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History of Scotland

History of Scotland

Roman Caledonia
The Picts, a fierce and warlike people, successfully resisted conquest by the Romans, whose great general, Gnaeus Julius Agricola , led the first invasion of Caledonia late in the 1st century AD. Agricola and his legions pushed northward to the Firth of Forth. The border Picts, probably joined by rebellious Britons , strenuously contested Roman sovereignty in the region between the firths of Forth and Clyde. In 1 AD, to ward off the Pictish threat to the imperial positions in northern Britain, the Roman emperor Hadrian ordered construction of a rampart from Solway Firth to the mouth of the Tyne River. Remnants of this rampart, known in history as Hadrian's Wall , still exist. Two decades later another rampart, called the Antonine Wall, was constructed from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde. The territory between the two walls served as a defense area against the Caledonians during Roman occupation.

Early Scottish Kingdoms
After the Roman withdrawal from Britain in 409, the Picts systematically raided the territories of their southern neighbors. The latter, however, soon put an end to these raids, probably with the assistance of the Saxons, one of the Germanic tribes that subsequently subjugated the Britons. In the course of the Germanic conquest many Britons withdrew into the Caledonian region between the Firth of Clyde and Solway Firth, and there laid the foundations of what became the kingdom of Strathclyde. The adjacent region to the north was occupied toward the beginning of the 6th century by the Scots, Celtic invaders from northern Ireland, who established the kingdom that became known in history as Dalriada. About the middle of the 6th century the Angles, a people who were related to the Saxons, overran most of Caledonia south of the Firth of Forth and east of Strathclyde. Together with the extensive Angle holdings in the north of what is now England, this region became the kingdom of Northumbria. During the period of Angle penetration in Caledonia, Christianity was widely disseminated among the Picts by Saint Columba, an Irish missionary who came to Dalriada from northern Ireland in 563. Strathclyde and various parts of Pictland had been converted to Christianity before the time of Columba. Between 655 and 664, Scottish missionaries were active in Northumbria, which was then the center of a pagan revival.

The Unification of Scotland
In 685 Pictish territory north of the Firth of Forth was invaded by a large Northumbrian army. An overwhelming Pictish victory permanently weakened Northumbrian power in Caledonia. About 730 Angus MacFergus, king of the Picts, subjugated Strathclyde and Dalriada. Relative peace followed until the late 8th century, when Vikings from Scandinavia began to raid the Caledonian coasts. Taking advantage of Pictish preoccupation with the invaders, the Scots and Britons soon regained their independence. In 844 Kenneth MacAlpine, king of Dalriada, and later king of Scotland, who was a descendant of the Pictish royal family, obtained the crown of Pictland, probably with the assent of the harassed Picts. The united kingdoms, officially known as Alban, comprised all the territory north of the firths of Forth and Clyde. Kenneth and several of his successors vainly attempted to subdue the remaining Northumbrian possessions in Caledonia and, in alliance with Strathclyde, tried to halt the raids of the Vikings. Although, with the help of the Northumbrians, the Vikings were prevented from securing a foothold in Dalriada, they seized various coastal areas in the north, east, and west and occupied the Orkney and Shetland islands and the Hebrides. In later times the rulers of England claimed the Scottish domain on the basis of the aid their forebears had given to Alban. In the 10th century the Alban kings, having repulsed the Vikings, repeatedly attacked the Northumbrian strongholds south of the Firth of Clyde. All these attacks ended in failure. During the reign (1005-34) of Malcolm II Mackenneth, the Northumbrians were decisively defeated in the Battle of Carham (1018). With this event and as a result of the inheritance of the crown of Strathclyde by Malcolm's grandson and successor, Duncan I, the Scottish domains, thereafter known as Scotland, embraced all the territory north of Solway Firth and the Tweed River. Duncan's reign, a period of disastrous wars and internal strife, was ended in 1040 with his assassination by Macbeth, mormaor (great steward) of Ross and Moray, who then became king of Scotland. Macbeth, according to history a successful king, held the throne until 1057, when he was defeated and killed by Duncan's son Malcolm Canmore.

The Anglicization of Scotland
The accession in 1057 of Malcolm Canmore, as Malcolm III MacDuncan, introduced a new era in Scotland, an era marked by fundamental transformations of the ancient Celtic culture and institutions. Long an exile among the English, Malcolm had acquired a profound interest in their customs and affairs. The consequent trend toward Anglicization of his realm was sharply accelerated when, in 1067, he married Margaret, an English princess later canonized as Saint Margaret, who had been forced into exile in Scotland by the Norman Conquest in 1066. Under the influence of Margaret, a devout communicant of the church of Rome, many of the teachings of the Celtic church were brought into harmony with the Roman ritual. The hostility engendered among many of the Scottish chieftains by Margaret's activities flared into rebellion after Malcolm's death. Margaret, her stepson Duncan (later Duncan II, king of Scotland), and their English retainers were then driven from the country. With Anglo-Norman help, the rebellion, which had been led by Donald Bane, a brother of Malcolm III, was crushed. In 1097 Edgar, one of the six sons of Malcolm and Margaret, ascended the Scottish throne. The Anglicization of Scotland acquired tremendous momentum during the reign of Edgar and those of his brothers Alexander I and David I. Under these monarchs, all of whom had been deeply influenced by their mother's religious and cultural views, the Anglo-Norman feudal system was established in Scotland. The reorganization was confined at first to ecclesiastical reforms but gradually affected all sectors of Scottish life. Celtic religious orders were suppressed, English ecclesiastics replaced Scottish monks, numerous monasteries were founded, and the Celtic church was remodeled in conformity with Catholic practice. Norman French supplanted the Gaelic language in court circles, while English was spoken in the border areas and many parts of the Lowlands. The traditional system of tribal land tenure was abolished during the reign of David. Claiming universal ownership of the land, he conveyed huge grants, particularly in central and southern Scotland, to Anglo-Norman and Scottish nobles, who thereby became loyal vassals of the Crown. David I also instituted various judicial, legislative, and administrative reforms, all based on English models, encouraged the development of commerce with England, and granted extensive privileges to the Scottish burghs.

Relations with England
Political relations with England were disturbed during David's reign by disputes over certain border areas, notably that portion of Northumbria south of the Tweed. In 1138 and again in 1149 the Scottish king, seeking to extend his dominions southward, supported abortive attempts to dethrone the reigning monarch of England. As a result of the intervention of 1149, Northumbria, which had been granted previously to Scotland, reverted to English ownership. David's grandson William the Lion , who was crowned king of Scotland in 1165, attempted to regain Northumbria by giving military aid to a rebellion in 1173 and 1174 against Henry II of England. In 1174 William was taken prisoner and compelled, by the provisions of the Treaty of Falaise, to swear fealty to the English king. Although Richard I of England annulled the treaty, in 1189, in exchange for 10,000 marks of silver, English claims to sovereignty over Scotland were based thereafter on precedent as well as the 10th-century alliances against the Vikings. Alexander II , William's son and successor, renounced Scottish claims to Northumbria and other territories in northern England in 1237, beginning a period of friendly relations between the two nations. In 1266, following a victorious war against Norway, Alexander III recovered the Hebrides. Alexander III died in 1286, leaving the throne to Margaret, known as the Maid of Norway, his infant granddaughter and only living descendant. Margaret's death produced a political crisis in Scotland, with no less than 13 descendants of former monarchs laying claim to the throne. In this situation Edward I of England, proclaiming suzerainty over Scotland, intervened on behalf of John de Baliol, a grandson of David I. Certain sections of the Scottish nobility formally recognized the English king's over lordship in Scotland. In November 1292, after leading an army into his vassal realm, Edward I proclaimed John de Baliol king of Scotland.

The War for Independence
Many Scottish nobles and the overwhelming majority of the Scottish people bitterly resented English interference in their national affairs. Acceding to popular demand for termination of English control, Baliol in 1295 formed an alliance with France, which was then at war with England, and summoned his people to revolt. The first phase of the Scottish war of independence ended victoriously for Edward, who crushed Baliol's army at Dunbar in April 1296 and decreed the annexation of Scotland to England. Baliol was deposed, and his kingdom was placed under military occupation.

William Wallace
The Scottish struggle against England was resumed in 1297, under the leadership of the Scottish patriot Sir William Wallace. With soldiers recruited from all sections of the nation, Wallace destroyed an English army at Sterling in September and, acting as the agent of John de Baliol, reinstituted Scottish rule. The following year Edward led a huge army into Scotland and in July won a decisive victory at Falkirk. After this setback Wallace waged incessant guerrilla warfare against the English. He was outlawed by Edward in 1304, following another large-scale English invasion. The year after, Wallace was betrayed to the English, convicted of treason, and executed.

Robert Bruce
After Wallace's death, Robert Bruce, a descendant of David I, assumed the leadership of the resistance movement. Although Bruce had opposed Wallace, most of the Scottish nobility and clergy rallied to his support. He was crowned Robert I, king of Scotland, in March 1306. During the first year of his reign Bruce suffered several reverses at the hands of the English. In 1307, on the accession to the English throne of Edward II, who abandoned his father's plan to subjugate Scotland, Bruce began a systematic guerrilla campaign against the pro-English section of the Scottish nobility and against English garrisons in Scotland. Between 1307 and 1314 he won numerous battles against his enemies and, on a number of occasions, even invaded northern England. Edward II finally led a punitive expedition into Scotland in the spring of 1314. Meeting this invasion force at Bannockburn on June 24, the Scottish army inflicted on it one of the most disastrous defeats in the military annals of England . Edward II refused to grant independence to Scotland, however, and the war between the two nations continued for more than a decade. During this phase of the struggle, the common people of Scotland secured representation, for the first time, in the Scottish Parliament in 1326. The war against England ended victoriously in 1328, when the regents of the young Edward III of England approved the Treaty of Northampton. By the terms of this document, Scotland obtained recognition as an independent kingdom.

David II
For more than 200 years after Bruce's death in 1329 and the accession of his infant son as David II, Scotland was the scene of almost continuous strife among the nobility. The feudal anarchy was especially pronounced because of the prevalence of the clan system in the Highlands and various other areas. In these regions, where close personal relations existed among the clan members and their chiefs, the latter were powerful and contemptuous of royal authority. The period was also marked by almost uninterrupted warfare with England and the development of Scotland's Parliament. Within four years after the conclusion of the Treaty of Northampton, Edward III renewed the struggle to reduce Scotland to vassalage. Initially, this venture took the form of support to Edward de Baliol, a son of John de Baliol and a pretender to the Scottish crown. Baliol invaded Scotland from England in 1332 and, after winning a victory at Dupplin Moor, had himself crowned king. He was quickly driven out of the country. In 1333 Edward III led an army northward and routed the Scots near Berwick-upon-Tweed. The English king thereupon occupied a large part of southeastern Scotland. In 1337, after he became involved in the Hundred Years' War, he abandoned Baliol and neglected his Scottish possessions; by 1341 the Scots had liberated several of the more important occupied areas, including Edinburgh. In 1346 David II, allied with France, led an invasion of northern England but was defeated near Durham and taken prisoner. A large section of southern Scotland was immediately reoccupied by the English. David was not released until 1357, after the Scots had agreed to pay an enormous ransom.

The Stuart Kings
Under the first two kings of the Stuart dynasty, Robert II (reigned 1371-1390) and Robert III (reigned 1390-1406), the country was further devastated by the war with England, and royal authority was weak. James I (reigned 1406-1437) attempted to restore order in the strife-torn country. He imposed various curbs on the nobility and secured parliamentary approval of many legislative reforms. Without the cooperation of the feudal barons, however, these reforms were unenforceable. James I was murdered in 1437. During the remainder of the 15th century the successors of James I, namely, James II , James III, and James IV, sought to impose restraints on the turbulent nobility, but significant results were accomplished only by James IV. The alliance with France was maintained, and by 1460 the English had been expelled from southern Scotland. Among other outstanding developments of the 15th century was the recovery, through the marriage of James III to a Danish princess, of the Orkney and Shetland islands. Shortly after the turn of the century James IV married Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England, but friction between the two nations continued. In 1513, after Henry VIII invaded France, James IV led an army into England. The Scots and English met at Flodden Field, where James was killed and his army routed. Following the rupture between Henry VIII and the Roman Catholic church in the 1530s, Henry tried in vain to enlist James V on the side of fundamental ecclesiastical reform and to secure an end to the Franco-Scottish alliance. The Protestant Reformation shortly began to gain headway in Scotland, and the Protestants tended to oppose the connection with France. In 1538 James V married Mary of Guise, a member of the French royal family, and, in another war with England, was defeated at Solway Moss in 1542. He died a few weeks after the battle.

Mary, Queen of Scots
James's daughter Mary, still a child, was sent abroad to be raised at the French court in 1548, and her mother, Mary of Guise, assumed the regency in 1554. The regent's policies, which seemed designed to transform Scotland into a colony of France, provoked the spread of anti-French sentiment in the kingdom. The return to Scotland, in 1559, of John Knox, a Protestant leader who had been exiled, added to the political ferment and gave impetus to the Reformation. The general hostility to Mary of Guise was deepened by the marriage, in April 1558, of her daughter to the Dauphin of France. In 1559, following the queen mother's denunciation of Protestants as heretics, Knox and his followers resorted to open rebellion. Elizabeth I of England began at once to provide the insurgents with financial and military aid. Mary of Guise died in June 1560. In that same year, the Scottish Protestant leaders, assembled in a special parliament, abolished the Roman Catholic church in Scotland and adopted a Calvinistic Confession of Faith. In August 1561 Queen Mary returned to Scotland; her husband, Francis II, had died in December 1560, just 17 months after becoming King of France. A loyal Roman Catholic and the heir presumptive to the English crown, Mary became the central figure of the Counter Reformation in Scotland and, later, in England. The final contest between Scottish Protestantism and Roman Catholicism was marked by conspiracy, murder, rebellion, and civil war. In 1567, after Mary's army was defeated in battle, she was forced to abdicate in favor of her infant son, James VI, born in 1566 of her union with Lord Darnley. Imprisoned in Scotland, Mary escaped in May 1568, but failed to regain her throne. She then fled to England, only to become the captive of Queen Elizabeth.

James VI
Until 1578 Scotland was ruled by successive regents, all staunchly Protestant and pro-English, and later by factions capable of dominating the young king. By 1586, however, James VI had control of his government and had concluded a military alliance with Elizabeth. He subsequently refused to intercede on behalf of his mother, who was executed in England in 1587. In religion, he tried to steer a middle course, allowing a Presbyterian form of church government at the local level, but appointing bishops who represented royal authority over the church as a whole. He was a capable administrator and made the power of the monarchy dominant in Scotland. On the death of Elizabeth, in March 1603, James VI inherited the crown of England as James I.

Scotland in the 17th Century
James lived on until 1625, and Scotland remained largely tranquil under his rule. Relations with England grew closer, but the two kingdoms remained distinct, each with its own government. Under James's son, Charles I (reigned 1625-1649), high taxes, and especially royal attempts to impose Anglican forms of worship, led to conflicts known as the Bishops' Wars (1639-1640). These in turn helped to spark the great English Revolution, which ended in Charles's execution. During the revolution, many Scots supported Parliament against the king in return for a promise that Presbyterianism would be established in both realms. This promise was not kept, and after Charles's execution, England's Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell defeated Scottish uprisings on behalf of the royal heir, Charles II. Cromwell also temporarily imposed a single government on England and Scotland. When Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660, Scotland was again separated from England. Charles reintroduced a limited form of episcopacy in the northern kingdom, and several abortive Presbyterian rebellions occurred during his reign. Scotland played no part in the overthrow of Charles's successor, James VII (James II of England) in 1688, but the Scottish Parliament immediately recognized the new king, William III, as William II of Scotland. William abolished the Scottish episcopate in 1690. This made him popular among the Lowland Scots, but in the Highlands support for the exiled King James remained strong.

Scotland in The United Kingdom
In 1707 the Scottish Parliament voted itself out of existence, and Scotland became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain with guarantees of its own legal system and church polity. Thereafter, Scottish representatives sat in the British Parliament at Westminster. The union, like the Revolution of 1688, was opposed by many of the Highland Scots, who rose in support of James VII's son in the Jacobite rebellions of 1708, 1715, and 1745 to 1746. Following the defeat of the 1745 Rebellion, the government forced the breakup of the clan system in the Highlands. At the same time, Edinburgh, home of the Scottish Enlightenment, was becoming one of the most important cultural centers of 18th-century Europe. Among the outstanding Scottish thinkers of the time were the economist Adam Smith and the philosopher David Hume. Literary figures included Tobias Smollett, James Boswell, Robert Burns, and, somewhat later, Sir Walter Scott. Industrialization began in the late 1700s, and in the course of the 19th century, Scotland was transformed from an agricultural into an industrial nation. Its textile, steel, and shipbuilding industries made major contributions to Britain's commercial greatness during this period, while Scottish statesmen and administrators helped govern the British Empire, and Scottish soldiers helped defend it. With the decline of Britain as a world power in the second half of the 20th century, Scottish nationalism once again became a significant political force. Strident calls for independence were heard in the general elections in the mid-1970s. Although the Scots continue to insist on unique provisions of law and local government, the drive for separation has been muted in recent years by increased prosperity.

Information taken from Encarta '97 Encyclopedia...Microsoft

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