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Europe >> Scotland >> History of Scotland

History of Scotland

The oldest archaeological records indicate that Neolithic hunter gatherers from around the British Isles were the first to inhabit the Scottish mainland. What is thought to be quite a thriving civilization persisted for the next couple of hundred years, and became home to the Picts and the Celts before finally being struck by those ever-so-belligerent Romans. The Scots, however, weren't about to take orders from anyone else and tired the poor Romans out - resulting in the building of the Hadrian's Wall.

Soon Scotland was a country of (rather quarrelsome) Picts and Gaelic speaking folks in the north and the Anglo-Saxons in the south. Gradually, a feudal system developed and persisted till the 19th century. The English, soon, began to push their way into Scottish territory and after much resistance from the Scot leaders and armies; they finally developed a stronghold by the late 13th century. But this victory didn't last long, for in the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 the English were defeated and Scotland remained somewhat free of English control for the next 400 years.

By 1707 Scotland under pressure, became a part of the United Kingdom with guarantees of its own church policies and legal systems. The British government forced the clan system out of existence and a lot of local resentment built up. In the latter part of the 1700s the process of industrialization began and Scotland made great strides in the shipbuilding and steel sectors, all the while fighting to be recognized as a separate state. In the 1997 Referendum, the proposal for a separate Scottish parliament was upheld and in 1999 a new parliament was constituted in Edinburgh.


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