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Little is known of the early inhabitants of Scotland, or how they came to Scotland, but we know that about 200 BC the first Celtic tribes settled in Scotland.

  • Scotland (Alba in Gaelic)
  • Languages:
    • Scottish gaelic (60.000)
    • English (official)
  •  5.313.600 inhabitants
  • 30,414 sq miles

Little is known of the early inhabitants of Scotland, or how they came to Scotland, but we know that about 200 BC the first Celtic tribes settled in Scotland.

Presumably it was the presence of the Romans that united the various Celtic tribes to prevent the northward advance of the Roman troops.

The Romans decided to build a wall, Hadrian’s Wall, to contain the fierce northern tribes, the wall still can be seen today along the Scottish Borders.
As happened with the Roman invasion, the Viking invasions had the effect of unifying the Scottish and Kenneth MacAlpin, became the first king of Scotland.

The new Scottish kingdom started enlarging its territory but the clans of the Highlands continued to rule themselves under their own laws and were basically  independent of the kings of Scotland.
This would create a cultural division between the Highlands where people kept their traditions and Gaelic language. However, the Lowlands were more influenced by the English and the inhabitants of the Lowlands would eventually adapt their language and the feudal system.

After several incidents, the British troops finally marched on Scotland in 1296. It was a bloody invasion, which was answered by the Scots.
Several bands of rebels constantly attacked the invaders, one of them led by William Wallace, who would later became a national hero, won a major victory, the Battle of Stirling in 1297.
Wallace was finally captured by the British and brutally murdered in London.

In 1314 another important battle in Scotland’s history took place, the Battle of Bannockburn, the victory of the Scottish troops led by Robert the Bruce would give  Scotland de facto independence but struggles with the English would last several more years.

The following centuries were riddled with internal strife and civil wars that left Scotland weakened.
Eventually the act of union, in which England and Scotland became united as Great Britain, is signed in 1707.  This union was not well accepted by the northern clans and give way to several revolts in 1715 and 1745.

It is after the revolt of 1745 when the Highlands Clearances happened, the inhabitants of these lands, who were mainly Gaelic speakers,were stripped of their land and forced to migrate by landowners, entire villages were burned to the ground during this terrible process.

Scotland played an important role in the world wars, in World War II an estimated  690,000  Scots took part.
In 1945 the SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party)  was formed, five years later a group of Scottish students recovered the stone of Scone stolen centuries previously by the English troops during the invasion of 1296 but eventually would be found and returned to London.

In 1979 a referendum on devolution is held, but although most voters would support if the high abstention gives  London an excuse not to recognise the result.

The miners’ strike of 1984 also had a hard impact on Scotland and its economy.
In 1997, 700 years after the Battle of Stirling a new devolution referendum took place and for the first time in nearly 300 years Scotland had a parliament.

In 2011 the SNP got an overall  majority in the elections to the Scottish Parliament
YES SCOTLAND and RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CAMPAIGN were created in 2012, both groups working on behalf of the “YES” in the independence referendum.

The 18th of September 2014 is the date chosen for the referendum, 700 years after the Battle of Bannockburn the Scottish people will decide freely the future of their nation.

Scottish Gaelic is the native language of Scotland, it belongs to the family of Celtic languages and although currently spoken by a small number of people is becoming more popular and efforts to revitalise the language and the number of young Gaelic speakers grows daily .

One of the best known symbols of Scottish culture is the bagpipe, namely the Highland Bagpipes. Another well-known symbol is the kilt, which along with the bagpipes, was banned during the Highlands Clearances.
One of the most spectacular expressions of Scottish culture are the Highland Games, rural sports whose origins are lost in time, the festivals attract large numbers of spectators and are mixed with traditional dance and music.