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Scotland

Introduction

Scotland, political division of Great Britain (2011 pop. 5,295,000), 30,414 sq mi (78,772 sq km), comprising the northern portion of the island of Great Britain and many surrounding islands. Scotland is separated from England by the Tweed River, the Cheviot Hills, the Liddell River, and Solway Firth. It is bounded on the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean and on the east by the North Sea. The capital is Edinburgh and the largest city is Glasgow.

Scotland, England, and Wales have been united since 1707 under the name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. They share a national parliament but Scotland has its own system of laws (based on Roman law rather than the common law of England), banking (including its own banknotes), and education. In 1999 the Scottish Parliament, which had been dissolved with the Act of Union, was reestablished; it is responsible for Scottish domestic affairs, including taxes.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish Political Geography

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