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History > British empire, England, Ireland, Scotland, UK


United Kingdom (UK) > Explainer > Definition, Maps and flags





UK - Google map.















Scottish independence referendum 2014 explained

G    17 September 2014





Scottish independence referendum 2014 explained

Video        Guardian Animations        17 September 2014


The Scottish independence referendum

is a confusing matter.


So here's an animated explanation

of some fundamental questions

on the Scottish independence debate.


Where is Scotland?


What is Scotland

and what does it mean to be Scottish?


And what is the history of Scotlandís relationship with England?


But the real question is,

will Scotland be better off

as an independent country?




















added 8 January 2006


















added 8.1.2006





























































































The British Isles





"The British Isles are a group of islands

off the Northern coast of Europe.

The largest island, Great Britain,

contains three countries:

England, Scotland and Wales.

These three countries are joined with Northern Ireland

to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain

and Northern Ireland (The UK).

The smaller island is made up of Northern Ireland

and The Republic of Ireland.



England has existed since the 10th century

and in 1284 became unified with Wales.

In the Act of Union of 1707 Scotland

also joined England and Wales to form Great Britain.


Later, in 1801, the union of Great Britain and Ireland

was implemented.


In 1921 the Anglo Irish treaty divided Ireland

and the Northern part stayed with Great Britain

to form the UK.


The name Ďthe United Kingdom of Great Britain

and Northern Irelandí was adopted in 1927.


People living in those countries

have a UK passport and are called British citizens."

The British Council,
ess_uk_uklav.html , http://www.britishcouncil.org/






The Monarchy is the oldest institution of government

in the United Kingdom.

Until 1603 the English and Scottish Crowns were separate;

after this date one monarch reigned in the United Kingdom.

History of the Monarchy,







History of Scotland's

bids for independence


Tue, Feb 4 2014



Feb 4 (Reuters) - Scotland will vote on breaking away from the rest of the United Kingdom in a referendum set for Sept. 18.

In the biggest test of national unity since most of Ireland broke away from the U.K. nearly a century ago, Scottish residents over the age of 16 will be asked: "Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes or No?".

The British government in London is opposed to independence, saying Scotland is better off staying within the union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Following is a timeline of milestones in relations between the Scots and the rest of Britain.

1st Century AD - First written records of Scottish history when Romans invade and seize much of the island of Britain, with Emperor Hadrian building Hadrian's Wall from coast to coast. North of the wall is Caledonia and partly occupied by the Picti.

3rd Century - After many battles, the Romans all but depart the land that came to be known later as Scotland.

5th Century - Gaels or Scoti originating from Northern Ireland raid and settle north of the River Clyde.

8th Century - All Scotland's kingdoms overthrown to some extent by Vikings, forcing the Picti, Scoti and other tribes to unite in the 9th Century to form the Kingdom of Scotland.

12th Century - Anglo-Norman barons including the Bruce family lay claim to much of mainland Scotland.

1296-1328 - First War of Independence. Scots led by William Wallace try to throw off English influence after King Edward I of England invades Scotland in 1296. The next year Robert the Bruce leads a revolt and after years of war Scotland defeats the English at Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

1328 - Scotland's independence is recognised.

1332-1357 - Second War of Independence.

1603 - Union of the Crowns. Accession of James VI, King of Scots, to the thrones of England and Ireland and unification for some purposes of the three realms under a single monarch.

1695 - Bank of Scotland is founded a year after Bank of England.

1707 - The Treaty of the Union creates the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the parliamentary union of England - which for administrative purposes also encompasses the Principality of Wales - with Scotland. It takes effect on May 1 but Scotland retains its own legal and educational systems.

1715 - The first Jacobite uprising. British forces crush an attempt by Scottish supporters of the exiled House of Stuart to regain the throne.

1745-46 - The second Jacobite uprising aimed at putting "Bonnie Prince Charlie" Stuart on the British throne ends in defeat at the battle of Culloden.

1916 - The "Provisional Government of the Irish Republic" proclaims Ireland's independence from the United Kingdom.

1922 - Anglo-Irish Treaty establishes Irish Free State and Northern Ireland. The latter remains in the United Kingdom.

1934 - Scottish National Party (SNP) is founded.

1945 - SNP gains first seat in parliament at Westminster.

1950 - Stone of Destiny, traditionally used during the coronation of British monarchs, taken from Westminster Abbey by four Scots students and taken back to Scotland for the first time since being looted by Edward I's army in 1296. Amid public outcry, the Stone is found and returned to London.

1952 - Elizabeth II becomes queen of the United Kingdom.

1973 - United Kingdom joins the European Economic Community which is later renamed the European Union.

1973 - Kilbrandon Commission recommends devolved assemblies for Scotland and Wales after four-year inquiry.

1975 - First North Sea oil is produced.

1979 - A referendum on Scottish devolution is held but does not achieve the necessary 40 percent of the electorate. The SNP experiences an electoral decline during the 1980s.

1989 - Introduction of the Poll Tax by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government helps revive the independence movement.

1996 - Stone of Destiny formally returned to Scotland by the British Government and put on display at Edinburgh Castle.

1997 - Referendum shows overwhelming support for a separate Scottish Parliament with tax-raising powers.0

1998 - Scottish Act assigns devolved powers to a Scottish Parliament.

1999 - Elections for first 129-member Scottish Parliament with Labour winning 56 seats and the SNP 35 seats.

2004 - Royal opening of new Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.


2007 - Launch of National Conversation on Scotland's Constitutional Future by Scottish Government.

2007 - SNP overturns Labour majority in election, forming a minority government with 47 seats to Labour's 46 with support from the Greens on some issues.

2011 - SNP led by First Minister Alex Salmond wins a majority in the 129-member parliament with 69 seats to Labour's 37, leading to Scotland's first majority government.

Oct 2012 - Edinburgh Agreement is signed by Salmond and British Prime Minister David Cameron paving the way for a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014.

Nov 2013 - Scottish government publishes "Scotland's Future", making the case for independence.

Sept 18, 2014 - Referendum for independence.


(Compiled by London bureau; Editing by Gareth Jones).

TIMELINE-History of Scotland's bids for independence, R, 4.2.2014,


















England's flag




















Scotland's flag



















Ireland's flag

Saint Patrick's Cross or Saint Patrick's Saltire.




















The Union Jack / Flag of the United Kingdom

















"When King James VI of Scotland

ascended to the English throne,

thereby becoming James I of England,

the national "flags of England and Scotland on land

continued to be, respectively,

the red St George's cross and the white St Andrew's cross.

Confusion arose, however, as to what flag would be

appropriate at sea.



On 12 April 1606 a proclamation was issued:

"All our subjects in this our isle and kingdom of Great Britain

and the members thereof, shall bear in their main top

the red cross commonly called St George's Cross

and the white cross commonly called St. Andrew's Cross

joined together according to a form made by our heralds

and sent to our Admiral to be published to our said subjects."



This is the first known reference to the Union Flag.

Although the original design referred to has been lost,

it is presumed that it was the flag which,

with the addition of the St Patrick's cross,

forms the basic design of the British Union Flag today.

It is also interesting to note that the new flag

was not universally popular nor accepted.

The English were not overly pleased at the obscuring

of the white field of the St George's flag.

The Scots, with more justification,

were upset at the fact that the red cross

was laid over the white."

Source: http://flagspot.net/flags/gb-hist.html










Related > Anglonautes > Vocapedia > Terrorism / Politics


politics > UK > British monarchy



politics > UK



terrorism / politics  > Northern Ireland



terrorism / politics > Northern Ireland > Catholics



terrorism / politics > Northern Ireland > Protestants






Related > Anglonautes > History > 17th - early 21st century


England, Great Britain,

British Empire, United Kingdom

From Ancient Britain

to the early 21st century



UK > Northern Ireland

20th century > The Troubles






Related > Anglonautes > History > Maps


Northern Ireland > Maps






The Act of Union 1800

merged the Kingdom of Ireland

and the Kingdom of Great Britain

(itself a merger of England and Wales and Scotland

under the Act of Union 1707)

to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

on 1 January 1801






British Empire






Commonwealth of Nations






The Kingdom of Great Britain        1707-1801






United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland        1801-1927







The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland        1927-present







The Irish Free State (Irish: SaorstŠt …ireann)        1922-1937






Constitution of Ireland        1937






Republic of Ireland






British Isles






Great Britain


őles Anglo-Normandes (Channel Islands)




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