According to naturegnosis, the kingdom of Alba (Alban), established by Kenneth I around 850, united the Picts and Scots in one empire for the first time; the remaining parts of Scotland were gradually annexed to him until, under Malcolm II (1005–34), it corresponded in scope to today’s Scotland. During the 11th century, Scotland caught up with the culture of England and the continent. The previous forms of succession based on the clan, the background to the fight between Duncan I and Macbeth, gave way to linear male succession (primogeniture). David I. (1124–53) brought Norman vassals into the country, introduced the Norman feudal system, followed the English model in administration and created an independent episcopal church. His grandson Wilhelm I, the lion (1165-1214), pushed back the power of the Celtic chiefs, first had to recognize the feudal lordship of the English King Henry II in the Agreement of Falaise near Caen (1174), but was able to participate in a treaty in 1189 Richard I the Lionheart to restore his country’s independence. In 1237 the constant border wars with England were settled in the York Agreement, so that the epoch of kings Alexander II. (1214–49) and Alexander III. (1249–86), who were now able to devote themselves entirely to the internal development of the country, is also considered the “Golden Age” of Scottish history.
After the Scottish Canmore dynasty had lapsed in 1286, the magnates proposed the decision of the succession to the throne of King Edward I of England, who in a formal legal process appointed John de Balliol, a descendant of David I, to be king (1292) and then his feudal tribute for the whole Scotland accepted. Edward’s striving to transform formal suzerainty into direct rule over the country drove the new king into an alliance with France, which Edward responded with war, which was decided in 1296 at Dunbar (east of Edinburgh) in favor of the English. In a humiliating act, John de Balliol became forced to publicly confess his breach of faith, abdicate and go into exile. Edward I now regarded himself as King of Scotland and, as an outward sign of his new dignity, had the King Stone of Scone, venerated as sacred by the Scots, on which the Scottish kings were traditionally placed during the coronation ceremony, brought to Westminster Abbey. Sir William Wallace, who was celebrated as a Scottish national hero and who defeated the English at the Battle of Sterling on September 11, 1297, but was later captured and executed in 1305, rose up against English rule, then Robert (I) Bruce, crowned in 1306, rosewho restored Scottish independence through his victory at Bannockburn (6/24/1314).
In the “Declaration of Arbroath” (1320), which is regarded as Scotland’s declaration of independence, the high nobility of the country expressed its unconditional national will for freedom. It was not until the Treaty of Edinburgh (1328, ratified in Northampton) that England recognized Scottish independence.
Robert I left the kingdom to his underage son David II (1329-71), against whom the son John de Balliols, Edward († 1364), appeared as an opposing king who was dependent on the English king. The victory finally achieved by David II, who fell into English captivity in 1346 and was only freed in 1357 after paying a large ransom, also made him heavily dependent on the Scottish nobility. After the extinction of the House of Bruce in 1371, Robert II (1371–90) became the first king of the House of Stuart to ascend to the throne.
In the following years, too, the power of the crown suffered from the quarrel with the local barons, who also feuded among themselves. In addition, there was the contrast between the economically upwardly aspiring, Anglicized Lowlands and the highlands, which persisted in ancient forms (e.g. the strong importance of the clans), and the insubordination of the Hebrides, whose lord had ties to England. The only success was the acquisition of the previously Danish Orkney and Shetland Islands (1472). It was not until Jacob IV (1488–1513), who through his marriage to Margarete Tudor (* 1489, † 1541) gave his descendants the right to succession in England, secured the crown again authority over the nobility and parliament. Jacob V. (1513–42) pursued a pro-French policy and sought to rule autocratically. This drove the barons into the camp of the Reformation, which was already victorious in England and which developed under the leadership of J. Knox according to the Calvinist model; the episcopal church was abolished and a Presbyterian church constitution was introduced. Jacob’s daughter Mary sat since 1561 (until then regency of her mother), the Catholic policy continued, was in 1568 defeated (today Glasgow) by the nobility at Langside, fled to England, where Elizabeth I her because of “her out title Queen of England «imprisoned; In 1587 Maria Stuart was executed. Your son Jacob VI. took over the government of Scotland in 1578. He was a very educated prince, keen to support his authority, who did not turn against England and therefore in 1603, as James I of England, became the heir of Elizabeth.
Contrary to Jacob’s attempts, it remained a pure personal union; Charles I (1625–49) continued his father’s Episcopalian aspirations; in league with the English Parliament, the Scottish Presbyterians, united in the “Covenant” of 1638, fought successfully against King Charles I, but were defeated in the battle against O. Cromwell in 1648–51. 1654–60 Scotland was united with England. After the expulsion of Jacob II (1688, Glorious Revolution) the Stuarts still found support in the highlands, where the “Jacobites” rose in 1715, 1719, for the last time in 1745/46 (defeat at Culloden Muir on April 16, 1746). In 1707 Scotland was united with England in Realunion to form the Kingdom of Great Britain (since then Scotland has been represented by peers in the House of Lords, by members of the British House of Commons); however, the Scottish national consciousness never died.