Scotland's History

Scotland has a long and fascinating history. When Romans incorporated Britannia into their empire, the hostile northern tribes were kept out with the construction of Hadrian’s Wall across the north of England. Up till the Middle Ages Scotland was ruled by varying warlike chieftains, kings and periodically ransacked by Vikings and Gaelic adventurers. The Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 saw the end of foreign control with Robert the Bruce founding a lasting dynasty. The Protestant Reformation found fertile ground in Scotland and John Knox convinced most Scots to adopt a strict brand of Calvinism while many Catholics retreated to the Highlands. In 1603 James VI inherited the English throne and in 1707 England and Scotland merged to form the United Kingdom. In the 1700’s the Scottish Enlightenment transformed Scotland into an economic and intellectual powerhouse. Scotland has produced many leaders including Britain's last Labour Prime Minister; Gordon Brown.

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Scotland’s economy received a major shot in the arm with the discovery of Europe’s largest oil and gas deposits in the North Sea in the 1960’s. Jobs and wealth resurrected many parts of the country and encouraged many Scots to call for independence. Oil and gas reserves are now declining and Scotland's banking sector calapsed in 2008-9, but polite requests for seperation grow stronger. In 2014 45% of voters wanted independence from the UK while in 2016, 62% wanted to stay within the European Union. Many believe a second independence referendum would see a Yes to Europe, No to UK.

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