Scotland includes over 790 islands , including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
Edinburgh, thecountry's capital and second largest city, is one of Europe's largest financial centres
The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued toexist until 1707, although it had been in a personal union with the kingdoms of England andIreland 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.
Scotland is derived from the Latin Scoti, theterm 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. Accordingly, the Late Latin word Scotia (land of the Gaels) was initially used to refer to Ireland. However, by the 11th century at thelatest, 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. The use of thewords Scots and Scotland to encompass all of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages.
Official language(s) | English |
Recognised regional languages |Gaelic, Scots2 |
Ethnic groups | 89% Scottish, 7%English, Irish, Welsh, 4% other |
Government | Devolved Governmentwithin a Constitutional monarchy4 |
Legislature | ScottishParliament | David Cameron, MP |
Establishment | Early Middle Ages; exact date of establishmentunclear or disputed;traditional 843, by King Kenneth MacAlpin |
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