History

 

 

cotland's history dates back to at least 3000-2000 B.C. Neolithic communities created large, ceremonial stone circles similar to Stonehenge. Today the circles still remain.Stone circle on Isle of LewisNot a lot is known about Scotland's Dark Ages. What scholars do know is that Romans invaded in 79 A.D. and found warring tribes. They generally left the people alone, concentrating most of their attention in England. After the Romans left, four kingdoms emerged: the Picts to the North, Britons to the South, Gaelic-speaking people of Del Riata and the Angles who lived in the south-eastern area of Scotland or Northumbria. The Angles introduced the Anglo-Saxon language.

In the 7th century and following, the kingdoms fought for each other's lands. However, they soon had to deal with an outside enemy when the Vikings started raiding in 793. In fact, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles all fell to the Vikings. The Picts especially felt the impact of the Vikings when their entire royal family was murdered but they re-organized and formed an alliance with the Vikings.

Robert the Bruce at Stirling CastleSoon afterwords, Kenneth MacAlpin united the Scots and Picts into one nation and by 1034 the kingdom of Scotland was formed.

In 1124, David became King of Scots, and his reign is considered one of the most important in Scotland's history. Another important event was the signing of one of the world's oldest mutual defense treaties, the "Auld Alliance" between Scotland and France . Scotland became increasingly threatened by their neighbors to the south and tensions worsened when Edward I of England, called "the hammer of the Scots", invaded Scottish lands and proclaimed rule over Scotland. Heroes such as William Wallace and Robert Bruce emerged, and in 1314 Bruce defeated the English at the Battle of Bannockburn.

Although Scotland was now free, the country's wealth had disappeared, and Scotland remained a relatively poor country until the Act of Union was passed in 1707, uniting England and Scotland to form Great Britain. By passing the act, the Scottish Parliament voted itself out of existence for 292 years, until 1999 when a Scottish Parliament was re-instated through the Scotland Act of 1997.

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