scotland  (orange)– in the European continent  (camel & white)
– in the United Kingdom  (camel)

Capital Edinburgh
55°57′N 3°12′W
Largest city Glasgow
Official language(s) English
Recognised regional languages Gaelic, Scots2
Ethnic groups 89% Scottish, 7% English, Irish, Welsh, 4% other[1]
Demonym Scots, Scottish3
Government Devolved Government within a Constitutional monarchy4
 – Monarch Elizabeth II
 – First Minister Alex Salmond MSP
 – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron, MP
Legislature Scottish Parliament
Establishment Early Middle Ages; exact date of establishment unclear or disputed; traditional 843, by King Kenneth MacAlpin[2]
Area
 – Total 78,772 km2
30,414 sq mi
 – Water (%) 1.9
Population
 – mid-2010 estimate 5,222,100[3]
 – 2001 census 5,062,011
 – Density 65.9/km2
170.8/sq mi
GDP (nominal) 2006 estimate
 – Total GBP 124 billion[4]
Currency Pound sterling (GBP)
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 – Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Drives on the left
ISO 3166 code GB
Internet TLD .uk5
Calling code 44
Patron saint St Andrew[5]
St Margaret
St Columba
1 Flower of Scotland, Scotland the Brave and Scots Wha Hae have been used in lieu of an official anthem.
2 Both Scots and Scottish Gaelic are officially recognised as autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages;[6] the Bòrd na Gàidhlig is tasked, under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, with securing Gaelic as an official language of Scotland, commanding “equal respect” with English.[7]
3 Historically, the use of “Scotch” as an adjective comparable to “Scottish” was commonplace, particularly outwith Scotland. However, the modern use of the term describes only products of Scotland, usually food or drink related.
4 Scotland’s head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom, currently Queen Elizabeth II (since 1952). Scotland has limited self-government within the United Kingdom as well as representation in the UK Parliament. It is also a UK electoral region for the European Parliament. Executive and legislative powers have been devolved to, respectively, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh.
5 Also .eu, as part of the European Union. ISO 3166-1 is GB, but .gb is unused.

Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Alba, Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈalˠ̪apə]) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom.[8][9][10] 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 includes over 790 islands[11] including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Edinburgh, the country’s capital and second largest city, is one of Europe‘s largest financial centres.[12] 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[13] 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.[14]

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.[15][16] 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.[17][18] 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.[19]

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.[20] In 1999, a devolved legislature, the Scottish Parliament, was founded with authority over many areas of home affairs following a successful referendum in 1997. Issues surrounding devolution and independence continue to be debated. The Scottish National Party won an overall majority in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election,[21] and have announced their intention to hold a referendum on independence sometime during the second half of the present five-year parliamentary term.[22]

Contents

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[edit] Etymology

Main article: Etymology of Scotland

Scotland is derived from the Latin Scoti, the term applied to Gaels, people from what is now Scotland and Ireland, and the Dál Riata who had come from Ireland to reside in the Northwest of what is now Scotland, in contrast, for example, to the Picts.[23] Accordingly, the Late Latin word Scotia (land of the Gaels) was initially used to refer to Ireland.[24] However, by the 11th century at the latest, Scotia was being used to refer to (Gaelic-speaking) Scotland north of the river Forth, alongside Albania or Albany, both derived from the Gaelic Alba.[25] The use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass all of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages.[15]

[edit] History

Main article: History of Scotland

[edit] Early history

Main article: Prehistoric Scotland

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.[26][27]

Groups of settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, and the first villages around 6,000 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.[28]

The founders of Scotland of late medieval legend, Scota with Goídel Glas, voyaging from Egypt, as depicted in a 15th century manuscript of the Scotichronicon of Walter Bower.

The discovery in Scotland of a four thousand year old tomb with burial treasures at Forteviot, near Perth, the capital of a Pictish Kingdom in the 8th and 9th century’s 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.[29][30]

Scotland may have been part of a Late Bronze Age maritime trading-networked culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that also included the other Celtic nations, England, France, Spain and Portugal.[31][32][33][34]

[edit] Roman influence

Skara Brae, a neolithic settlement, located in the Bay of Skaill, Orkney.

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.[35]

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’.[35] 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.[36]

The Romans erected Hadrian’s Wall to control tribes on both sides of the wall,[37] 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.[38]

The extent of Roman military occupation of any significant part of northern Scotland was limited to a total of 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 the fifth century.[37] In the 400s, Gaels from Ireland established the kingdom of Dál Riata.[39][40]

A replica of the Pictish Hilton of Cadboll Stone.

[edit] Medieval period

The Kingdom of the Picts (based in Fortriu by the 6th century) was the state that eventually became known as “Alba” or “Scotland.” The development of “Pictland,” according to the historical model developed by Peter Heather, was a natural response to Roman imperialism.[41] Another view places emphasis on the Battle of Dunnichen, and the reign of Bridei m. Beli (671–693), with another period of consolidation in the reign of Óengus mac Fergusa (732–761).[42]

The Kingdom of the Picts as it was in the early 8th century, when Bede was writing, was largely the same as the kingdom of the Scots in the reign of Alexander (1107–1124). However, by the tenth century, the Pictish kingdom was dominated by what we can recognise as Gaelic culture, and had developed a traditional story of an Irish conquest around the ancestor of the contemporary royal dynasty, Cináed mac Ailpín (Kenneth MacAlpin).[2][43][44]

From a base of territory in eastern Scotland north of the River Forth and south of the River Oykel, the kingdom acquired control of the lands lying to the north and south. By the 12th century, the kings of Alba had added to their territories the English-speaking land in the south-east and attained overlordship of Gaelic-speaking Galloway and Norse-speaking Caithness; by the end of the 13th century, the kingdom had assumed approximately its modern borders. However, processes of cultural and economic change beginning in the 12th century ensured Scotland looked very different in the later Middle Ages.

The impetus for this change was the reign of King David I and the Davidian Revolution. Feudalism, government reorganisation and the first legally defined towns (called burghs) began in this period. These institutions and the immigration of French and Anglo-French knights and churchmen facilitated a process of cultural osmosis, whereby the culture and language of the low-lying and coastal parts of the kingdom’s original territory in the east became, like the newly acquired south-east, English-speaking, while the rest of the country retained the Gaelic language, apart from the Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland, which remained under Norse rule until 1468.[45][46][47]

The Wallace Monument commemorates William Wallace, the 13th-century Scottish hero.

The death of Alexander III in March 1286, followed by the death of his granddaughter Margaret, Maid of Norway, broke the centuries old succession line of Scotland’s kings and shattered a two hundred year golden age that began with King David I. This led to the requested arbitration of Edward I of England who organised a process known as the Great Cause to identify the most legitimate claimant for the vacant crown. John Balliol was pronounced king in the Great Hall of Berwick Castle on 17 November 1292 and inaugurated at Scone, 30 November 1292, St. Andrew’s Day. Edward I, who had coerced recognition as Lord Paramount of Scotland, the feudal superior of the realm, steadily undermined John’s authority.[48] In 1294 Balliol and other Scottish lords refused Edward’s demands to serve in his army against the French. Instead the Scottish parliament sent envoys to France to negotiate an alliance. Scotland and France sealed a treaty on 23 October 1295, that came to be known as the Auld Alliance (1295–1560). War ensued and King John was deposed by Edward who took personal control of Scotland. Andrew Moray and William Wallace initially emerged as the principal leaders of the resistance to English rule in what became known as the Wars of Scottish Independence (1296–1328).[49]

The nature of the struggle changed dramatically when Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick, killed rival John Comyn on 10 February 1306 at Greyfriars Kirk in Dumfries.[50] He was crowned king (as Robert I) less than seven weeks after the killing. Robert I battled to restore Scottish Independence as King for over 20 years, beginning by winning Scotland back from the Norman English invaders piece by piece. Victory at The Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 proved that the Scots had regained control of their kingdom. In 1315 Edward Bruce, brother of the King, was briefly appointed High King of Ireland during an ultimately unsuccessful Scottish invasion of Ireland aimed at strengthening Scotland’s position in its wars against England. In 1320 the production of the world’s first documented declaration of independence, the Declaration of Arbroath, won the support of Pope John XXII, leading to the legal recognition of Scottish sovereignty by the English Crown.

However, war with England continued for several decades after the death of Bruce, and a civil war between the Bruce dynasty and their long-term Comyn-Balliol rivals lasted until the middle of the 14th century. Although the Bruce dynasty was successful, David II’s lack of an heir allowed his nephew Robert II to come to the throne and establish the Stuart Dynasty.[46][51] The Stewarts ruled Scotland for the remainder of the Middle Ages. The country they ruled experienced greater prosperity from the end of the 14th century through the Scottish Renaissance to the Reformation. The Education Act of 1496 made Scotland the first country since Sparta in classical Greece to implement a system of general public education.[52] This was despite continual warfare with England, the increasing division between Highlands and Lowlands, and a large number of royal minorities.[51][53]
This period was the height of the Franco-Scottish alliance. The Scots Guard – Garde Écossaise – was founded in 1418 by Charles VII of France. The Scots soldiers of the Garde Écossaise fought alongside Joan of Arc against England during the Hundred Years War.[54] In March 1421 a Franco-Scots force under John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Buchan, and Gilbert de Lafayette, defeated a larger English army at the Battle of Baugé. Three years later, at the Battle of Verneuil, the Scots lost around 6000 men, but the Scottish intervention bought France valuable time and likely saved the country from defeat.[55]

[edit] Early modern era

In 1502 James signed the Treaty of Perpetual Peace with Henry VII of England. He also married Henry’s daughter, Margaret Tudor, setting the stage for the Union of the Crowns. For Henry, the marriage into one of Europe’s most established monarchies gave legitimacy to the new Tudor royal line.[56] A decade later James made the fateful decision to invade England in support of France under the terms of the Auld Alliance. He was the last British monarch to die in battle, at the Battle of Flodden.[57] Within a generation the Auld Alliance was ended by the Treaty of Edinburgh. France agreed to withdraw all land and naval forces and in the same year, 1560, the revolution of John Knox achieved its ultimate goal of convincing the Scottish parliament to revoke papal authority in Scotland.[58] Mary, Queen of Scots, a Catholic and former queen of France, was forced to abdicate in 1567.[59]

David Morier’s depiction of the Battle of Culloden.

In 1603, James VI King of Scots inherited the throne of the Kingdom of England, and became King James I of England, and left Edinburgh for London.[60] With the exception of a short period under the Protectorate, Scotland remained a separate state, but there was considerable conflict between the crown and the Covenanters over the form of church government. The Glorious Revolution of 1688-89 saw the overthrow of the King James by William and Mary. As late as the 1690s, Scotland experienced famine, which reduced the population of parts of the country by at least 20 percent.[61]

In 1698, the Scots attempted an ambitious project to secure a trading colony on the Isthmus of Panama. Almost every Scottish landowner who had money to spare is said to have invested in the Darien scheme. Its failure bankrupted these landowners, but not the burghs, which remained cash rich. Nevertheless, the nobles’ bankruptcy, along with the threat of an English invasion, played a leading role in convincing the Scots elite to back a union with England.[62][63]

On 22 July 1706, the Treaty of Union was agreed between representatives of the Scots Parliament and the Parliament of England and the following year twin Acts of Union were passed by both parliaments to create the united Kingdom of Great Britain with effect from 1 May 1707.[16]

[edit] 18th century

With trade tariffs with England now abolished, trade blossomed, especially with Colonial America. The clippers belonging to the Glasgow Tobacco Lords were the fastest ships on the route to Virginia. Until the American War of Independence in 1776, Glasgow was the world’s premier tobacco port, dominating world trade.[64] The disparity between the wealth of the merchant classes of the Scottish Lowlands and the ancient clans of the Scottish Highlands grew, amplifying centuries of division.

St. Kildans sitting on the village street, 1886.

The deposed Jacobite Stuart claimants had remained popular in the Highlands and north-east, particularly amongst non-Presbyterians. However, two major Jacobite risings launched in 1715 and 1745 failed to remove the House of Hanover from the British throne. The threat of the Jacobite movement to the United Kingdom and its monarchs effectively ended at the Battle of Culloden, Great Britain’s last pitched battle. This defeat paved the way for large-scale removals of the indigenous populations of the Highlands and Islands, known as the Highland Clearances.

The Scottish Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution made Scotland into an intellectual, commercial and industrial powerhouse.[65] So much so that Voltaire said “We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.” [66] With the demise of Jacobitism and the advent of the Union thousands of Scots, mainly Lowlanders, took up numerous positions of power in politics, civil service, the army and navy, trade, economics, colonial enterprises and other areas across the nascent British Empire. Historian Neil Davidson notes that “after 1746 there was an entirely new level of participation by Scots in political life, particularly outside Scotland.” Davidson also states that “far from being ‘peripheral’ to the British economy, Scotland – or more precisely, the Lowlands – lay at its core.”[67]

[edit] 19th century

Scotland became known across the world for its excellence in engineering, as typified by the Clyde built ships and locomotives built in Glasgow. Prefabricated cast iron buildings made in Scotland are still in use in India, South America and Australia.[68] Prominent scientists, engineers and architects of the industrial age included David Dale, Joseph Black, Thomas Telford, Robert Stevenson, James Watt, James Nasmyth, Robert Adam and John MacAdam.

[edit] Scottish diaspora

Scots born migrants also played a leading role in the foundation and principles of the United States [69](John Witherspoon, John Paul Jones, Andrew Carnegie), Canada [70](John A MacDonald, James Murray, Tommy Douglas), Australia [71] (Lachlan Macquarie, Thomas Brisbane, Andrew Fisher), New Zealand[72] (James Mckenzie, Peter Fraser).

[edit] 20th century

[edit] First and Second World Wars

Royal Scots with captured Japanese flag, Burma, January 1945.

Scotland played a major role in the British effort in the First World War. It especially provided manpower, ships, machinery, fish and money.[73] With a population of 4.8 million in 1911, Scotland sent 690,000 men to the war, of whom 74,000 died in combat or from disease, and 150,000 were seriously wounded.[74] Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, was Britain’s commander on the Western Front.

The war saw the emergence of a radical movement called “Red Clydeside” led by militant trades unionists. Formerly a Liberal stronghold, the industrial districts switched to Labour by 1922, with a base among the Irish Catholic working class districts. Women were especially active in building neighborhood solidarity on housing issues. However, the “Reds” operated within the Labour Party and had little influence in Parliament and the mood changed to passive despair by the late 1920s.[75]

The shipbuilding industry expanded by a third and expected renewed prosperity, but instead a serious depression hit the economy by 1922 and it did not fully recover until 1939. The interwar years were marked by economic stagnation in rural and urban areas, and high unemployment.[76] Indeed, the war brought with it deep social, cultural, economic, and political dislocations. Thoughtful Scots pondered their declension, as the main social indicators such as poor health, bad housing, and long-term mass unemployment, pointed to terminal social and economic stagnation at best, or even a downward spiral. Service abroad on behalf of the Empire lost its allure to ambitious young people, who left Scotland permanently. The heavy dependence on obsolescent heavy industry and mining was a central problem, and no one offered workable solutions. The despair reflected what Finlay (1994) describes as a widespread sense of hopelessness that prepared local business and political leaders to accept a new orthodoxy of centralized government economic planning when it arrived during the Second World War.[77]

The Second World War brought renewed prosperity—as well as bombing of cities by the Luftwaffe. It saw the invention of radar by Robert Watson-Watt, which was invaluable in the Battle of Britain as was the leadership at RAF Fighter Command of Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding.[78]

[edit] Since 1945

After 1945, Scotland’s economic situation became progressively worse due to overseas competition, inefficient industry, and industrial disputes.[79] Only in recent decades has the country enjoyed something of a cultural and economic renaissance. Economic factors that have contributed to this recovery include a resurgent financial services industry, electronics manufacturing, (see Silicon Glen),[80] and the North Sea oil and gas industry.[81] The introduction in 1989 by Margaret Thatcher’s government of the Community Charge (widely known as the Poll Tax) one year before the rest of the United Kingdom contributed to a growing movement for a return to direct Scottish control over domestic affairs.[82] Following a referendum on devolution proposals in 1997, the Scotland Act 1998[83] was passed by the United Kingdom Parliament to establish a devolved Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government with responsibility for most laws specific to Scotland.[84]

[edit] Government and politics

Scotland

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The 2007 cabinet of the Scottish Government

Scotland’s head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom, currently Queen Elizabeth II (since 1952). The title Elizabeth II caused controversy around the time of the queen’s coronation, as there had never been an Elizabeth I in Scotland. A legal case, MacCormick v. Lord Advocate (1953 SC 396), was taken to contest the right of the Queen to title herself Elizabeth II within Scotland, arguing that to do so would be a breach of Article 1 of the Treaty of Union.

The Lord Advocate won the case and it was decided that future British monarchs would be numbered according to either their English or Scottish predecessors, whichever number is higher.[85] Hence, any future King James would be styled James VIII (since the last Scottish King James was James VII (also James II of England, etc.)) while the next King Henry would be King Henry IX throughout the UK despite the fact that there have been no Scottish kings of the name.

Scotland has partial self-government within the United Kingdom as well as representation in the UK Parliament. Executive and legislative powers have been devolved to, respectively, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh. The United Kingdom Parliament retains power over a set list of areas explicitly specified in the Scotland Act 1998 as reserved matters, including, for example, levels of UK taxes, social security, defence, international relations and broadcasting.[86]

The Scottish Parliament has legislative authority for all other areas relating to Scotland, as well as limited power to vary income tax, a power it has yet to exercise. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in a BBC Scotland interview, indicated that the Scottish Parliament could be given more tax-raising powers.[87]

The Scottish Parliament can give legislative consent over devolved matters back to Westminster by passing a Legislative Consent Motion if United Kingdom-wide legislation is considered to be more appropriate for a certain issue. The programmes of legislation enacted by the Scottish Parliament have seen a divergence in the provision of public services compared to the rest of the United Kingdom. For instance, the costs of a university education, and care services for the elderly are free at point of use in Scotland, while fees are paid in the rest of the UK. Scotland was the first country in the UK to ban smoking in enclosed public places.[88]

The debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament Building

The Scottish Parliament is a unicameral legislature comprising 129 Members, 73 of whom represent individual constituencies and are elected on a first past the post system; 56 are elected in eight different electoral regions by the additional member system, serving for a four year period. The Queen appoints one Member of the Scottish Parliament, (MSP), on the nomination of the Parliament, to be First Minister. Other Ministers are also appointed by the Queen on the nomination of the Parliament and together with the First Minister they make up the Scottish Government, the executive arm of government.[89]

In the 2011 election, the Scottish National Party (SNP) formed a majority government after winning 69 of the 129 seat Parliament; This was the first majority government since the modern post-devolutionary Scottish Parliament was established in 1999. The leader of the SNP, Alex Salmond, continued as First Minister. The Labour Party continued as the largest opposition party, with the Conservative Party, the Liberal Democrats, and the Green Party also represented in the Parliament. Margo MacDonald is the only independent MSP sitting in Parliament. The next Scottish Parliament general election will be held on 5 May 2016.

Scotland is represented in the British House of Commons by 59 MPs elected from territory-based Scottish constituencies. The Scotland Office represents the UK government in Scotland on reserved matters and represents Scottish interests within the UK government.[90] The Scotland office is led by the Secretary of State for Scotland, who sits in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, the current incumbent being Michael Moore.

[edit] Administrative subdivisions

Glasgow City Chambers viewed from George Square

Historical types subdivisions of Scotland include the mormaerdom, stewartry, earldom, burgh, parish, county and regions and districts. The names of these areas 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,[91] 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 determined by letters patent.[92] There are six cities in Scotland: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, most recently Inverness, and Stirling.[93]

[edit] Scotland within the UK

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”.[94] 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.[95] 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.[96][97] These plans were put on hold by the Scottish National Party until after the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections.[98] 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 likely to be held at some point during this term in government.

[edit] Law and criminal justice

Main article: Scots law

Parliament House, in Edinburgh, is the home of the Court of Session.

Scots law has a basis derived from Roman law,[99] combining features of both uncodified civil law, dating back to the Corpus Juris Civilis, and common law with medieval sources. The terms of the Treaty of Union with England in 1707 guaranteed the continued existence of a separate legal system in Scotland from that of England and Wales.[100] Prior to 1611, there were several regional law systems in Scotland, most notably Udal law in Orkney and Shetland, based on old Norse law. Various other systems derived from common Celtic or Brehon laws survived in the Highlands until the 1800s.[101]

Scots law provides for three types of courts responsible for the administration of justice: civil, criminal and heraldic. The supreme civil court is the Court of Session, although civil appeals can be taken to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (or before 1 October 2009, the House of Lords). The High Court of Justiciary is the supreme criminal court in Scotland. The Court of Session is housed at Parliament House, in Edinburgh, which was the home of the pre-Union Parliament of Scotland with the High Court of Justiciary and the Supreme Court of Appeal currently located at Lawnmarket. The sheriff court is the main criminal and civil court, hearing most of the cases. There are 49 sheriff courts throughout the country.[102] District courts were introduced in 1975 for minor offences and small claims. The Court of the Lord Lyon regulates heraldry.

For many decades the Scots legal system was unique for a period in being the only legal system without a parliament. This ended with the advent of the Scottish Parliament, which legislates for Scotland. Many features within the system have been preserved. Within criminal law, the Scots legal system is unique in having three possible verdicts: “guilty“, “not guilty” and “not proven“. Both “not guilty” and “not proven” result in an acquittal with no possibility of retrial.[103] Many laws differ between Scotland and the rest of Britain, whereas many terms differ. Manslaughter, in England and Wales, becomes culpable homicide in Scotland, and arson becomes wilful fireraising. Procedure also differs. Scots juries consist of fifteen, not twelve jurors as is more common in English-speaking countries.

The civil legal system has however attracted much recent criticism from a senior Scottish Judge who referred to it as being “Victorian” and antiquated.[104]

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) manages the prisons in Scotland, which collectively house over 8,500 prisoners.[105] The Cabinet Secretary for Justice is responsible for the Scottish Prison Service within the Scottish Government.

[edit] Geography and natural history

Main article: Geography of Scotland

The mainland of Scotland comprises the northern third of the land mass of the island of Great Britain, which lies off the northwest coast of Continental Europe. The total area is 78,772 km2 (30,414 sq mi),[106] comparable to the size of the Czech Republic. Scotland’s only land border is with England, and runs for 96 kilometres (60 mi) between the basin of the River Tweed on the east coast and the Solway Firth in the west. The Atlantic Ocean borders the west coast and the North Sea is to the east. The island of Ireland lies only 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the southwestern peninsula of Kintyre;[107] Norway is 305 kilometres (190 mi) to the east and the Faroes, 270 kilometres (168 mi) to the north.

The territorial extent of Scotland is generally that established by the 1237 Treaty of York between Scotland and the Kingdom of England[108] and the 1266 Treaty of Perth between Scotland and Norway.[16] Important exceptions include the Isle of Man, which having been lost to England in the 14th century is now a crown dependency outside of the United Kingdom; the island groups Orkney and Shetland, which were acquired from Norway in 1472;[106] and Berwick-upon-Tweed, lost to England in 1482.

The geographical centre of Scotland lies a few miles from the village of Newtonmore in Badenoch.[109] Rising to 1,344 metres (4,409 ft) above sea level, Scotland’s highest point is the summit of Ben Nevis, in Lochaber, while Scotland’s longest river, the River Tay, flows for a distance of 190 kilometres (118 mi).[110][111]

[edit] Geology and geomorphology

Main article: Geology of Scotland

Relief map of Scotland

The whole of Scotland was covered by ice sheets during the Pleistocene ice ages and the landscape is much affected by glaciation. From a geological perspective the country has three main sub-divisions.

[edit] Highlands and islands

The Highlands and Islands lie to the north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault, which runs from Arran to Stonehaven. This part of Scotland largely comprises ancient rocks from the Cambrian and Precambrian, which were uplifted during the later Caledonian Orogeny. It is interspersed with igneous intrusions of a more recent age, the remnants of which have formed mountain massifs such as the Cairngorms and Skye Cuillins.

A significant exception to the above are the fossil-bearing beds of Old Red Sandstones found principally along the Moray Firth coast. The Highlands are generally mountainous and the highest elevations in the British Isles are found here. Scotland has over 790 islands, which are divided into four main groups: Shetland, Orkney, and the Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides. There are numerous bodies of freshwater including Loch Lomond and Loch Ness. Some parts of the coastline consist of machair, a low lying dune pasture land.

[edit] Central lowlands

The Central Lowlands is a rift valley mainly comprising Paleozoic formations. Many of these sediments have economic significance for it is here that the coal and iron bearing rocks that fuelled Scotland’s industrial revolution are to be found. This area has also experienced intense volcanism, Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh being the remnant of a once much larger volcano. This area is relatively low-lying, although even here hills such as the Ochils and Campsie Fells are rarely far from view.

[edit] Southern uplands

The Southern Uplands are a range of hills almost 200 kilometres (124 mi) long, interspersed with broad valleys. They lie south of a second fault line (the Southern Uplands fault) that runs from Girvan to Dunbar.[112][113][114][115] The geological foundations largely comprise Silurian deposits laid down some 4–500 million years ago. The high point of the Southern Uplands is Merrick with an elevation of 843 m (2,766 ft).[15][116][117][118]

The Southern Uplands is home to the UK’s highest village, Wanlockhead (430 m/1,411 ft above sea level).[115]

[edit] Climate

Main article: Climate of Scotland

Tiree, one of the sunniest locations in Scotland

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, Canada, 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.[119] 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.[120]

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 of 1975.[120] Rainfall varies widely across Scotland. The western highlands of Scotland are the wettest place, with annual rainfall exceeding 3,000 mm (118.1 in).[121] In comparison, much of lowland Scotland receives less than 800 mm (31.5 in) annually.[122] Heavy snowfall is not common in the lowlands, but becomes more common with altitude. Braemar experiences an average of 59 snow days per year,[123] while many coastal areas average fewer than 10 days of lying snow per annum.[122]

[edit] Flora and fauna

Scotland’s wildlife is typical of the north west of Europe, although several of the larger mammals such as the Lynx, Brown Bear, Wolf, Elk and Walrus were hunted to extinction in historic times. There are important populations of seals and internationally significant nesting grounds for a variety of seabirds such as Gannets.[124] The Golden Eagle is something of a national icon.

On the high mountain tops species including Ptarmigan, Mountain Hare and Stoat can be seen in their white colour phase during winter months.[125] Remnants of the native Scots Pine forest exist[126] and within these areas the Scottish Crossbill, the UK’s only endemic bird species and vertebrate, can be found alongside Capercaillie, Wildcat, Red Squirrel and Pine Marten.[127][128][129] In recent years various animals have been re-introduced, including the White-tailed Sea Eagle in 1975, the Red Kite in the 1980s,[130][131] and more recently there have been experimental projects involving the Beaver and Wild Boar.[132][133]

The flora of the country is varied incorporating both deciduous and coniferous woodland and moorland and tundra species. However, large scale commercial tree planting and the management of upland moorland habitat for the grazing of sheep and commercial field sport activities impacts upon the distribution of indigenous plants and animals.[134] The UK’s tallest tree is the Stronardron Douglas Fir located in Argyll, and the Fortingall Yew may be 5,000 years old and is probably the oldest living thing in Europe.[135][136][137] Although the number of native vascular plants is low by world standards, Scotland’s substantial bryophyte flora is of global importance.[138][139]

[edit] Economy and infrastructure

Main article: Economy of Scotland

A drilling rig located in the North Sea

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,[140] 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.

Pacific Quay on the River Clyde, an example of the regeneration of Glasgow and the diversifying Scottish economy

In 2005, total Scottish exports (excluding intra-UK trade) were provisionally estimated to be £17.5 billion, of which 70% (£12.2 billion) were attributable to manufacturing.[141] 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.[141] Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), including oil and gas produced in Scottish waters, was estimated at £124 billion for the calendar year 2006.[4]

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.[142]

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.[143]

The most recent government figures (for 2006/7) suggest that Scotland would be in budget surplus to the tune of more than £800m if it received its geographical share of North Sea revenues.[144] The net fiscal balance, which is the budget balance plus capital investment, reported a deficit of £2.7 billion (2.1% of GDP) including Scotland’s full geographical share of North Sea revenue, or a £10.2bn deficit if the North Sea share is excluded.[145]

[edit] Currency

Although the Bank of England is the central bank for the UK, three Scottish clearing banks still issue their own Sterling banknotes: the Bank of Scotland; the Royal Bank of Scotland; and the Clydesdale Bank. The current value of the Scottish banknotes in circulation is £1.5 billion.[146]

[edit] Transport

Main article: Transport in Scotland

A Loganair Twin Otter at Barra Airport, the only airport worldwide using a beach runway for scheduled services[147]

Scotland has five main international airports (Glasgow International, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow Prestwick and Inverness), which together serve 150 international destinations with a wide variety of scheduled and chartered flights.[148] BAA operates three airports, (Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow International), and Highland and Islands Airports operates 11 regional airports, (including Inverness), which serve the more remote locations of Scotland.[149] Infratil operates Glasgow Prestwick.

The Scottish motorways and major trunk roads are managed by Transport Scotland. The rest of the road network is managed by the Scottish local authorities in each of their areas.

Regular ferry services operate between the Scottish mainland and island communities. These services are mostly run by Caledonian MacBrayne, but some are operated by local councils. Other ferry routes, served by multiple companies, connect to Northern Ireland, Belgium, Norway, the Faroe Islands and also Iceland.

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited owns and operates the fixed infrastructure assets of the railway system in Scotland, while the Scottish Government maintains overall responsibility for rail strategy and funding in Scotland.[150] Scotland’s rail network has around 340 railway stations and 3,000 kilometres of track with over 62 million passenger journeys made each year.[151]

Scotland’s rail network is managed by Transport Scotland.[152] The East Coast and West Coast Main Railway lines and the Cross Country Line connect the major cities and towns of Scotland with each other and with the rail network in England. Domestic rail services within Scotland are operated by First ScotRail. Furthermore, Glasgow has a small integrated subway system since 1896. Currently, 15 stations searve a daily ridership of just under 40,000. There are plans to extend the subway system in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The East Coast Main Line includes that section of the network that crosses the Firth of Forth via the Forth Bridge. Completed in 1890, this cantilever bridge has been described as “the one internationally recognised Scottish landmark”.[153]

[edit] Demography

Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital and second-largest city

The population of Scotland in the 2001 Census was 5,062,011. This has risen to 5,222,100 according to June 2010 estimates.[154] This would make Scotland the 113th largest country by population if it were a sovereign state. Although Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland it is not the largest city. With a population of just over 584,000, this honour falls to Glasgow. The Greater Glasgow conurbation, with a population of almost 1.2 million, is home to nearly a quarter of Scotland’s population.[155]

The Central Belt is where most of the main towns and cities are located. Glasgow is to the west, while Edinburgh and Dundee lie on the east coast. Scotland’s only major city outside the Central Belt is Aberdeen, on the east coast to the north. The Highlands are sparsely populated, although the city of Inverness has experienced rapid growth in recent years.

In general only the more accessible and larger islands retain human populations, and fewer than 90 are currently inhabited. The Southern Uplands are essentially rural in nature and dominated by agriculture and forestry.[156][157] Because of housing problems in Glasgow and Edinburgh, five new towns were created between 1947 and 1966. They are East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Livingston, Cumbernauld, and Irvine.[158]

Because of immigration since World War II, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dundee have small South Asian communities.[159] Since the recent Enlargement of the European Union there has been an increased number of people from Central and Eastern Europe moving to Scotland, and it is estimated that between 40,000 and 50,000 Poles are now living in the country.[160] As of 2001, there are 16,310 ethnic Chinese residing in Scotland.[161] The ethnic groups within Scotland are as follows: White, 97.99%; South Asian, 1.09%; Black, 0.16%; Mixed, 0.25%; Chinese, 0.32% and Other, 0.19%.

Scotland has three officially recognised languages: English, Scots, and Scottish Gaelic. Almost all Scots speak Scottish Standard English, and in 1996, the General Register Office for Scotland estimated that 30% of the population are fluent in Scots.[162] Gaelic is mostly spoken in the Western Isles, where a large number of people still speak it; however, nationally its use is confined to just 1% of the population.[163] The number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland dropped from 250,000 – 7% of the population – in 1881 to 60,000 today.[164]

There are many more people with Scottish ancestry living abroad than the total population of Scotland. In the 2000 Census, 9.2 million Americans self-reported some degree of Scottish descent.[165] Ulster’s Protestant population is mainly of lowland Scottish descent,[166] and it is estimated that there are more than 27 million descendants of the Scots-Irish migration now living in the U.S.[167][168] In Canada, the Scottish-Canadian community accounts for 4.7 million people.[169] About 20% of the original European settler population of New Zealand came from Scotland.[170]

[edit] Education

Main article: Education in Scotland

The Scottish education system has always remained distinct from education in the rest of United Kingdom, with a characteristic emphasis on a broad education.[171] Scotland was the first country since Sparta in classical Greece to implement a system of general public education.[52] Schooling was made compulsory for the first time in Scotland with the Education Act of 1496, then, in 1561, the Church of Scotland set out a national programme for spiritual reform, including a school in every parish. Education continued to be a matter for the church rather than the state until the Education Act (1872).[172]

The “Curriculum for Excellence” provides the curricular framework for children and young people from age 3 to 18.[173] All 3- and 4-year-old children in Scotland are entitled to a free nursery place. Formal primary education begins at approximately 5 years old and lasts for 7 years (P1–P7); Today, children in Scotland study Standard Grades, or more recently Intermediate qualifications between the ages of 14 and 16. The school leaving age is 16, after which students may choose to remain at school and study for Access, Intermediate or Higher Grade and Advanced Higher qualifications. A small number of students at certain private, independent schools may follow the English system and study towards GCSEs and A and AS-Levels instead.[174]

There are 15 Scottish universities, some of which are amongst the oldest in the world.[175][176] These include the University of St Andrews, the University of Glasgow, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh, the Heriot-Watt University, and the University of Dundee—many of which are ranked amongst the best in the UK.[177][178] The country produces 1% of the world’s published research with less than 0.1% of the world’s population, and higher education institutions account for nine per cent of Scotland’s service sector exports.[179][180] Scotland’s University Courts are the only bodies within Scotland where students can be awarded Degrees.

Scotland’s Universities are complemented in the provision of Further and Higher Education by 43 Colleges. Colleges offer National Certificates, Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas. These Group Awards, alongside Scottish Vocational Qualifications, help ensure Scotland’s population has the appropriate skills and knowledge to meet the needs of the workplace.

Scotland’s regulatory body for qualifications is SQA Accreditation.

Scotland’s Qualifications are mapped on the SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework). The SCQF provides a language to help understand the complexity and size of qualifications, ranging from Access 1 (SCQF Level 1) to Doctorates (SCQF Level 12).

[edit] Religion

Main article: Religion in Scotland

Iona Abbey an early centre of Scottish Christianity

Just over two-thirds (67%) of the Scottish population reported having a religion in 2001 with Christianity representing all but 2% of these.[181] 28% of the population reported having no religious adherence.

Since the Scottish Reformation of 1560, the national church (the Church of Scotland, also known as The Kirk) has been Protestant and Reformed in theology. Since 1689 it has had a Presbyterian system of church government, and enjoys independence from the state.[15] About 12% of the population are currently members of the Church of Scotland, with 40% claiming affinity. The Church operates a territorial parish structure, with every community in Scotland having a local congregation.

Scotland also has a significant Roman Catholic population, 19% claiming that faith, particularly in the west.[182] After the Reformation, Roman Catholicism in Scotland continued in the Highlands and some western islands like Uist and Barra, and was strengthened during the 19th century by immigration from Ireland.

Other Christian denominations in Scotland include the Free Church of Scotland, various other Presbyterian offshoots, and the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Islam is the largest non-Christian religion (estimated at around 40,000, which is less than 0.9% of the population),[183] and there are also significant Jewish, Hindu and Sikh communities, especially in Glasgow.[183] The Samyé Ling monastery near Eskdalemuir, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2007, includes the largest Buddhist temple in western Europe.[184]

[edit] Health care

Healthcare in Scotland is mainly provided by NHS Scotland, Scotland’s public health care system. The service was founded by the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1947 (later repealed by the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978) that took effect on 5 July 1948 to coincide with the launch of the NHS in England and Wales. However, even prior to 1948, half of Scotland’s landmass was already covered by state funded health care, provided by the Highlands and Islands Medical Service.[185]

As at September 2009, NHS Scotland employed 168,976 staff including 68,681 nurses and midwives. In addition, there were also 16,256 medical staff (including GP’s), 5,002 dental staff (including dental support) and 11,777 allied health profession staff.[186] The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Well Being is responsible to the Scottish Parliament for the work of NHS Scotland.

[edit] Military

Main article: Military of Scotland

Soldiers of the five regular battalions of the Royal Regiment of Scotland

Although Scotland has a long military tradition that predates the Treaty of Union with England, its armed forces now form part of the British Armed Forces, with the notable exception of the Atholl Highlanders, Europe’s only legal private army. In 2006, the infantry regiments of the Scottish Division were amalgamated to form the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Other distinctively Scottish regiments in the British Army include the Scots Guards, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and the Scottish Transport Regiment, a Territorial Army Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps.

Because of their topography and perceived remoteness, parts of Scotland have housed many sensitive defence establishments, with mixed public feelings.[187][188][189] Between 1960 and 1991, the Holy Loch was a base for the U.S. fleet of Polaris ballistic missile submarines.[190] Today, Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, 25 miles (40 km) west of Glasgow, is the base for the four Trident-armed Vanguard class ballistic missile submarines that comprise the UK’s nuclear deterrent. Scapa Flow was the major Fleet base for the Royal Navy until 1956.

Two frontline Royal Air Force bases are also located in Scotland. These are RAF Leuchars and RAF Lossiemouth, the last of which is the most northerly air defence fighter base in the United Kingdom. A third, RAF Kinloss will be closed as an RAF unit in 2013-14.

The only open-air live depleted uranium weapons test range in the British Isles is located near Dundrennan.[191] As a result, over 7,000 radioactive munitions lie on the seabed of the Solway Firth.[192]

[edit] Culture

Main article: Culture of Scotland

A Pipe Major playing the Great Highland Bagpipe

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 clàrsach (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.[193]

Scottish literature includes text written in English, Scottish Gaelic, Scots, French, and Latin. The poet and songwriter Robert Burns wrote in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English, and in a “light” Scots dialect that is more accessible to a wider audience. Similarly, the writings of Sir Walter Scott and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were internationally successful during the 19th and early 20th Centuries.[194]

J. M. Barrie introduced the movement known as the “Kailyard school” at the end of the 19th century, which brought elements of fantasy and folklore back into fashion.[195] This tradition has been viewed as a major stumbling block for Scottish literature, as it focused on an idealised, pastoral picture of Scottish culture.[195] Some modern novelists, such as Irvine Welsh (of Trainspotting fame), write in a distinctly Scottish English that reflects the harsher realities of contemporary life.[196] More recently, author J.K. Rowling has become one of the most popular authors in the world (and one of the wealthiest) through her Harry Potter series, which she began writing from a coffee-shop in Edinburgh.

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.

The national broadcaster is BBC Scotland (BBC Alba in Gaelic), a constituent part of the British Broadcasting Corporation, the publicly funded broadcaster of the United Kingdom. It runs two national television stations and the national radio stations, BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio nan Gaidheal, amongst others. 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.[197] 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.[197] 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.[198]

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.[199][200][201][202][203][204][205]

[edit] Sport

Main article: Sport in Scotland

Sport is an important element in Scottish culture, with the country hosting many of its own national sporting competitions. It enjoys independent representation at many international sporting events including the FIFA World Cup, the Rugby Union World Cup, the Rugby League World Cup, the Cricket World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, but not at the Olympic Games where Scottish athletes are part of the Great Britain team. Scotland has its own national governing bodies, such as the Scottish Football Association (the second oldest national football association in the world)[206] and the Scottish Rugby Union. Variations of football have been played in Scotland for centuries with the earliest reference dating back to 1424.[207] Association football is now the most popular sport and the Scottish Cup is the world’s oldest national trophy.[208]

Scotland contested the first ever international football game in 1872, a 0-0 draw against England. The match took place at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, home of the West of Scotland Cricket Club. Scottish clubs have been successful in European competitions with Celtic winning the European Cup in 1967, Rangers and Aberdeen winning the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972 and 1983 respectively, and Aberdeen also winning the UEFA Super Cup in 1983. Dundee United have also made it to a European final, reaching the UEFA Cup Final in 1987, but losing on aggregate 2-1 to IFK Göteborg. The Fife town of St. Andrews is known internationally as the Home of golf[209] and to many golfers the Old Course, an ancient links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage.[210] There are many other famous golf courses in Scotland, including Carnoustie, Gleneagles, Muirfield, and Royal Troon. Other distinctive features of the national sporting culture include the Highland games, curling and Shinty, which, given its arrival with the Gaelic language and the original Scottish culture from Antrim, can claim to be Scotland’s national sport. Scotland played host to the Commonwealth Games in 1970 and 1986, and will do so again in 2014 with Glasgow the host city.

[edit] National symbols

The thistle, Scotland’s Floral emblem.

The national flag of Scotland, known as the Saltire or St. Andrew’s Cross, dates (at least in legend) from the 9th century, and is thus the oldest national flag still in use. Since 1606 the Saltire has also formed part of the design of the Union Flag. There are numerous other symbols and symbolic artefacts, both official and unofficial, including the thistle, the nation’s floral emblem, 6 April 1320 statement of political independence the Declaration of Arbroath, the textile pattern tartan that often signifies a particular Scottish clan, and the Lion Rampant flag.[211][212][213] Highlanders can thank James Graham, 3rd Duke of Montrose, for the repeal in 1782 of the Act of 1747 prohibiting the wearing of tartans.[214]

Although there is no official National anthem of Scotland,[215] Flower of Scotland is played at events such as football and rugby matches involving the Scotland national teams and as of 2010 is also played at the Commonwealth Games after it was voted the overwhelming favourite by participating Scottish athletes.[216] Other less popular candidates for the National Anthem of Scotland include Scotland the Brave, Highland Cathedral, Scots Wha Hae and A Man’s A Man for A’ That.

St Andrew’s Day, 30 November, is the national day, although Burns’ Night tends to be more widely observed, particularly outside Scotland. Tartan Day is a recent innovation from Canada. In 2006, the Scottish Parliament passed the St. Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007, designating the day to be an official bank holiday.[217]

[edit] Food

Main article: Scottish cuisine

[edit] See also

Main article: Outline of Scotland

[edit] References

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  2. ^ a b Brown, Dauvit (2001). “Kenneth mac Alpin”. In M. Lynch. The Oxford Companion to Scottish History. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 359. ISBN 978-0192116963.
  3. ^ “Population of Scotland at its highest since 1977”. STV. 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2011-04-27.
  4. ^ a b Scottish Economic Statistics 2008, Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2008, ISBN 978-0-7559-5855-9, retrieved 2011-06-11 p. 15, table A1.8a, extra-regio geographical apportionment.
  5. ^ St Andrew—Quick Facts. Scotland.org—The Official Online Gateway. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
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  8. ^ The Countries of the UK statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
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  14. ^ Aberdeen City Council website[dead link] “Aberdeen’s buoyant modern economy – is fuelled by the oil industry, earning the city its epithet as ‘Oil Capital of Europe’.”‘.’ Retrieved 01 December 2009.
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  18. ^ “Act of Union 1707 Mob unrest and disorder”. London: The House of Lords. 2007. Archived from the original on January 1, 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
  19. ^ Collier, J.G. (2001) Conflict of Laws (Third edition)(pdf) Cambridge University Press. “For the purposes of the English conflict of laws, every country in the world which is not part of England and Wales is a foreign country and its foreign laws. This means that not only totally foreign independent countries such as France or Russia… are foreign countries but also British Colonies such as the Falkland Islands. Moreover, the other parts of the United Kingdom – Scotland and Northern Ireland – are foreign countries for present purposes, as are the other British Islands, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.”
  20. ^ Devine, T.M (1999), The Scottish Nation 1700–2000, P.288–289, ISBN 0-14-023004-1 “created a new and powerful local state run by the Scottish bourgeoisie and reflecting their political and religious values. It was this local state, rather than a distant and usually indifferent Westminster authority, that in effect routinely governed Scotland”
  21. ^ “Scottish election: SNP wins election”. BBC Online. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
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  24. ^ The History Of Ireland Stephen Gwynn
  25. ^ Ayto, John; Ian Crofton. Brewer’s Britain & Ireland : The History, Culture, Folklore and Etymology of 7500 Places in These Islands. WN. ISBN 030435385X.
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[edit] Further reading

  • Brown, Dauvit, (1999) Anglo-French acculturation and the Irish element in Scottish Identity in Smith, Brendan (ed.), Insular Responses to Medieval European Change, Cambridge University Press, pp. 135–53
  • Brown, Michael (2004) The Wars of Scotland, 1214–1371, Edinburgh University Press., pp. 157–254
  • Devine, T.M [1999] (2000). The Scottish Nation 1700–2000 (New Ed. edition). London:Penguin. ISBN 0-14-023004-1
  • Dumville, David N. (2001). “St Cathróe of Metz and the Hagiography of Exoticism”. Irish Hagiography: Saints and Scholars. Dublin: Four Courts Press. pp. 172–176. ISBN 978-1851824861.
  • Flom, George Tobias. Scandinavian influence on Southern Lowland Scotch. A Contribution to the Study of the Linguistic Relations of English and Scandinavian (Columbia University Press, New York. 1900)
  • Herbert, Maire (2000). “Rí Érenn, Rí Alban, kingship and identity in the ninth and tenth centuries”. In Simon Taylor (ed.). Kings, Clerics and Chronicles in Scotland, 500–1297. Dublin: Four Courts Press. pp. 63–72. ISBN 1851825169.
  • MacLeod, Wilson (2004) Divided Gaels: Gaelic Cultural Identities in Scotland and Ireland: c.1200–1650. Oxford University Press.
  • Pope, Robert (ed.), Religion and National Identity: Wales and Scotland, c.1700–2000 (University of Wales Press, 2001)
  • Sharp, L. W. The Expansion of the English Language in Scotland, (Cambridge University Ph.D. thesis, 1927), pp. 102–325;
  • Trevor-Roper, Hugh, The Invention of Scotland: Myth and History, Yale, 2008, ISBN 0-300-13686-2

[edit] External links

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