Scotland and Colonialism: a Basic Guide

Scotland has a population of around 5.2 million people.
The biggest cities are Glasgow, Edinburgh (The Capital), Aberdeen and Dundee.

Union with England and Colonial Power
In 1707 the Acts of Union between Scotland and England were made. The two countries were united to form Great Britain.

As a result, Scotland became part of British Empire which invaded parts of North America, Asia and Oceania. This is now known as the commonwealth.

By 1922, the British Empire ruled over 458 million people, one-fifth of the world's population at the time. The empire covered more than a quarter of the Earth’s land area.

As a result, the UK’s political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread.

Benefits of the Union
The Union created a common purpose and drive. Scotland was at the front of the Industrial Revolution, which still benefits us today.

It gave opportunities for trade with goods as well as languages and religion.

Being part of the British Empire gave Scotland access to the commonwealth markets and allowed the Scottish to grow as traders.
This brought wealth and prosperity back to Scotland and meant lots of Scottish people moved around the world.

Instead of using the Euro we use our own currency called Pound Sterling.

Being in the United Kingdom gave Scotland security. Scotland benefited in the UK’s shipyards and communities from the money spent on the military. The Scots did however fight in many imperial wars before they joined the United Kingdom (UK).

Britain had a large military so could control smaller countries. Britain had a strong bargaining position for international negotiations so Scotland benefited.

Legacy of Empire
Decades, and in some cases centuries, of British rule and emigration have left their mark on the independent nations that arose from the British Empire. The empire established the use of English in regions around the world. Today it is the primary language of up to 400 million people and is spoken by about one and a half billion as a first, second or foreign language.

Political boundaries drawn by the British were at times arbitrary and insensitive to ethnicities or religions, contributing to conflicts in formerly colonised areas. The British Empire was also responsible for large migrations of peoples. Millions left the British Isles, with large sections of the populations of the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand coming mainly from Britain and Ireland.

Relationship with England
There has always been tension between Scotland and the neighbouring country England. There were many wars between the two countries before they were united with Wales and Northern Ireland to make the United Kingdoms. Nowadays there is a strong rivalry between the national sporting teams but overall relations are positive.

Comment from Finland: We didn't know thatthe British Empire has ruled over 458 million people in 1922.

Comment from Italy: It's amazing how such a small territory has become so important and the English language is spoken by about one and half billion of people. The text is very interesting.

•Scotland has a population of around 5.2 million people.•Biggest cities are Glasgow, Edinburgh (The Capital), Aberdeen and Dundee.