Though tyrants threat, though Lyons rage and rore
Defy them all, and feare not to win out
Elizabeth Melville (Ane Godlie Dreame, Edinburgh 1603)
Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: Alba) is a country that is part of the Commonwealth and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south, and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the south-west. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.
Until the 1680s politics in Scotland followed the same pattern as in England, a major Cromwellians (with Army and Court factions), Protesters and Resolutioners. The latter the main opposition to the Act of Union. Under the Presidencies of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth (future Lord Protector) and Andrew Fletcher was a Scottish Court Party shaped in base of the interests of unionist landowners, merchants and bankers and Protesters. The Court Party chiefly promoted economic integration with the rest of the Commonwealth, common coinage and to keep the privileges of the Church of Scotland.
The Highland Clearances, the Scottish enclosure acts, affected Highlands and Islands in the evictions tenants that the Crofters' Party was formed to mobilize protest and resistance. Violence erupted in several evictions (the Sheep War) calling in question the patronage and influence of the Scottish Court Party in the Highlands. Although Highland tenants achieved a partial reform by the Crofters' Holdings (Scotland) Act it did not stop the political awareness in the Highlands that later began to campaign for economic stability and improvement. A Highland League was formed to pursuit these goals and also to promote Gaelic culture. The intrusion of the parish school system in the Highlands meant the loss of traditions to many and the Highland League and its successors became its champions.
Lowland clearances were more swiftly carried out without major protests enabling the Lowlands to develop a more industrial agriculture. Many small settlements in the Lowlands were torn down, their occupants, cottars and tenant farmers, were forced either to the new purpose-built villages built by the landowners to house the displaced cottars on the outskirts of the new ranch-style farms, or to the new industrial centres of Glasgow, Edinburgh or northern England. In other areas, such as the southwest, landowners offered low rents and nearby employment to tenants they deemed to be respectable.
Seven ill years (1695, 1696 and 1698–99) of famine in Scotland in the 1690s. It resulted from an economic slump created by French protectionism and changes in the Scottish cattle trade, followed by four years of failed harvests. It also meant a migration of farmers to major urban centers in Scotland or overseas.
By the 1700s the divide between Lowlands and Highlands had become political, social and cultural.
The Scottish Government (Scottish Gaelic: Riaghaltas na h-Alba) is composed of the Lord President and the Council of State for Scotland. The Government of Scotland Bill sets out the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and executive powers of the Scottish Government.
The Lord President, is named by the Lord Protector on advise and confidence of the Scottish Parliament. The Council of State for Scotland with nine members (starting 1655), is named by the Lord President. The Lord President chairs the Council. The Council has advisory, executive and administrative functions. Its former judicial functions are now exercise by the Lord Chancellor and the he Lord Advocate. The seat of Council and main government offices are at Palace of Holyroodhouse (Edinburgh, Scotland).
In addition to ensuring the continuance of the Union and the establishment of good government, the Council was directed to encourage the preaching of the Gospel; encourage the growth of Universities and schools; purge the burghs of disaffected magistrates; administer justice; to approximate the judicial system to that of England; encourage trade and foster the revenue. Important early measures of the Council were the ones that allowed the burghs to elect their own magistrates and Justice of the Peace courts that were set up in all of Scotland.
- Lord Presidents of the Council
- Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery (Sept 1655- Aug 1656)
- George Monck (Oct 1659-...)
- James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth (1683-1686)
- Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun (1697-1716)
- Eleanor MacAngus-Clacher (1825-...) Radical Progressive PU
- Irvine McAlister (1846-1848) National Constitutional PU
- Anna Lennox Scottish Socialist Federation
Scotland is divided in shires (Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachdan), burghs and parishes.
The shires, numbered on the map, are the following:
- Zetland (Shetland) - Shetland Islands
- Orkney - Orkney Islands
A burgh is an autonomous corporate entity in Scotland, usually a town, or toun in Scots. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when King David I created the first royal burghs. Burgh status was broadly analogous to borough status, found in the rest of the Commonwealth. d The Municipal Corporations Act 1831 had two major effects in Scotland. First it consolidated adjacent burghs and secondly it provided for a new city for Scotland. For the latter it combined large urban burghs and adjacent parishes into a metropolitan burgh. The Act introduced a uniform system of local authorities. The new burghs and metropolitan burghs, had an elected council, consisting of a provost or lord provost, councillors to oversee local affairs.
The metropolitan burghs are:
- Aberdeen City
- Dundee City
- City of Edinburgh
- Glasgow City
The Church of Scotland (Scots: The Scots Kirk, Scottish Gaelic: Eaglais na h-Alba), known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is the Protestant and Presbyterian established church of Scotland. It is legally the national church. The Church of Scotland traces its roots back to the beginnings of Christianity in Scotland, but its identity is principally shaped by the Reformation of 1560.
The Church of Scotland is Presbyterian in polity and Reformed in theology. As a Presbyterian church, the Kirk has no bishops, but is rather governed by elders and ministers (collectively called presbyters) sitting in a series of courts. Each congregation is led by a Kirk Session. The Kirk Sessions in turn are answerable to regional presbyteries. The supreme body is the annual General Assembly, which meets in Edinburgh. A Church of Scotland congregation is led by its minister and elders. Each of courts has a moderator and a clerk.
The Kirk as a major role in education. Statutes passed in 1616 (School Establishment Act), 1633 (Education Act 1633), and 1646 (Education Act 1646) established a parish school system, paid for by local heritors and administered by ministers and local presbyteries. By the late seventeenth century there was a largely complete network of parish schools in the Lowlands, but in the Highlands basic education was still lacking in many areas.
The Scottish universities recovered from the disruption of the civil war years with a lecture-based curriculum that was able to embrace economics and science, offering a high-quality liberal education to the sons of the nobility and gentry. The model of organization in Scotland is a centralized university, unlike the rest of the Commonwealth that have a collegiate universities.
There are four universities in Scotland:
- University of St Andrews, founded in 1410, Royal Charter 1413.
- University of Glasgow founded in 1451
- University of Edinburgh founded in 1583
- University of Aberdeen 1654. Created by the complete unification of University and King's College of Aberdeen (1495) and Marischal College and University of Aberdeen (1593). Previously they were nominally merged in the King Charles University of Aberdeen by royal decree of 1641, but the independent administration of the two institutions was keep.
Until 1670s, the country was relatively highly taxed, but gained access to English markets. In 1656 the civil list alone cost £25,000. The sum of £10,000 a month from the county assessment (called asses in Scotland) was demanded by the Cromwellian regime, which Scotland failed to fully supply and it was reduced to 6,000 a year in 1657. The total was never less than £90,000 a year. In addition the country contributed about £35,000 in excise a year. Despite this, there was an annual deficit of £130,000, which was covered by English revenues.
Scotland had suffered considerable economic disruption during the period of the civil wars, caused by loss of manpower to a dozen armies, free quarter (the billeting of troops on civilians without payment), plunder and heavy taxation. A number of merchants, particularly moneylenders, were ruined by the wars. The east-coast towns had probably lost about one fifth of their population from the outbreak of bubonic plague that occurred in 1645. This was slow to recover and in 1651 rents in Edinburgh had to be reduced by a third.
The free trade that was the major economic incentive of the union was not all beneficial, as Scotland now has to compete with the more highly developed English merchant fleet. The economy began to revive after 1650, but the prosperity was not spread evenly across the country. While Glasgow and Aberdeen prospered, Dundee and the Fife ports continued to decline. The financing of military building and the spending of wages by so many soldiers did benefit some. New industries included glass production at Leith and Cromwell's troops are traditionally credited with bringing north both the knitting of socks and the planting of kale. The good order imposed by the armed presence encouraged trade and manufacture.
Along overdue demand of local commercial interests of Scotland come to being in 1695 with the establishment of The Governor and Company of the Bank of Scotland (Bank of Scotland) as government lender and commercial bank (deposit-taker and credit institution) to assists and promote Scottish business and lend to the government, subject to parliamentary approval.
The Coinage Union (1701) of England, Scotland and Wales made the pound sterling (Scottish Gaelic: Punnd Sasannach, Scots: Poond sterlin) the sole currency replacing the previous home country currency (Pound Scots).
The parliamentary representation of Scotland is the following:
|House of Commons||Boro'
|House of Commons (1654-...)||9||20||—||29||10||20||—||30|
|House of Commons (after Universities Constituencies Act)||9||20||4||33||10||20||4||34|
|House of Commons (1683-...)||9||33||4||46||10||33||4||47|
- Before the enactment of the Government of Scotland Bill, the Commonwealth Council of State named the Council of State for Scotland. with at least half of its members being Scotsmen.