Рефераты. Scotland (Шотландия)

Scotland (Шотландия)

Moscow State Pedagogical University

the department of sociology,

economics and law

chair of English language

Course paper on the topic


by Gribacheva Alexandra,

a student of the 3rd year

Moscow 2000

The plan:


I. A few words about this work.

II. Scotland – how does it look like?

1.Geographical position.


3.Plant & animal life.

4.Natural resources.


6.Scotland’s government.

The main part.

I. Early peoples of Scotland & their relations.

II. “… we will never consent to subject ourselves to the dominion

of the English…”

III. Scotland’s beautiful capital.


2.Edinburgh’s Castle

3.The Military Tattoo

4.St. Giles’ Cathedral.

5.Edinburgh’s museums.

6.Where life is one long festival.



1.”A wee dram”.

2.Scottish national dress.

3.A few words about tartan.

4.The national musical instrument of the Scots.

5.Highland’s dances and games.

6.The famous Loch Ness.

7.St. Andrew’s Cross.

II.Scotland for every season.


Practical part.


I. Introduction.

I.A few words about this work.

Though Scotland is a part of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and

Northern Ireland it still remains an individual country with its own

traditions, customs, history and the way of life. In one word, Scotland is

not England at all. It is a country with a unique culture full of ancient

legends, bright contrasts and mysterious castles. Secrets and mystery

always appear immediately when you open a book about Scotland.

But unfortunately you can come across such a problem as lack of

literature on this topic. I was lucky to find several books that gave

exhaustive information about this magic country. I was so exited by the

Scottish national heroes and by this independent nation that I decided to

find out more information about them.

Some people say that if you haven’t been in Venice you haven’t seen Italy

at all. I can say that if you haven’t been in Scotland you haven’t seen

Britain at all. As for me I was lucky to visit the capital of England

London. But alas! I didn’t have any opportunity to visit or just to have a

glimpse of Scotland, a land of festivals, kilts and bagpipes.

It seemed to me that after visiting London I know everything about Britain.

And only after reading several books about Scotland I realized how wrong I

had been. Now I can just say: “I wish I were in Scotland!”

I was seized with an idea of studying more about it and that is why I

decided to take this topic for my course paper. I am not sure that I will

be able to tell everything that I found out about this country and its

people. But I promise to depict all unforgettable events and traditions of

the Scottish people that impressed me most of all.

II.Scotland – what does it look like?

1.Geographical position

Scotland, administrative division of the kingdom of Great Britain,

occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain. Scotland is

bounded on the north by the Atlantic Ocean; on the east by the North Sea;

on the southeast by England; on the south by Solway Firth, which

partly separates it from England, and by the Irish Sea; and on the west by

North Channel, which separates it from Ireland, and by the Atlantic Ocean.

As a geopolitical entity Scotland includes 186 nearby islands,

the majority of which are contained in three groups-namely, the Hebrides,

also known as the Western Islands, situated off the western coast; the

Orkney Islands, situated off the northeastern coast; and the Shetland

Islands, situated northeast of the Orkney Islands. The largest of the other

islands is the Island of Arran. The area, including the islands, is 78,772

sq km (30,414 sqmi).

Scotland has a very irregular coastline. The western coast in

particular is deeply penetrated by numerous arms of the sea, most of which

are narrow submerged valleys, known locally as sea lochs[1], and by a

number of broad indentations, generally called firths. The principal firths

are the Firth of Lorne, the Firth of Clyde, and Solway Firth.

Scotland is characterized by an abundance of streams and lakes (lochs).

Notable among the lakes, which are especially numerous in the central and

northern regions, are Loch Lomond (the largest), Loch Ness, Loch Tay, and

Loch Katrine.

Many of the rivers of Scotland, in particular the rivers in the west,

are short, torrential streams, generally of little commercial importance.

The longest river of Scotland is the Tay; the Clyde, however, is the

principal navigational stream, site of the port of Glasgow. Other chief

rivers include the Forth, Tweed, Dee, and Spey.


Like the climate of the rest of Great Britain, that of Scotland is

subject to the moderating influences of the surrounding seas. As a result

of these influences, extreme seasonal variations are rare, and temperate

winters and cool summers are the outstanding climatic features. Low

temperatures however, are common during the winter season in the

mountainous districts of the interior. In the western coastal region, which

is subject to the moderating effects of the Gulf Stream, conditions are

somewhat milder than in the east.

3.Plant and Animal Life

The most common species of trees indigenous to Scotland are oak and

conifers-chiefly fir, pine, and larch. Large forested areas, however, are

rare, and the only important woodlands are in the southern and eastern

Highlands. Except in these wooded areas, vegetation in the elevated regions

consists largely of heather, ferns, mosses, and grasses. Saxifrage,

mountain willow, and other types of alpine and arctic flora occur at

elevations above 610 m (2000 ft). Practically all of the cultivated plants

of Scotland were imported from America and the European continent.

The only large indigenous mammal in Scotland is the deer. Both the red

deer and the roe deer are found, but the red deer, whose habitat is the

Highlands, is by far the more abundant of the two species. Other indigenous

mammals are the hare, rabbit, otter, ermine, pine marten, and

wildcat. Game birds include grouse, blackcock, ptarmigan, and waterfowl.

The few predatory birds include the kite, osprey, and golden eagle.

Scotland is famous for the salmon and trout that abound in its streams and

lakes. Many species of fish, including cod, haddock, herring, and various

types of shellfish, are found in the coastal waters.

4.Natural Resources

Scotland, like the rest of the island of Great Britain, has

significant reserves of coal. It also possesses large deposits of zinc,

chiefly in the south. The soil is generally rocky and infertile, except for

that of the Central Lowlands. Northern Scotland has great hydroelectric

power potential and contains Great Britain's largest hydroelectric

generating stations. Beginning in the late 1970s, offshore oil deposits in

the North Sea became an important part of the Scottish economy. The most

important city here is Aberdeen which is the oil centre of the country.

Ships and helicopters travel from Aberdeen to the North Sea oil rigs.

Therefore, Scotland is rather rich in natural resources and sometimes can

even condition to England.


The people of Scotland, like those of Great Britain in general, are

descendants of various racial stocks, including the Picts, Celts,

Scandinavians, and Romans. Scotland is a mixed rural-industrial society.

Scots divide themselves into Highlanders, who consider themselves of purer

Celtic blood and retain a stronger feeling of the clan, and Lowlanders, who

are largely of Teutonic blood.

6.Scotland’s government.

Government in Scotland is in four tiers. A new Scottish Parliament was

elected in 1999, following devolution of powers from the United Kingdom

Parliament in London. This is the first time Scotland has had its own

parliament in 300 years. The Scottish Parliament, which sits in Edinburgh,

is responsible for most aspects of Scottish life. The national parliament

in Westminster (London) retains responsibility for areas such as defence,

foreign affairs and taxation. The European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium)

exercises certain powers vested in the European Union.

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.

Top of Form 1

Bottom of Form 1

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


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.

The main part.

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


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.

The Angles were very different from the Celts. They had arrived in

Britain in family groups, but they soon began to accept the authority from

people outside their own family. This was partly due to their way of life.

Although they kept some animals, they spent more time growing crops. This

meant that land was held by individual people, each man working in his own

field. Land was distributed for farming by the local lord. This system

encouraged the Angles of Scotland to develop a non-tribal system of

control, as the people of England further south were doing. This increased

their feeling of difference from the Celtic tribal Highlanders further


Finally, as in Ireland and in Wales, foreign invaders increased the

speed of political change. Vikings attacked the coastal areas of Scotland,

and they settled on many of the islands, Shetland, the Orkneys, the

Hebrides, and the Isle of Man southwest of Scotland. In order to resist

them, Picts and Scots fought together against the enemy raiders and

settles. When they couldn’t push them out of the islands and coastal areas,

they had to deal with them politically. At first the Vikings, or

“Norsemen”, still served the King of Norway. But communications with Norway

were difficult. Slowly the earls of Orkney and other areas found it easier

to accept the king of Scots as their overlord, rather than the more distant

king of Norway.

However, as the Welsh had also discovered, the English were a greater

danger than the Vikings. In 934 the Scots were seriously defeated by a

Wessex army pushing northwards. The Scots decided to seek the friendship of

the English, because of the likely losses from war. England was obviously

stronger than Scotland but, luckily for the Scots, both the north of

England and Scotland were difficult to control from London. The Scots hoped

that if they were reasonably peaceful the Sassenachs[5] would leave them


Scotland remained a difficult country to rule even from its capital,

Edinburgh. Anyone looking at a map of Scotland can see that control of the

Highlands and islands was a great problem. Travel was often impossible in

winter, and slow and difficult in summer. It was easy for a clan chief or

noble to throw off the rule of the king.

II. “…we will never consent to subject ourselves to the dominion of the


England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were once known as the British

Isles. Nowadays this term is normally used only in Geography. In fact, the

people of these isles have seldom been politically or culturally united.

English kings started wars to unite the British Isles from the 12th

century. These wars were wars of conquest and only the Welsh war was a


At that time England was ruled by several ambitious kings, who wanted

to conquer more countries for themselves and to add more titles to their

names. They had, as a rule, absolutely no interest in the people of the

countries that they wished to conquer. It did not concern them that these

wars brought misery to the people in whose land they fought. The result was

generally to create a strong, national, patriotic feeling in the invaded

country, and a great hatred of the invader.

I don’t have much space here to speak about the history of Scotland in

details that is why I’d like to mention one historical episode which shows

the Scottish attitude towards freedom and independence. (For the chronology

of the events in the history of Scotland see Appendices,

page 24).

Although Scottish kings had sometimes accepted the English king as

their “overlord”, they were much stronger than the many Welsh kings had

been. Scotland owes its clan system partly to an Englishwoman, Margaret,

the Saxon Queen of Malcolm III. After their marriage in 1069, she

introduced new fashions and new ideas to the Scottish court – and among the

new ideas was the feudal system of land tenure. Until that time, most of

the country had been divided into seven semi-independent tribal provinces.

Under the feudal system, all land belonged to the king, who distributed it

among his followers in exchange for allegiance and service. But a Highland

chieftain could easily ignore a far-off Lowland king and, as time went by,

the clan chiefs became minor kings themselves. They made alliances with

other clans, had the power of life and death over their followers.

By the 11th century there was only one king of Scots, and he ruled

over all the south and east of Scotland. In Ireland and Wales Norman

knights were strong enough to fight local chiefs on their own. But only the

English king with a large army could hope to defeat the Scots. Most English

kings did not even try, but Edward I was different.

The Scottish kings were closely connected with England. Since Saxon

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