|Scotland, administrative division of the kingdom of Great Britain, occupying |
|the northern third of the island of Great Britain. Scotland is bounded on the |
|north by the Atlantic Ocean; on the east by the North Sea; on the southeast by|
|England; on the south by Solway Firth, which partly separates it from England,|
|and by the Irish Sea; and on the west by North Channel, which separates it |
|from Ireland, and by the Atlantic Ocean. As a geopolitical entity Scotland |
|includes 186 nearby islands, a majority of which are contained in three |
|groups—namely, the Hebrides, also known as the Western Islands, situated off |
|the western coast; the Orkney Islands, situated off the northeastern coast; |
|and the Shetland Islands, situated northeast of the Orkney Islands. The |
|largest of the other islands is the Island of Arran. The area, including the |
|islands, is 78,772 sq km (30,414 sq mi). Edinburgh (population, 1991, 421,213)|
|is the capital of Scotland as well as a major industrial area and seaport. |
|The Land and Resources |
|Scotland has a very irregular coastline. The western coast in particular is |
|deeply penetrated by numerous arms of the sea, most of which are narrow |
|submerged valleys, known locally as sea lochs, and by a number of broad |
|indentations, generally called firths. The principal firths are the Firth of |
|Lorne, the Firth of Clyde, and Solway Firth. The major indentations on the |
|eastern coast are Dornoch Firth, Moray Firth, the Firth of Tay, and the Firth |
|of Forth. Measured around the various firths and lochs, the coastline of |
|Scotland is about 3700 km (about 2300 mi) long. |
|Physiographic Regions |
|The terrain of Scotland is predominantly mountainous but may be divided into |
|three distinct regions, from north to south: the Highlands, the Central |
|Lowlands, and the Southern Uplands. More than one-half of the surface of |
|Scotland is occupied by the Highlands, the most rugged region on the island of|
|Great Britain. Consisting of parallel mountain chains with a general |
|northeastern-southwestern trend and broken by deep ravines and valleys, the |
|Highlands are noted for their scenic grandeur. Precipitous cliffs, moorland |
|plateaus, mountain lakes, sea lochs, swift-flowing streams, and dense thickets|
|are common to the Highlands, the most sparsely inhabited section of Scotland. |
|The region is divided in two by a depression, known as the Glen More, or Great|
|Glen, which extends from Moray Firth to Loch Linnhe. To the northwest of this |
|lie heavily eroded peaks with fairly uniform elevations ranging from 610 to |
|915 m (about 2000 to 3000 ft). In the Highlands southeast of the Great Glen |
|the topography is highly diversified. This region is traversed by the Grampian|
|Mountains, the principal mountain system of Scotland. The highest peak of the |
|Grampians is Ben Nevis (1343 m/4406 ft), the highest summit in Great Britain. |
|To the south of the Highlands lies the Central Lowlands, a narrow belt |
|comprising only about one-tenth of the area of Scotland, but containing the |
|majority of the country's population. The Central Lowlands are traversed by |
|several chains of hills, including the Ochil and Sidlaw hills, and by several |
|important rivers, notably the Clyde, Forth, and Tay. |
|The terrain of the Southern Uplands, a region much less elevated and rugged |
|than the Highlands, consists largely of a moorland plateau traversed by |
|rolling valleys and broken by mountainous outcroppings. Only a few summits in |
|the Southern Uplands exceed 762 m (2500 ft) in elevation, the highest being |
|Merrick (843 m/2765 ft) in the southwest. Adjoining the Southern Uplands |
|region along the boundary with England are the Cheviot Hills. |
|Rivers and Lakes |
|Scotland is characterized by an abundance of streams and lakes (lochs). |
|Notable among the lakes, which are especially numerous in the central and |
|northern regions, are Loch Lomond (the largest), Loch Ness, Loch Tay, and Loch|
|Katrine. Many of the rivers of Scotland, in particular the rivers in the west,|
|are short, torrential streams, generally of little commercial importance. The |
|longest river of Scotland is the Tay; the Clyde, however, is the principal |
|navigational stream, site of the port of Glasgow. Other chief rivers include |
|the Forth, Tweed, Dee, and Spey. |
|Climate |
|Like the climate of the rest of Great Britain, that of Scotland is subject to |
|the moderating influences of the surrounding seas. As a result of these |
|influences, extreme seasonal variations are rare, and temperate winters and |
|cool summers are the outstanding climatic features. Low temperatures, however,|
|are common during the winter season in the mountainous districts of the |
|interior. In the western coastal region, which is subject to the moderating |
|effects of the Gulf Stream, conditions are somewhat milder than in the east. |
|The average January temperature of the eastern coastal region is 3.9њ C (39њ |
|F), and the average January temperature of the western coastal region is 3.1њ |
|C (37.5њ F); corresponding July averages are 13.8њ C (56.8њ F) and 15њ C (59њ |
|F). The average January and July temperatures for the city of Edinburgh are |
|3.5њ C (38њ F) and 14.5њ C (58њ F), respectively. Precipitation, which is |
|marked by regional variations, ranges from about 3810 mm (about 150 in) |
|annually in the western Highlands to about 635 mm (about 25 in) annually in |
|certain eastern areas. |
|Plant and Animal Life |
|The most common species of trees indigenous to Scotland are oak and |
|conifers—chiefly fir, pine, and larch. Large forested areas, however, are |
|rare, and the only important woodlands are in the southern and eastern |
|Highlands. Except in these wooded areas, vegetation in the elevated regions |
|consists largely of heather, ferns, mosses, and grasses. Saxifrage, mountain |
|willow, and other types of alpine and arctic flora occur at elevations above |
|610 m (2000 ft). Practically all of the cultivated plants of Scotland were |
|imported from America and the European continent. |
|The only large indigenous mammal in Scotland is the deer. Both the red deer |
|and the roe deer are found, but the red deer, whose habitat is the Highlands, |
|is by far the more abundant of the two species. Other indigenous mammals are |
|the hare, rabbit, otter, ermine, pine marten, and wildcat. Game birds include |
|grouse, blackcock, ptarmigan, and waterfowl. The few predatory birds include |
|the kite, osprey, and golden eagle. Scotland is famous for the salmon and |
|trout that abound in its streams and lakes. Many species of fish, including |
|cod, haddock, herring, and various types of shellfish, are found in the |
|coastal waters. |
|Natural Resources |
|Scotland, like the rest of the island of Great Britain, has significant |
|reserves of coal. It also possesses large deposits of zinc, chiefly in the |
|south. The soil is generally rocky and infertile, except for that of the |
|Central Lowlands. Northern Scotland has great hydroelectric power potential |
|and contains Great Britain's largest hydroelectric generating stations. |
|Beginning in the late 1970s, offshore oil deposits in the North Sea became an |
|important part of the Scottish economy. |
|Population |
|The people of Scotland, like those of Great Britain in general, are |
|descendants of various racial stocks, including the Picts, Celts, |
|Scandinavians, and Romans. Scotland is a mixed rural-industrial society. Scots|
|divide themselves into Highlanders, who consider themselves of purer Celtic |
|blood and retain a stronger feeling of the clan, and Lowlanders, who are |
|largely of Teutonic blood. |
|Population Characteristics |
|The population of Scotland was (1991 preliminary) 4,957,289. The population |
|density was about 64 persons per sq km (167 per sq mi). The highest density is|
|in the Central Lowlands, where nearly three-quarters of the Scots live, and |
|the lowest is in the Highlands. About two-thirds of the population are urban |
|dwellers. |
|Principal Cities |
|The most populous city in Scotland (654,542) is Glasgow. The conurbation of |
|Clydeside, which includes the cities of Glasgow and Clydebank, is the largest |
|shipbuilding and marine engineering center in Great Britain. Other important |
|industrial cities are Dundee (165,548) and Aberdeen (201,099). |
|Religion and Language |
|The Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian denomination, is the official state |
|church. The Roman Catholic church is second in importance. Other leading |
|denominations are the Episcopal Church in Scotland, Congregationalist, |
|Baptist, Methodist, and Unitarian. Jews are a small minority. |
|English is generally spoken; fewer than 100,000 Scots (mainly inhabitants of |
|the Highlands and island groups) also speak the Scottish form of Gaelic. |
|Education |
|Schools in Scotland are administered by the Scottish Education Department and |
|by local education authorities. |
|Elementary and Secondary Schools |
|In the mid-1980s some 879,000 pupils were attending publicly maintained |
|schools and about 31,900 were in private schools. The transfer from elementary|
|to secondary schools generally takes place at the age of 12. For a discussion |
|on specialized schools. |
|Universities and Colleges |
|Scotland has about 66 institutions providing programs of study beyond the |
|secondary level for those students who do not go on to the universities. These|
|include colleges of agriculture, art, commerce, and science, and in the |
|mid-1980s the total enrollment was more than 81,000. Teacher-training colleges|
|numbered seven, with approximately 3000 students. Of the eight universities in|
|Scotland, the oldest (University of Aberdeen, University of Edinburgh, |
|University of Glasgow, and University of St. Andrews) were founded in the 15th|
|and 16th centuries. Four universities have received their charters since 1960.|
|Total university enrollment was about 43,100 in the early 1980s. |
|Culture |
|Clans, the traditional keystone of Scottish society, are no longer powerful. |
|Originally, the clan, a grouping of an entire family with one head, or laird, |
|was also important as a fighting unit. The solidarity associated with clan |
|membership has been expanded into a strong national pride. The Puritan zeal of|
|Scottish Presbyterianism, which is traceable to John Knox, the 16th-century |
|religious reformer and statesman, is also strong. Popular sports of Scottish |
|origin include curling and golf. |
|Bagpipes, usually associated with Scottish music, were probably introduced by |
|the Romans, who acquired them in the Middle East. Scottish music is noted for |
|the wide use of a five-tone, or pentatonic, scale. Folk tunes are not |
|standardized, and a single song may have hundreds of variations in lyrics and |
|music. |
|Government |
|Scotland is governed as an integral part of Great Britain. It is represented |
|by 72 members in the House of Commons and by 16 Scottish peers in the House of|
|Lords. |
|Central Government |
|Scottish affairs are administered by a British cabinet ministry, headed by the|
|secretary of state for Scotland. |
|The statutory functions of the secretary of state are discharged by five main |
|departments of equal status: the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for |
|Scotland, the Scottish Development Department, the Scottish Education |
|Department, the Scottish Home and Health Department, and the Industry |
|Department for Scotland. Each is administered by a secretary who is |
|responsible to the secretary of state. The routine administration of the |
|departments proceeds from Edinburgh, but each department has representatives |
|in London, where they perform liaison and parliamentary duties. |
|Legislature |
|Before the union of Scotland and England in 1707, Scotland had developed its |
|own system of law, which continued after the union. The Scottish law system is|
|based on civil law, which is derived from ancient Roman law, whereas the other|
|parts of Great Britain follow the common law, which originated in England with|
|the evolution of case law and precedents. Because of the different systems of |
|law, separate statutes or statutory provisions often are enacted by Parliament|
|for application in Scotland. Any statute must state expressly or imply that it|
|is applicable to Scotland in order to become enforceable. |
|Judiciary |
|The Scottish judiciary is organized separately from that of the rest of Great |
|Britain. |
|The two higher courts of Scotland are the High Court of Justiciary (criminal) |
|and the Court of Session (civil). A panel of 21 judges is provided for both |
|courts together. Major criminal trials are held before 1 or 2 judges of the |
|High Court of Justiciary and a 15-member jury; criminal appeals may be heard |
|by a bench of at least 3 judges. The Court of Session is divided into an Outer|
|House, which holds all divorce trials and the more important civil trials, and|
|an Inner House, which functions chiefly as an appellate court in civil cases. |
|Appeals to the British House of Lords may be made from the Court of Session; |
|appellate judgments of the High Court of Justiciary are final. |
|Each of the six sheriffdoms, into which Scotland is divided, has a sheriff |
|court for less important civil and criminal cases. Petty cases are tried by |
|police courts and justices of the peace. |
|Local Government and Political Parties |
|The Scottish Development Department is responsible for general policy in |
|regard to local government. A reorganization of local government in Scotland |
|was made effective in 1975, when the counties and burghs were abolished and |
|replaced by nine regions and three island areas. The regions (but not the |
|island areas) are divided into districts. Each of these units is administered |
|by a council, whose members are elected to 4-year terms. The island areas, |
|numbering some 700 islands and islets to the north and west, the regions, and |
|the former counties, all of which are described in separate articles, are |
|listed in the accompanying table. |
|Two leading British parties, the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, have|
|shared Scottish seats in Parliament about equally since the 1920s. The |
|Scottish Nationalist Party, which was founded in 1927 in order to press for |
|complete self-government, has played a minor role in the politics of the |
|country. |
|Economy |
|Many aspects of the economy of Scotland are covered in the article on Great |
|Britain. The currency of Great Britain is the legal tender of Scotland. Both |
|agriculture and industry are important in the economy of Scotland. The chief |
|exports are petroleum and natural gas and manufactured goods, especially |
|burlap, clothing, machinery, textiles, and whiskey. The chief imports are food|
|and iron. The center of Scottish trade unionism is the Scottish Trades Union |
|Congress, with an affiliated membership of more than 980,000. |
|Agriculture |
|More than three-fourths of the land is used for agriculture; approximately |
|equal areas are devoted to farming and grazing. The most important crops are |
|wheat, oats, and potatoes. Other crops include barley, turnips, and fruit. |
|Livestock and livestock products are also of major importance. Sheep are |
|raised in both the Highlands and island groups and the Southern Uplands. |
|Scotland is also known for its beef and dairy cattle and for its dairy |
|products. |
|Forestry and Fishing |
|About 607,000 hectares (about 1.5 million acres) of Scotland is forested, 60 |
|percent of which is publicly owned. In Scotland fishing is more important than|
|forestry. The principal fishing ports are Aberdeen, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, |
|and Lerwick. The catch consists mainly of whitefish, herring, crabs, and |
|lobsters. |
|Mining and Manufacturing |
|Coal is the chief mineral wealth, and the industry is nationalized. Nearly all|
|the major coal deposits are found in the Central Lowlands. Limestone, clay, |
|and silica are also mined. Iron ores and other metals have been virtually |
|exhausted. North Sea petroleum and natural gas are sent by pipeline to points |
|in the Orkney and Shetland islands and to the mainland. Major oil refineries |
|are located at Grangemouth and Dundee. |
|About 36 percent of the labor force is employed in manufacturing. |
|Shipbuilding, steelmaking, and the manufacture of electronic items are major |
|industries and are concentrated in the region surrounding Glasgow. Other |
|important manufactures include woolen textiles and yarn, chemicals, machinery |
|of many varieties, vehicles, and whiskey. |
|Transportation and Communications |
|About 48,000 km (about 30,000 mi) of highways and about 6400 km (about 4000 |
|mi) of railroads serve Scotland. Public buses provide transportation |
|throughout most of the country, and many transatlantic flights use Prestwick |
|Airport near Glasgow. Most radio and television programs originate in England.|
|About 17 daily newspapers and 120 weeklies are published in the country. |