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Лингво страноведенье / Q- 20 economy scotland

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Question 20. The economy of Scotland.

Scotland is one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Scotland - Caledonia, "Land of Cakes" is a country in the north of GB. Besides the mainland, Scotland includes several islands: the Hebrides, the Orkneys, and the Shetlands. The mainland is bounded in the west and north by the Atlantic Ocean, in the east by the North Sea, and in the south by England and the Irish Sea.

The total area of Scotland is 78,800 square kilometres, representing 32% of the area of Britain. The landscape has many contrasts: mountains and lowlands; deep glens and coastal plains; as well as forests, rivers and lochs ( lakes). The country is divided broadly into three regions:

  • The Highlands and Islands in the north and west account for just over half of the total area and contain the most ancient of Britain's geological formations and some of the highest mountains.

  • The Central Lowlands, which contains the main centres of population and industry as well as fertile farmlands.

  • The Southern Uplands, including the border Country, is a largely agricultural and pastorial area.

The two major cities of the Lowlands are Clasgow (with population of 618.000) and Edinburgh

(the capital of Scotland, with population of 442.000) -less than 50 miles apart in terms of travel, but a world apart in terms of their industry and architecture. Edinburgh is one of Europe's most beautiful capitals.

Clasgow with its satellite towns, forms the huge industrial heart of the Lowlands. It grew from being a pleasant burgh in pretty countryside into a great city, starting first in the 17th century as a major seaport to which sugar and tobacco were imported from America, then completing its development in the last 150 years with the establishment of steelwork and large docks and shipyards along the river Clyde. Today Clasgow is Scotland's largest city, and is thind largest in population in Britain, after London and Birmingham.

The Lowlands contain 75% of the population and most of the industy. The Highlands, famous for hunting and fishing, have been opened to industry by many hydroelectric power stations. About a fourth of total area of the country is under cultivation of in permanent pasture. The principal Scottish crop is oats with more than half of the total cultivated area being devoted to it.

Sheep raising is an important activity in the Highlands (the mountain-ous part of Scotland), dut has been declining recentry.

Scotland has important commerce, valuable mines of iron and coal (though both are declining), fisheries, iron, cotton, woolen, linen and jute manufactures, shipbuiding industries, whisky distilleries, and others. The country accounts for about half of all British shipbuilding tonnage in normal years, the principal centres being along the banks of the River Clyde. Engineering products are the most important industry, with growing emphasis on office machinery, autos, electronics, and other consumer goods. Oil has been discovered offshore in the North Sea, stimulating onshore support industries. Scotland produces fine woolens, worsteds, tweeds, silks, fine linens, and jute. It is known for its special breeds of cattle and sheep. Fisheries heve large hauls of herring, cod, whiting. Whisky is the biggest export. Tourism is vital to Scotland's economy.

Population of Scotland is 5.132.400. The inhabitants of Scotland, esp. The Highlanders, are originally Celts. They pride themselves on being the descendants of the Scots who came to Britain from Ireland in the 6th century.

The five million Scots have far more control over their own affairs than the Welsh. Scotland has its own legal and educational systems, its own banknotes and now its own coin. Scotland has many other institutions, like the clan system, which are distinct from those of the rest of the United Kingdom, but many Scots would prefer a greater degree of self- government. Most political decisions about Scotland are made in London which some groups, like Scottish National Pary (SNP) think is wrong and are tryng to change.

England and Wales are administrated as a unit. Scotland is represented in the House of Lords of the British Parliament, and the appropriate members of the House of Commons represent Scottish constituencies. Separate acts of Parliament are often passed on Scottish matters. The Secretary of State for Scotland is a minister of Cabinet rank responsible to Parliament for Scottish domestic affairs. His functions are exercised through four main Scottish departments, situated in Edinburgh.These departments cover agriculture, education, health and home affairs.

The national symbol of Scotland is the thistle (чертополох) and its patron saint is Saint Andrew.

With its many moors, lochs, mountains, islands and ancient castles , Scotland is rightly regarded as a beautiful country, and is popular with English tourists, especially those who enjoy sporting facilities such as skiing in winter which is not possible in England.

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