Scotia referat


? Topography of Scotland:

Physiograohic Regions:

Scotland is occupying the northern third of the British island and it is mainly divided into three different parts, called Highlands, Central Lowlands and Southern Uplands.

The Highlands are a thinly populated mountainous area north of Stirling and west of Aberdeen. More than one-half of the surface of Scotland is occupied by the Highlands, the most rugged (dt. felsig) region on the whole island. But this area is also known for their scenic grandeur (dt. landschaftliche Herrlichkeit). Moorland plateaus, mountain lakes, sea lochs, swift-flowing (dt. schnell fließend) streams, and dense thickets (dt. dichtes Dickicht)are common to the Highlands. Furthermore the Highlands are divided into two parts by a depression known as the Glen More, or Great Glen, which extends from Moray Firth to Loch Linnhe. Southeast of this cutting line the topography is highly diversified. This region is traversed by the Grampian Mountains, the principal mountain system in Scotland. The highest peak of the Grampians is called Ben Nevis (1343m), which is also the highest summit in Great Britain.

In the South of the Highlands there are the Lowlands, a narrow belt comprising (dt. umfassen) only about one-tenth of the area of Scotland, but containing the majority of the country's population. The Lowlands include most of the county's cultivated farmland and a few chains of rolling hills as well.

The terrain of the Southern Uplands is much less elevated and rugged than the Highlands. It consits largely of a moorland plateau traversed by rolling hills and broken by mountainous outcroppings. Adjoining (dt. angrenzend) the Southern Uplands region along the boundary with England are the Cheviot Hills.

Situated off the north and west coasts of Scotland are the Islands, the main groups being the Orkneys and Shetlands off the north coast and the Hebrides off the west coasts. The largest of the other islands is Arran. All of the islands are sparsely (dt. spärlich) populate.

Rivers and Lakes:

Scotland is charcterized by an abundance (dt. Reichtum) of streams and lakes, which are called lochs. Lochs are especially common in the central and northern regions, e.g.: Loch Lomond (the largest) or the famous Loch Ness.

Many of the rivers in the west are just small streams, generally of little commercial importance. The longest river of Scotland is the Tay. However, these rivers are not really impotant.

The coastline of Scotland is very irregular. The western coast in particular is deeply penetrated (dt. durchdrungen) by numerous arms of the sea, which are called firths (dt. Fjord). The Firth of Clyde, which is the principal navigational stream, site (dt. Platz) of the port of Glasgow, the Firth of Lorne and Solway Fith are the main firths.


The climate of Scotland is influenced by the surrounding seas. Extreme seasonal variations are rare, as a ressult of the moderating influences. The outstanding climatic features are temperate winters and cool summers. In the western coastal region, which is subjected to the moderating effects of the Gulfstream, conditions are somewhat milder than in the east. The precipition (dt. Niederschlag), which is marked by regional variation, ranges from 3800mm in the west to 635mm in certain eastern areas.

Vegetation and Animal life:

The most common species of trees in Scotland are oak (dt. Eiche) and conifers (dt. Nadelbaum), like fir (dt. Tanne), pine (dt. Kiefer) or larch (dt. Lärche) . However large forrest are not widely spread. They are mainly situated in the southern and eastern Highlands. Except in these wooded areas, vegetation consits largely of heather (dt. Heidekraut), ferns (dt. Farn), mosses, and grasses. Nearly all of the cultivated plants of Scotland were imported from America or the European continent.

There are not many different species of animals living in Scotland. The most typical one is the deer. Both the red deer and the roe (dt. Reh) deer can be found in the Scottish forests. The reed deer is especially common in the Highlands. Other mammals (dt. Säugetiere) are the hare (dt. Wildhase), rabbit, otter, ermine (dt. Hermelin), pine marten (dt. Marder), and wildcat. The birds include grouse (dt. schottische Moorschneehuhn), blackcock, ptarmigan (dt. Alpenschneehuhn), and waterfowl (dt. Wasservogel). One animal, Scotland is famous for, is the salmon (dt. Lachs), who is living in the streams and lakes of Scotland. Many other species of fishes can be found in the coastal waters as well.

Natural Resources:

Like the rest of the British island, Scotland is known for his significant reserves of coal and zinc. The soil is generallly rocky, except for that of the central Lowlands. There it is possible to do some farming. In the North of Scotland you can find a great potential of hydroelectric power. Hydroelectric power plants are likely to see there.

? Population of Scotland:

Population Characteristics:

The people of Scotland are descendants (dt. Nachkommen) of various racial stocks, including the Picts, Celts, Scandinavians and Romans. Scotland has become a mixed society. Scots divide themselves into Highlanders, who consider themselves of purer Celtic blood and retain (dt. bewahren) a stronger feeling of clan, and Lowlanders, who are largely of Teutonic blood.

Population Characteristics:

Currently over 5 Mio. people live in Scotland. The population density is about 66 person per sq km. The highest density is in the central Lowlands, where nearly three-fourth of the Scots live. This also the area, where the big cities are situated.

Principal Cities:

The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh(420,000 inhabitants), which is also the administrative center. But Edinburgh is not the biggest city in Scotland, which is Glasgow with over 750,000 people. Furthermore Glasgow has the major impact on the Scotish industry. Together with Clayside it forms a big conurbation (dt. Ballungsgebiet), where the largest shipbuilding and engineering center is situated. Other important industrial cities are Dundee(170,000) and Aberdeen(190,000).


English is the official language, but still fewer than 100,000 Scots, which are mainly inhabitants of the northern Highlands, also speak the Scottish form of Gaelic.

? Religion:

The Church of Scotland is often seen as the mother church of Presbyterianism in English-speaking countries. Presbyterianism is a system of church government based on the Calvinist belief, that all church members are equal in the eyes of god. Furthermore it is a democratic society with elections, what means, that every church elects their minister. Also the Presbyterianism does not have bishops or archbishops. The church is governed by democratically elected groups at local, regional and national level.

John Knox was the man, who introduced the system of Presbyterianism to Scotland. He beliefed in the studies of John Calvin, who lived in Geneva, where Knox spent several years. One major idea of the Calvinists is the idea of predestination, which means, that God has planned that it is the destiny of some people to be saved, wheras the rest is condemned to eternal damnation. Furthermore it encouraged the people to put their trusts in God's decision.

? Culture:

Before talking about Scotland's culture, you have to consider, that Scotland was not one country, but two - the Highlands and the Lowlands. The Lowlands were poorer than England, but more prosperous than the Highlands.

The Highlands lived in a system of rural economy based on cattle and goats (dt. Ziegen) even the Highland soil and climate did not encourage the economy. It was often compared with the "Wild West" of America, a lawless society, where murder, looting (dt. plündern) and the theft (dt. Diebstahl) of cattle (and wifes) were common. The society was dominated by the clans and their chief's, who's authority was absolute. Furthermore the Gaelic language was widely spread in the Highlands. Today still 100,000 people are able to speak Gaelic. The Highlands dress is the kilt, with a pattern called tartan, which consists of the colours of the clan. They were especially worn in the military. Today also Lowlanders are allowed to wear the famous kilt.

The Lowlands were, compared to the Highlands, more advanced in their economy and in their agricultural structure. Presbyterianism was widely spread in this area, wheras many Highlanders remained catholic.

The result of this differences was animosity (dt. Feindschaft) and prejudice. Highlanders looked down on Lowlanders as gloomy cabbage eaters dressed in dark clothes contrasting with the heroic Highlander in his bright tartan. Lowlanders considered Highlanders to be lazy, uncivilized people, who stole honest Lowlanders cattle.

Despite of the controverse Highlanders against Lowlanders and their cultural belief, bagpipes are a famous Scottish tradition. This instrument is usually associated with Scottish music, but was probably introduced by the Romans, who acquired them in Middle East.

One of the most clebrated days is the 25th of January, where people think of Robert Burns, who was a famous Scottish writer. On this day people are playing their bagpipes and wearing kilts. The dish is brought into the room accompanied by a piper. Furthermore people drink a toast to Robert Burns, and they also consume plenty of whisky.

? Education:

The Scottish people take education very seriously. By 1864, one out of every 205 Scots went to secondary class, contrasting with one in 1300 in England. Furthermore Scotland's univeristies attracted much more students than the English. While Okford and Cambridge were just for rich people, students in Scotland didn't have to be well off to go to university.

Today the Scottish Education Departement administers schools in Scotland. The pupils start going to school at the age of 7. The first change is made at the age of 12, when they leave elementary school and join secondary school(around 900,000 students). After this education Scotland provides institutions(81,000 students) for a study beyond the secondary level, for those students, who do not want to go to university, including colleges of agriculture, art, commerce and science. Other students can go to one of the eight Scottish universities(43,100 students).

? Government and Legislature


Scotland has developed its own system of law, which it retained after the union with England in 1707. The Scottish law is based on the civil law, which is derived (dt. abgeleitet) from ancient (dt. antik, alt) Roman law. The other parts of Britain follow the common law, which origin was England. Because of the different legal systems, seperate statues must be enacted (dt. erlassen) by Parliament of Scotland.

Government and Political Parties:

In 1975 the local governments in Scotland were reorganized. Counties and burghs (dt. Stadt mit Stadtrechten) were abolished and replaced by nine regions and three island areas. The regions are divided into districts, which total 53. Each of these units is administered by a council (dt. Rat), who is elected to 4-year terms.

Two leading British parties, the Conservative party and the Labour party, have shared seats in the Scottish parliament. The Scottish Nationalist party, which was founded in 1927 in order to press for a complete self government, has played a minor role.

Scottish Judicary:

The Scottish judiciary is organized separately to the rest of Great Britain. The two higher courts are the High Court of Justiciary, in charge of criminal acts, and the Court of Session for the civil acts. A panel (dt. Komission) of 23 judges is provided for both courts together. Major criminal trials (dt. Gerichtsverfahren) are held before 1 or 2 judges of the High Court of Juticiary and a 15 member jury.

Each of the six sheriffdoms, into which Scotland is devided, has a sheriff court for less important trials.

? Economy:

The economy of Scotland consists of two major parts, agriculture and industry. The chief exports are petroleum, natural gas and mnufactured goods like, clothing or whiskey. The major imports are food and iron. The center of Scottish trade is the Scottish Trades Union Congress.


More than three-fourth of the land is used for agriculture. The most important crops are cereals (dt. Korn), notably wheat, oats (dt. Hafer) and potatoes. Also sheeps are raised, especially in the Highlands. Scotland is also known for its beef, dairy cattle and for its dairy products.

Fishing Industries:

Scotland is also famous for its fishing. The principal fishing ports are Aberdeen, Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Lerwick. The catch consists mainly of whitefish (dt. weißer Wal), herring (dt. Hering), crabs (dt. Krabben), and lobsters (dt. Hummer).

Mining and Manufacturing:

Coal is an important raw material for the Scottish economy. Nearly all major coal deposits can be found in the Central Lowlands. Iron ores and other metals are already exhausted. North Sea petroleum and natural gas are sent by pipeline to points in the Orkney and Shetland islands and to the mainland.

Transportation and Communications:

About 48,000km of highways and about 6400km of railroad serve Scotland. Public buses provide tranportation throughout most of the country, and many transatlantic flights use Prestwick Airport near Glasgow. Most radio and television programs originate in England. About 17 daily newspapers and 120 weeklies are published in the country.

? History: (major event)

The War of Independence (1286-1328):

Constant tension lead to the war between England and Scotland resulted in the Scots forming an alliance with France in the 12th century. Known as the "Auld Alliance", it lasted until the 16th century. During the War of Independence the Scots, led by William Wallace and later by Robert Bruce, sucessfully resisted English invasions.

William Wallace was the first leader of the Scots. He faught with his recruited army in a guerilla warfare against the oppression of England. Later on Wallace was betrayed (dt. verraten) to the English, convicted of treason (dt. Verrat) and executed.

After Wallace's death Robert Bruce became the leader of the resistance movement. Even he has not been in favor of Wallace he was crowned Robert I. In the following period he continued Wallace's way of guerilla warfare and tried to persuade the Scotish nobility to oppose England.

In 1328 the war ended and Scotland was recognized as an independent kingdom.

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