Scotland, English Scotland [ sk ɔ tlənd], part of the country of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 78,925 km 2, of which 1,489 km 2 inland waters; (2015) 5.37 million residents; The capital is Edinburgh.
According to militarynous, Scotland comprises the northern part of the island of Great Britain (British Isles), as well as the Hebrides (in the west), the Orkney and Shetland Islands (in the north). It is a mountainous country built up mainly from metamorphic and igneous rocks (remnants of the old Paleozoic Caledonian Mountains), which, due to its northern latitude, far exceeds the height limit of rewarding soil culture. In addition to the high levels of precipitation, there are low temperatures in the mountains (January mean in the central highlands: −2 ° C, west coast: 4–5 ° C); in summer the southeast has the highest monthly mean (15 ° C), the west coast 13.5 ° C. Above the tree line (mostly at 300–600 m or lower) there are grass and heather areas as well as moors. The proportion of forest has increased to 17% of the floor area through afforestation.
The Central Scottish Lowlands (Lowlands) extends on the main island between the highlands (Highlands) and the South Scottish mountains (Southern Uplands). The subsidence area of the Lowlands, interspersed with hilltops, has fertile ground moraine soils; The Firth of Clyde (to the west) and Firth of Forth (to the east) approach each other within 50 km. The Southern Uplands (up to 843 m above sea level) extend to the English-Scottish border.
The extensive highlands in the north are divided by the 95 km long rift valley of Glen More (with a chain of lakes, including Loch Ness) into the Grampian Mountains (Ben Nevis 1,345 m above sea level) and the Northern Highlands (up to 1,183 m above sea level) the sea level). In the west of the Highlands, islands are in front of the strongly indented cliff (Inner Hebrides). The east coast, on the other hand, is poorly structured and islandless; a narrow strip of lowland in the northeast and east of the Grampian Mountains has fertile clay soils.
Population and Religion
The mountainous areas in the north and south are only sparsely populated. The population is concentrated in the lowlands of the Central Scottish Depression with the capital Edinburgh and the industrial city Glasgow – around two thirds of the Scots live here – as well as on the east coast with the centers Aberdeen and Dundee.
Only about 1% of the population speaks Gaelic, mainly in the Highlands and on the islands.
The formerly important Scottish industry (coal mining, shipbuilding, steel and textile industries) has seen a sharp decline since 1950. As a result of regional planning funding, the industrial structure is determined today by vehicle construction, vehicle accessories, electrical and electronics and, since the development of the oil fields in the North Sea in the 1970s, by the petroleum and petrochemical industries. Many of the companies based in Scotland belong to foreign companies that have established themselves as a result of the active settlement policy of the central government and the “Scottish Development Agency” (since 1994 “Scottish Enterprise”). The most important industrial location is Glasgow. The most important branch of the economy is the service sector, particularly the financial sector, which is concentrated in Edinburgh.
Pasture farming, on the drier east coast also somewhat more arable farming, determine agriculture. Around a quarter of the total area is used for agriculture. Relief, soils and the cool and humid climate mostly only allow wild pastures as land use in the mountainous countries and on the islands. They take up almost 70% of the agricultural area (around 20% more intensively used meadows and pastures, around 10% arable land). Small-scale farming dominates the western and northern coasts, partly in conjunction with inshore fishing.
Traces of settlement – the earliest people in the area of later Scotland were Mesolithic hunters and fishermen – go back to the 3rd millennium BC. BC back. Bronze Age finds of considerable maturity show ties to the mainland. In the 1st century BC Celtic immigrants spread over Scotland. The Romans, who later called Northern Scotland (Caledonia) and the pre-Celtic or Celtic tribes living there (including Caledonians, Mayats) collectively Picts, fended them off with Hadrian’s Wall and Antonine Wall. The southern border of their empire, which became historically tangible in the 6th century, was the Firth of Forth. Since the 3rd century the Irish fell (Scots) in Britain and gained a foothold in Scotland in the early 5th century (in the area of Argyll, Kingdom of Dalriada); later the British in south-west Scotland evading the Anglo-Saxons to form the kingdom of Strathclyde with the capital Alcluith (now Dumbarton) and Angling the kingdom of Lothian (northern border: Firth of Forth). In the 6th century, Columban the Elder spread Christianity from the island monastery of Iona on the Scottish west coast.