North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
Irish nationalism is a nationalist ideology which asserts that the Irish people are a nation and espouses the creation of a sovereign Irish nation-state on the island of Ireland. It grew more potent during the period in which the whole of Ireland was part of United Kingdom, which lead to most of the island seceding from the UK in 1921. Politically, Irish nationalism gave way to many factions which created conflict violent, throughout the island; the chief division affecting nationalism in Ireland was religious. The majority of the island's population was Roman Catholic, the part that seceded, but a portion of the northern part has a Protestant majority that elected to stay a part of the United Kingdom. Since the partition of Ireland, the term Irish nationalism refers to support for the island's unification. Irish nationalists assert. Irish nationalism speaks to celebration of the culture of Ireland the Irish language, literature and sports. Irish nationalism is regarded as having emerged following the Renaissance revival of the concept of the patria and the religious struggle between the ideology of the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation.
At this early stage in the 16th century, Irish nationalism represented an ideal of the native Gaelic Irish and the Old English banding together in common cause, under the banner of Catholicism and Irish civic identity, hoping to protect their land and interests from the New English Protestant forces sponsored by England. This vision sought to overcome the old ethnic divide between Gaeil and Gaill, a feature of Irish life since the 12th century. Protestantism in England introduced a religious element to the 16th century Tudor conquest of Ireland, as many of the native Gaels and Hiberno-Normans remained Catholic; the Plantations of Ireland dispossessed many native Catholic landowners in favour of Protestant settlers from England and Scotland. In addition, the Plantation of Ulster, begun in 1609, "planted" a sizeable population of English and Scottish Protestant settlers into the north of Ireland. Irish aristocrats waged many campaigns against the English presence. A prime example is the rebellion of Hugh O'Neill which became known as the Nine Years War of 1594–1603, which aimed to expel the English and make Ireland a Spanish protectorate.
A more significant movement came in the 1640s, after the Irish Rebellion of 1641, when a coalition of Gaelic Irish and Old English Catholics set up a de facto independent Irish state to fight in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The Confederate Catholics of Ireland known as the Confederation of Kilkenny, emphasised the idea of Ireland as a Kingdom independent from England, albeit under the same monarch, they demanded autonomy for the Irish Parliament, full rights for Catholics and an end to the confiscation of Catholic-owned land. The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland destroyed the Confederate cause and resulted in the permanent dispossession of the old Catholic landowning class. A similar Irish Catholic monarchist movement emerged in the 1680s and 1690s, when Irish Catholic Jacobites supported James II after his deposition in England in the Glorious Revolution of 1688–1689; the Jacobites demanded that Irish Catholics have a majority in an autonomous Irish Parliament, the restoration of confiscated Catholic land, an Irish-born Lord Deputy of Ireland.
To the Confederates of the 1640s, the Jacobites were conscious of representing the "Irish nation", but were not separatists and represented the interests of the landed class as opposed to all the Irish people. Like the Confederates, they suffered defeat, in the Williamite War in Ireland. Thereafter, the English Protestant Ascendancy dominated Irish government and landholding; the Penal Laws discriminated against non-Anglicans. This coupling of religious and ethnic identity – principally Roman Catholic and Gaelic – as well as a consciousness of dispossession and defeat at the hands of British and Protestant forces, became enduring features of Irish nationalism. However, the Irish Catholic movements of the 16th century were invariably led by a small landed and clerical elite. Professor Kevin Whelan has traced the emergence of the modern Catholic-nationalist identity that formed in 1760–1830. Irish historian Marc Caball, on the other hand, claims that "early modern Irish nationalism" began to be established after the Flight of the Earls, based on the concepts of "the indivisibility of Gaelic cultural integrity, territorial sovereignty, the interlinking of Gaelic identity with profession of the Roman Catholic faith".
The Protestant Parliament of Ireland of the eighteenth century called for more autonomy from the British Parliament – the repeal of Poynings' Law, which allowed the latter to legislate for Ireland. They were supported by popular sentiment that came from the various publications of William Molyneux about Irish constitutional independence. Parliamentarians who wanted more self-government formed the Irish Patriot Party, led by Henry Grattan, who achieved substantial legislative independence in 1782–83. Grattan and radical elements of the'Irish Whig' party campaigned in the 1790s for Catholic political equality and a reform of electoral rights, he wanted useful links with Britain to remain, best understood by his comment:'The channel forbids union. Grattan's movement was notable for being both inclusive and nationalist as
Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language and history, sometimes involving neighbouring countries; the demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although the Brussels Capital Region has an independent regional government, the government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels such as culture and education. Flanders, despite not being the biggest part of Belgium by area, is the area with the largest population. 7,876,873 out of 11,491,346 Belgian inhabitants live in the bilingual city of Brussels. Not including Brussels, there are five modern Flemish provinces. In medieval contexts, the original "County of Flanders" stretched around AD 900 from the Strait of Dover to the Scheldt estuary and expanded from there; this county still corresponds with the modern-day Belgian provinces of West Flanders and East Flanders, along with neighbouring parts of France and the Netherlands.
Although this original meaning is still relevant, during the 19th and 20th centuries it became commonplace to use the term "Flanders" to refer to the entire Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, stretching all the way to the River Meuse, as well as cultural movements such as Flemish art. In accordance with late 20th century Belgian state reforms the Belgian part of this area was made into two political entities: the "Flemish Community" and the "Flemish Region"; these entities were merged, although geographically the Flemish Community, which has a broader cultural mandate, covers Brussels, whereas the Flemish Region does not. Flanders, by every definition, has figured prominently in European history since the Middle Ages. In this period, cities such as Ghent and Antwerp made it one of the richest and most urbanized parts of Europe and weaving the wool of neighbouring lands into cloth for both domestic use and export; as a consequence, a sophisticated culture developed, with impressive achievements in the arts and architecture, rivaling those of northern Italy.
Belgium was one of the centres of the 19th century industrial revolution but Flanders was at first overtaken by French-speaking Wallonia. In the second half of the 20th century, due to massive national investments in port infrastructures, Flanders' economy modernised and today Flanders and Brussels are more wealthy than Wallonia and in general one of the wealthiest regions in Europe and the world. Geographically, Flanders is flat, has a small section of coast on the North Sea. Much of Flanders is agriculturally fertile and densely populated, with a population density of 500 people per square kilometer, it touches France to the west near the coast, borders the Netherlands to the north and east, Wallonia to the south. The Brussels Capital Region is an bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. Flanders has exclaves of its own: Voeren in the east is between Wallonia and the Netherlands and Baarle-Hertog in the north consists of 22 exclaves surrounded by the Netherlands; the term "Flanders" has several main modern meanings: The "Flemish community" or "Flemish nation", i.e. the social and linguistic, scientific and educational and political community of the Flemings.
It comprises 6.5 million Belgians. The political subdivisions of Belgium: the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community; the first does not comprise Brussels, whereas the latter does comprise the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Brussels. The political institutions that govern both subdivisions: the operative body "Flemish Government" and the legislative organ "Flemish Parliament"; the two westernmost provinces of the Flemish Region, West Flanders and East Flanders, forming the central portion of the historic County of Flanders. An ancien régime territory that existed from the 8th century until its absorption by the French First Republic; until the 1600s, this county extended over parts of what are now France and the Netherlands. One of the Flemish regions which are now part of France, in the Nord department; this is referred to as French Flanders, can be divided into two smaller regions: Walloon Flanders and Maritime Flanders. The first region was predominantly French-speaking in the 1600s, the latter became so in the 20th century.
The city of Lille identifies itself as "Flemish", this is reflected, for instance, in the name of its local railway station TGV Lille Flandres. The Flemish region which became part of the Dutch Republic, now part of the Dutch province of Zeeland; the significance of the County of Flanders and its counts eroded through time, but the designation remained in a broad sense. In the Early modern period, the term Flanders was associated with the southern part of the Low Countries: the Southern Netherlands. During the 19th and 20th centuries, it became commonplace to refer to the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium as "Flanders"; the linguistic limit between French and Dutch was recorded in the early'60's, from Kortrijk to Maastricht. Now, Flanders extends over the northern part of Belgium, including Belgian Limburg (corresponding to t
Fertility is the natural capability to produce offspring. As a measure, fertility rate is the number of offspring born per mating pair, individual or population. Fertility differs from fecundity, defined as the potential for reproduction. A lack of fertility is infertility. Human fertility depends on factors of nutrition, sexual behavior, culture, endocrinology, economics, way of life, emotions. In demographic contexts, fertility refers to the actual production of offspring, rather than the physical capability to produce, termed fecundity. While fertility can be measured, fecundity cannot be. Demographers measure the fertility rate in a variety of ways, which can be broadly broken into "period" measures and "cohort" measures. "Period" measures refer to a cross-section of the population in one year. "Cohort" data on the other hand, follows the same people over a period of decades. Both period and cohort measures are used. Crude birth rate - the number of live births in a given year per 1,000 people alive at the middle of that year.
One disadvantage of this indicator is. General fertility rate - the number of births in a year divided by the number of women aged 15–44, times 1000, it focuses on the potential mothers only, takes the age distribution into account. Child-Woman Ratio - the ratio of the number of children under 5 to the number of women 15–49, times 1000, it is useful in historical data as it does not require counting births. This measure is a hybrid, because it involves deaths as well as births. Coale's Index of Fertility - a special device used in historical research Total fertility rate - the total number of children a woman would bear during her lifetime if she were to experience the prevailing age-specific fertility rates of women. TFR equals the sum for all age groups of 5 times each ASFR rate. Gross Reproduction Rate - the number of girl babies a synthetic cohort will have, it assumes that all of the baby girls will grow up and live to at least age 50. Net Reproduction Rate - the NRR starts with the GRR and adds the realistic assumption that some of the women will die before age 49.
NRR is always lower than GRR, but in countries where mortality is low all the baby girls grow up to be potential mothers, the NRR is the same as GRR. In countries with high mortality, NRR can be as low as 70% of GRR; when NRR = 1.0, each generation of 1000 baby girls grows up and gives birth to 1000 girls. When NRR is less than one, each generation is smaller than the previous one; when NRR is greater than 1 each generation is larger than the one before. NRR is a measure of the long-term future potential for growth, but it is different from the current population growth rate. A parent's number of children correlates with the number of children that each person in the next generation will have. Factors associated with increased fertility include religiosity, intention to have children, maternal support. Factors associated with decreased fertility include wealth, female labor participation, urban residence, increased female age and increased male age; the "Three-step Analysis" of the fertility process was introduced by Kingsley Davis and Judith Blake in 1956 and makes use of three proximate determinants: The economic analysis of fertility is part of household economics, a field that has grown out of the New Home Economics.
Influential economic analyses of fertility include Becker and Easterlin. The latter developed. Bongaarts proposed a model where the total fertility rate of a population can be calculated from four proximate determinants and the total fecundity; the index of marriage, the index of contraception, the index of induced abortion and the index of postpartum infecundability. These indices range from 0 to 1; the higher the index, the higher it will make the TFR, for example a population where there are no induced abortions would have a Ca of 1, but a country where everybody used infallible contraception would have a Cc of 0. TFR = TF × Cm × Ci × Ca × Cc These four indices can be used to calculate the total marital fertility and the total natural fertility. TFR = TMFR × Cm TMFR = TN × Cc × Ca TN = TF × Ci Intercourse The first step is sexual intercourse, an examination of the average age at first intercourse, the average frequency outside marriage, the average frequency inside. Conception Certain physical conditions may make it impossible for a woman to conceive.
This is called "involuntary infecundity." If the woman has a condition making it possible, but unlikely to conceive, this is termed "subfecundity." Venereal diseases are common causes. Nutrition is a factor as well: women with less than 20% body fat may be subfecund, a factor of concern for athletes and people susceptible to anorexia. Demographer Ruth Frisch has argued that "It takes 50,000 calories to make a baby". There is subfecundity in the weeks following childbirth, this can be prolonged for a year or more through breastfeeding. A furious political debate raged in the 1980s over the ethics of baby food companies marketing infant f
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, the twentieth-largest on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.6 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. The island's geography comprises low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland, its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate, free of extremes in temperature. Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the Middle Ages. Today, woodland makes up about 10% of the island, compared with a European average of over 33%, most of it is non-native conifer plantations.
There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and thus moderate, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century AD; the island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the 12th century Norman invasion, England claimed sovereignty. However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, was extended during the 18th century. With the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became sovereign over the following decades, Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same. Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures in the field of literature. Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language; the island's culture shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, sports such as association football, horse racing, golf. The names Éire derive from Old Irish Eriu; this in turn comes from the Proto-Celtic *Iveriu, the source of Latin Hibernia. Iveriu derives from a root meaning'fat, prosperous'. During the last glacial period, up until about 10,000 BC, most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice. Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, formed part of continental Europe.
By 16,000 BC, rising sea levels due to ice melting caused Ireland to become separated from Great Britain. Around 6000 BC, Great Britain itself became separated from continental Europe; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC, demonstrated by a butchered bear bone found in a cave in County Clare. It is not until about 8000 BC, that more sustained occupation of the island has been shown, with evidence for Mesolithic communities around the island; these Mesolithic communities lived as hunter-gatherers across the island until about 4000 BC. Some time before 4000 BC, Neolithic settlers arrived introducing cereal cultivars, domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep, large timber building, stone monuments; the earliest evidence for farming in Ireland or Great Britain is from Co.. Kerry, where a flint knife, cattle bones and a sheep's tooth were carbon-dated to c. 4350 BC. Field systems were developed in different parts of Ireland, including at the Céide Fields, preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day Tyrawley.
An extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world, consisted of small divisions separated by dry-stone walls. The fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 BC and 3000 BC. Wheat and barley were the principal crops; the Bronze Age – defined by the use of metal – began around 2500 BC, with technology changing people's everyday lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel. According to John T. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-network culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that included Britain, western France and Iberia, that this is where Celtic languages developed; this contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in mainland Europe with the Hallstatt culture. During the Iron Age, a Celtic language and culture emerged in Ireland. How and when the island became Celtic has been debated for close to a century, with the migrations of the Celts being one of the more enduring themes of archaeological and linguistic studies.
The most recent genetic research s
Highland Potato Famine
The Highland Potato Famine was a period of 19th century Highland and Scottish history over which the agricultural communities of the Hebrides and the western Scottish Highlands saw their potato crop devastated by potato blight. It was part of the wider food crisis facing Northern Europe caused by potato blight during the mid-1840s, whose most famous manifestation is the Great Irish Famine, but compared to its Irish counterpart it was much less extensive and took many fewer lives; the terms on which charitable relief was given, led to destitution and malnutrition amongst its recipients. A government enquiry could suggest no short-term solution other than reduction of the population of the area at risk by emigration to Canada or Australia. Highland landlords organised and paid for the emigration of more than 16,000 of their tenants and a significant but unknown number paid for their own passage. Evidence suggests that the majority of Highlanders who permanently left the famine-struck regions emigrated, rather than moving to other parts of Scotland.:197-210 It is estimated that about a third of the population of the western Scottish Highlands emigrated between 1841 and 1861.
Over the 18th century, Highland society had changed greatly. On the eastern fringes of the Highlands, most arable land was divided into family farms with 20 to 50 acres employing crofters and cottars; the economy had become assimilated to that of the Lowlands, whose proximity allowed and encouraged a diverse agriculture. Proximity to the Lowlands had led to a steady drain of population from these areas. In the Western Isles and the adjacent mainland developments had been different. Chieftains who had become improving landlords had found livestock-grazing the most remunerative form of agriculture. Croft sizes were set low to encourage the tenantry to participate in the industry the landlord wished to develop. A contemporary writer thought that a crofter would have to do work away from his holding for 200 days a year if his family were to avoid destitution; the various industries the crofting townships were supposed to support prospered in the first quarter of the 19th century but declined or collapsed over its second quarter.
The crofting areas were correspondingly impoverished, but able to sustain themselves by a much greater reliance on potatoes. Between 1801 and 1841 the population in the crofting area increased by over half, whereas in the eastern and southern Highlands the increase in the same period was under 10 percent. Pre-blight, whilst mainland Argyll had over two acres of arable land per inhabitant, there was only half an acre of arable land per head in Skye and Wester Ross: in the crofting area, as in Ireland, the population had grown to levels which only a successful potato harvest could support. In the Scottish Highlands, in 1846, there was widespread failure of potato crops as a result of potato blight. Crops failed in about three-quarters of the crofting region, putting a population of about 200,000 at risk; the Free Church of Scotland, strong in the affected areas, was prompt in raising the alarm and in organising relief, being the only body doing so in late 1846 and early 1847. Additionally, the Free Church organised transport for over 3,000 men from the famine-struck regions to work on the Lowland railways.
This both removed people who needed to be fed from the area and provided money for their families to buy food. The British government took early notice of the crop failure, they were approached for assistance by landowners at the end of the summer of 1846, but any direct subsidies to the landlords were ruled out, as this would have relieved them of their responsibilities to their tenants. Sir Charles Trevelyan, the Assistant Secretary to the Treasury provided the lead; the government was restricted by the common attitudes of the middle of the 19th century: minimal intervention, there was deep concern to avoid upsetting the free play of normal market forces. Despite the constraints of these ruling economic theories, Trevelyan made clear that "the people cannot, under any circumstances, be allowed to starve" in a letter of September 1846; the government's first action was to ensure that Highland landlord met their responsibilities to provide famine relief to their tenants. Landlord response varied.
Some had the willingness to do this. Others among the remaining hereditary landowners, were in perilous financial conditions and struggled to meet expectations, some of them being in denial about their lack of ability to do so; the last class, those who had the means to fund relief for their tenants, but chose not to, were put under substan
The Highlands is a historic region of Scotland. Culturally, the Highlands and the Lowlands diverged from the Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands; the term is used for the area north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault, although the exact boundaries are not defined to the east. The Great Glen divides the Grampian Mountains to the southeast from the Northwest Highlands; the Scottish Gaelic name of A' Ghàidhealtachd means "the place of the Gaels" and traditionally, from a Gaelic-speaking point of view, includes both the Western Isles and the Highlands. The area is sparsely populated, with many mountain ranges dominating the region, includes the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis. Before the 19th century the Highlands was home to a much larger population, but from circa 1841 and for the next 160 years, the natural increase in population was exceeded by emigration and migration to the industrial cities of Scotland and England.
The area is now one of the most sparsely populated in Europe. At 9.1 per km2 in 2012, the population density in the Highlands and Islands is less than one seventh of Scotland's as a whole, comparable with that of Bolivia and Russia. The Highland Council is the administrative body for much of the Highlands, with its administrative centre at Inverness. However, the Highlands includes parts of the council areas of Aberdeenshire, Angus and Bute, North Ayrshire and Kinross, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire; the Scottish highlands is the only area in the British Isles to have the taiga biome as it features concentrated populations of Scots pine forest: see Caledonian Forest. Between the 15th century and the 20th century, the area differed from most of the Lowlands in terms of language. In Scottish Gaelic, the region is known as the Gàidhealtachd, because it was traditionally the Gaelic-speaking part of Scotland, although the language is now confined to The Hebrides; the terms are sometimes used interchangeably but have different meanings in their respective languages.
Scottish English is the predominant language of the area today, though Highland English has been influenced by Gaelic speech to a significant extent. The "Highland line" distinguished the two Scottish cultures. While the Highland line broadly followed the geography of the Grampians in the south, it continued in the north, cutting off the north-eastern areas, Eastern Caithness and Shetland, from the more Gaelic Highlands and Hebrides; the major social unit of the Highlands was the clan. Scottish kings James VI, saw clans as a challenge to their authority. Following the Union of the Crowns, James VI had the military strength to back up any attempts to impose some control; the result was, in 1609, the Statutes of Iona which started the process of integrating clan leaders into Scottish society. The gradual changes continued into the 19th century, as clan chiefs thought of themselves less as patriarchal leaders of their people and more as commercial landlords; the first effect on the clansmen who were their tenants was the change to rents being payable in money rather than in kind.
Rents were increased as Highland landowners sought to increase their income. This was followed in the period 1760-1850, by agricultural improvement that involved clearance of the population to make way for large scale sheep farms. Displaced tenants were set up in crofting communities in the process; the crofts were intended not to provide all the needs of their occupiers. Crofters came to rely on seasonal migrant work in the Lowlands; this gave impetus to the learning of English, seen by many rural Gaelic speakers to be the essential "language of work". Older historiography attributes the collapse of the clan system to the aftermath of the Jacobite risings; this is now thought less influential by historians. Following the Jacobite rising of 1745 the British government enacted a series of laws to try to suppress the clan system, including bans on the bearing of arms and the wearing of tartan, limitations on the activities of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Most of this legislation was repealed by the end of the 18th century as the Jacobite threat subsided.
There was soon a rehabilitation of Highland culture. Tartan was adopted for Highland regiments in the British Army, which poor Highlanders joined in large numbers in the era of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Tartan had been abandoned by the ordinary people of the region, but in the 1820s, tartan and the kilt were adopted by members of the social elite, not just in Scotland, but across Europe; the international craze for tartan, for idealising a romanticised Highlands, was set off by the Ossian cycle, further popularised by the works of Walter Scott. His "staging" of the visit of King George IV to Scotland in 1822 and the king's wearing of tartan resulted in a massive upsurge in demand for kilts and tartans that could not be met by the Scottish woollen industry. Individual clan tartans were designated in this period and they became a major symbol of Scottish identity; this "Highlandism", by which all of Scotland was identified with the culture of the Highlands, was cemented by Queen Victoria's interest in the country, her adoption of Balmoral as a major royal retreat, her interes