Scotland - a separate nation

scotland A complex series of wars and diplomatic maneuvers in the period from 500 AD to 1000 AD resulted in Malcolm II becoming king of a Scotland that apart from a few disputes about the Highlands and Islands was basically in its modern form. Border wars with the English continued. Edward I had succeeded conquering most of Scotland, but Robert the Bruce had then won back most of the English gains. Only Stirling Castle remained in English hands
robert the bruce
An English army arrived to relieve the Scots siege of Stirling (above). Bruce (above left) defeated the English army under Edward II, who was lucky to escape with his life. The Scots victory at the Battle of Bannockburn secured complete Scots independence.

Scotland stayed relatively clear of the English until the consequences of Henry VIII's sister marrying the King of Scotland, coupled with the failure of any of Henry VIII's own children to produce an heir, led to the installation of James VI of Scotland as James I of England.

redcoats in scotland glencoe massacre
Even with James and his successors on both the English and Scots thrones, the two countries were treated as separate kingdoms. When James II fled England into exile and William III became king, many of the highland Scots remained loyal to James II. In an effort to head off open rebellion William insisted that every clan must swear an oath of loyalty to him, or suffer reprisals. Among the reprisals was the massacre at Glencoe of the MacDonalds by English soldiers who were mainly Campbells. Williams harsh handling of the Scots contributed to the continuing support of the Stuart kings in exile, and to Scots support of the 1715 and 1745 Stuart rebellions. bonnie prince charlie
Another result of the treatment of the Scots by the English was the passing by the Scottish parliament of an Act giving Scotland the right to an independent army. To head off a war between the two nations the English pushed through a Union between the two nations, closing the Scottish Parliament and giving Scots representation in Westminster. Though the Scottish legal system remained, and still remains today. was ratified in 1707 The Act of Union act of union with england
scottish mills Scotland became industrialised with the exploitation of the Scottish coalfields and mill like the Lanarkshire mills on the left. In recent times coal has been replaced by oil from the North Sea, and then there is the debate as to whether this oil is Scottish oil or British oil. In 1997 a referendum in Scotland voted to institute a Scottish parliament with "tax varying powers". It remains to be seen as to whether Scotland will in the future drift further from the Union or remain firmed tried to it.
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