Scot­land’s 300 years of love-hate re­la­tion­ship with Eng­land

New Straits Times - - World -

LON­DON: Scot­land, one of four na­tions that makes up the United King­dom, has long had a love­hate re­la­tion­ship with Eng­land.

Tied to Lon­don for more than three cen­turies, it has tra­di­tion­ally main­tained a solid ri­valry with its larger neigh­bour.

Ac­count­ing for a third of the United King­dom’s ter­ri­tory and 8.4 per cent of its pop­u­la­tion, much of its his­tory has been de­fined by the re­la­tion­ship.

In 122AD, the Ro­mans be­gan con­struct­ing Hadrian’s Wall, parts of which still ex­ist, to mark the em­pire’s north­ern bor­der. Faced with Norse dom­i­na­tion, the Picts and Scots were united un­der Kenneth MacAlpin, con­sid­ered the first king of Scots, who died in 858.

But when the suc­ces­sion of his dy­nasty fell into ques­tion and Eng­land’s king Ed­ward I was in­vited to ar­bi­trate, he claimed suzerainty, in­vaded in 1296, and was nick­named “Ham­mer of the Scots”.

The Wars of Scot­tish In­de­pen­dence lasted un­til 1357, though king Robert the Bruce had ef­fec­tively es­tab­lished in­de­pen­dence by de­feat­ing English forces at Ban­nock­burn in 1314.

The 1502 Treaty of Per­pet­ual Peace, signed by Scot­land’s king James IV and Eng­land’s king Henry VII, sought to put an end to the in­ter­mit­tent An­glo-Scot­tish wars, and in­cluded a mar­riage be­tween James and Henry’s daugh­ter, Mar­garet.

That set the stage for the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when their great-grand­son, king James VI, in­her­ited the English throne from Queen El­iz­a­beth.

The two coun­tries re­mained sep­a­rate states for more than a cen­tury un­til a lan­guish­ing Scot­land was crip­pled by a dis­as­trous 1698 at­tempt to es­tab­lish a colony of its own in Panama.

Uni­lat­eral tit-for­tat English and Scot­tish moves over suc­ces­sion to the throne led in 1707 to a deal to form a united king­dom called Great Bri­tain, also com­pris­ing North­ern Ire­land and Wales.

Mod­ern-day Scot­land con­tin­ues to high­light its Celtic roots and the English lan­guage co-ex­ists with Scots and Scot­tish Gaelic. It has also kept its own flag and a Scot­tish an­them is tra­di­tion­ally sung be­fore its sports teams play.

Frus­trated with dom­i­na­tion by Westminster, Scot­tish na­tion­al­ists founded the sep­a­ratist Scot­tish Na­tional Party (SNP) in 1934.

In 1998, Scot­land ac­quired a semi-au­ton­o­mous sta­tus un­der the “de­vo­lu­tion” process, in­clud­ing a Scot­tish Par­lia­ment. Com­pe­tence for for­eign pol­icy and de­fence re­main in Lon­don’s hands.

On Sept 18, 2014, more than four mil­lion Scots went to the bal­lot box in a first in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum, where 55 per cent voted against leav­ing the UK.

While the UK voted over­all by 52 per cent to leave the Euro­pean Union in a June 23 last year, Scots voted to re­main in the Euro­pean fold by 62 per cent, restok­ing the de­bate over in­de­pen­dence. AFP year Scot­land

be­came semi-au­ton­o­mous

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.