Сomponent of the UK - Scotland.
Geographical position. Caledonia – a Roman name of Scotland, Land of Cakes – a name given to Scotland which is famous for its oatmeal cakes, is a country in the north of Britain. Its total area is 78800 sq. km. Besides Scotland includes several islands: the Outer and Inner Hebrides (Western islands) , the Orkneys, Shetlands. Scotland is bounded on the west and north by the Atlantic ocean, on the east by the North sea, on the south by England and the Irish sea. The highest mountains are the Grampians, a range of the mountains in the north of Scotland which include the highest mountain Ben Nevis. The chief rivers are the Clyde, the Tay, the Spey, the Tweed, the Forth of Firth. The major lakes are the largest Loch Lomond and Loch Ness, a long lake which extends for 23 miles (35km).Scottish lakes called lochs are long and narrow, in the past all those lochs joined the sea. Scotland has important commerce, mines of iron and coal, cotton, woolen, linen, jute manufactures, whisky distilleries, shipbuilding , oil and gas refineries. North sea oil and gas have brought more employment to the region. With its lochs, mountains, islands and castles Scotland is a beautiful country and tourism is one of the important industries. About a fourth of the total area of the country is under cultivation or in pasture. The main Scottish crop is oats. Sheep raising is in the Highlands. There is a small scale farming called crofting. There are no branches of industry in Highland Scotland because of its mountainous relief and the winters are long, the summers are wet, the land is sour for real farming. History The earliest people living were Iberians. The Celts invaded in the 7 century BC. The Romans called people who lived in the north the Picts. Scots came from Ireland and settled in the west. In the 9 century the Scots and Picts were united into a kingdom called Scotia and fought against the Viking raiders. In 1296 Scotland was invaded by Edward 1 of England, but Scots under William Wallace and Robert Bruce resisted strongly and England recognized Scottish independence in 1328. But with the execution of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, Scotland lost its independence. After the death of Elizabeth I the son of Mary Stuart James VI became the king of England as James I. He ruled from London and Scotland and England were united in 1707. Population. The inhabitants of Scotland are originally Celts. They pride themselves on being the descendants of the Scots who came to Britain from Ireland in the 6 century. The few thousand Scots who live in the lonely lochs of the western Highlands and on the Hebrides still speak Scottish Gaelic, Celtic language very like Irish Gaelic and related to Welsh. These Highland farmers lead a simple and hard life. They keep sheep and cow, grow oats, potatoes and fish. Some have never seen a train or visited a city, although in the Orkneys and Shetland islanders travel by plane more. Many of the young people are moving south attracted by the opportunities of the cities and few come back. Government, religion, education. Scots have more control over their own affairs than the Welsh. Scotland is represented in the British Parliament. Separate acts of Parliament are often passed on Scottish matters. The Secretary of State for Scotland is a minister of the Cabinet rank responsible to Parliament for domestic affairs. His functions are exercised through 4 main Scottish departments situated in Edinburgh. These departments cover agriculture, education, health, home affairs. The majority of Scots about 65% are members of the Kirk, the Presbyterian church. Every village has a kirk. Next come the Roman Catholics about 25 %, many of them Irish origin. Sunday is a very quiet day with no shops open, no public transport running. Scotland has her own judicial system, bank and banknotes and her own system of education. Banknotes are issued by the 3 main Scottish: the Royal...
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