division of the United Kingdom, occupying the N part of Great Britain & nearby islands: 30,418 sq mi (78,782 sq km); cap. Edinburgh
A constituent country of the United Kingdom comprising the northern part of the island of Great Britain as well as the Hebrides, Shetland Islands, and Orkney Islands. Inhabited by Picts in prehistoric times, parts of the region were subsequently settled by Anglo-Saxons, Gaels, and Scandinavians. In the ninth century most of Scotland was unified into one kingdom, but conflicts with England soon erupted, leading to a series of bloody wars. When James VI, son of Mary Queen of Scots, succeeded to the English throne in 1603, the two kingdoms were united. Scotland became a part of the kingdom of Great Britain by a parliamentary act of 1707. Edinburgh is the capital and Glasgow the largest city.