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The Scottish Parliament is supported by the Scottish Executive also based in Edinburgh. The Scottish Government is led by a First Minister. A Secretary of State for Scotland remains part of the UK Cabinet, and is supported by the Scotland Office (previously the Scottish Office) based in Glasgow, with offices in Edinburgh and London.

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Local government is divided into 29 unitary authorities and three island authorities, having been subject to a major reorganization in 1995.

Scotland has its own legal system, judiciary and an education system which, at all levels, differs from that found "south of the border" in England and Wales.

Scotland also has its own banking system and its own banknotes. Edinburgh is the second financial centre of the UK and one of the major financial centres of the world.

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I.Early peoples of Scotland and their relations.

(see Appendices, page 23)

Most historians agree that the first man appeared in Scotland as long ago as 6,000 BC. Bone and antler fishing spears and other rudimentary implements found along the western part of the country serve as evidence to support this theory. The Beaker civilization [2]arrived three thousand years later, and is notable for its henges (of which Stonehenge is one of the most famous). The Beaker people eventually spread as far north as Orkney.

As a result of its geography, Scotland has two different societies. In the center of Scotland mountains stretch to the far north and across to the west, beyond which lie many islands. To the east and to the south the lowland hills are gentler, and much of the countryside is like England, rich, welcoming and easy to farm. North of the “Highland Line”[3] people stayed tied to their own family groups. South and east of this line society was more easily influenced by the changes taking place in England.

Scotland was populated by four separate groups of people. The main group, the Picts, lived mostly in the north and northeast. They spoke Celtic as well as another, probably older, language completely unconnected with any known language today, and they seem to have been the earliest inhabitants of the land.

The non-Pictish inhabitants were mainly Scots. The Scots were Celtic settlers who started to move into the western Highlands from Ireland in the fourth century.

In 843 the Pictish and Scottish kingdoms were united under a Scottish king, who could also probably claim the Picts throne through his mother, in this way obeying both Scottish and Pictish rules of kingship.

The third inhabitants were the Britons, who inhabited the Lowlands, and had been part of the Romano-British world. They had probably given up their old tribal way of life by the sixth century.

Finally, there were Angels from Nothambria who had pushed northwards into the Scottish Lowlands.

Unity between Picts, Scots and Britons was achieved for several reasons. They shared a common Celtic culture, language and background. Their economy mainly depended on keeping animals. These animals were owned by the tribe as a hole, and for this reason land was also held by tribes, not by individual people. The common economic system increased their feeling of belonging to the same kind of society and the difference from the agricultural Lowlands. The sense of common culture may have been increased by marriage alliances between tribes. This idea of common landholding remained strong until the tribes of Scotland, called “clans”[4], collapsed in the eighteenth century.

The spread of Celtic Christianity also helped to unite the people. The first Christian mission to Scotland had come to southwest Scotland in about AD 400. Later, in 563, Columba, known as the “Dove of the Church”, came from Ireland. Through his work both Highland Scots and Picts were brought to Christianity. He even, so it is said, defeated a monster in Loch Ness, the first mention of this famous creature. By the time of the Synod of Whitby in 663, the Picts, Scots and Britons had all been brought closer together by Christianity.

Реферат опубликован: 29/08/2008