A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war. The commission known as a letter of marque, empowers the person to carry on all forms of hostility permissible at sea by the usages of war, including attacking foreign vessels during wartime and taking them as prizes. Captured ships were subject to condemnation and sale under prize law, with the proceeds divided between the privateer sponsors, shipowners and crew. A percentage share went to the issuer of the commission. Since robbery under arms was once common to seaborne trade, all merchant ships were armed. During war, naval resources were auxiliary to operations on land so privateering was a way of subsidizing state power by mobilizing armed ships and sailors. In practice the legality and status of privateers has been vague. Depending on the specific government and the time period, letters of marque might be issued hastily and/or the privateers might take actions beyond what was authorized by the letters.
The privateers themselves were simply pirates who would take advantage of wars between nations to gain semi-legal status for their enterprises. By the end of the 19th century the practice of issuing letters of marque had fallen out of favor because of the chaos it caused and its role in inadvertently encouraging piracy. A privateer is similar to a mercenary except that, whereas a mercenary group receives a set fee for services and has a formal reporting structure within the entity that hires them, a privateer acts independently with no compensation unless the enemy's property is captured; the letter of marque of a privateer would limit activity to one particular ship, specified officers. The owners or captain would be required to post a performance bond. In the United Kingdom, letters of marque were revoked for various offences; some crews were treated as harshly as naval crews of the time, while others followed the comparatively relaxed rules of merchant ships. Some crews were made up of professional merchant seamen, others of pirates and convicts.
Some privateers ended up becoming pirates, not just in the eyes of their enemies but of their own nations. William Kidd, for instance, began as a legitimate British privateer but was hanged for piracy. While privateers such as Kidd were commissioned to hunt pirates, privateering itself was blamed for piracy. Privateering commissions were easy to obtain during wartime but when the war ended and privateers were recalled, many refused to give up the lucrative business and turned to piracy. Colonial officials exacerbated the problem by issuing commissions to known pirates, giving them legitimacy in exchange for a share of the profits or open bribes; the French Governor of Petit-Goave gave buccaneer Francois Grogniet blank privateering commissions, which Grogniet traded to Edward Davis for a spare ship so the two could continue raiding Spanish cities under a guise of legitimacy. New York Governors Jacob Leisler and Benjamin Fletcher were removed from office in part for their dealings with pirates such as Thomas Tew, to whom Fletcher had granted commissions to sail against the French, but who ignored his commission to raid Mughal shipping in the Red Sea instead.
Kidd himself committed piracy during his privateering voyage and was tried and executed upon his return. Boston minister Cotton Mather lamented after the execution of pirate John Quelch: "Yea, Since the Privateering Stroke, so degenerates into the Piratical. Privateers who were considered legitimate by their governments include: Francis Drake Pieter van der Does Amaro Pargo Hayreddin Barbarossa Robert Surcouf Lars Gathenhielm Entrepreneurs converted many different types of vessels into privateers, including obsolete warships and refitted merchant ships; the investors would arm the vessels and recruit large crews, much larger than a merchantman or a naval vessel would carry, in order to crew the prizes they captured. Privateers cruised independently, but it was not unknown for them to form squadrons, or to co-operate with the regular navy. A number of privateers were part of the English fleet that opposed the Spanish Armada in 1588. Privateers avoided encounters with warships, as such encounters would be at best unprofitable.
Still, such encounters did occur. For instance, in 1815 Chasseur encountered HMS St Lawrence, herself a former American privateer, mistaking her for a merchantman until too late; the United States used mixed squadrons of privateers in the American Revolutionary War. Following the French Revolution, French privateers became a menace to British and American shipping in the western Atlantic and the Caribbean, resulting in the Quasi-War, a brief conflict between France and the United States, fought at sea, to the Royal Navy's procuring Bermuda sloops to combat the French privateers; the practice dated to at least the 13th century but the word itself was coined sometime in the mid-17th century. England, the United Kingdom, used privateers to great effect and suffered much from other nations' privateering. During the 15th century, "piracy became an increasing problem and merchant communities such as Bristol began to resort to self-hel
The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable; the works of William Shakespeare and Beethoven, most early silent films, are in the public domain either by virtue of their having been created before copyright existed, or by their copyright term having expired. Some works are not covered by copyright, are therefore in the public domain—among them the formulae of Newtonian physics, cooking recipes, all computer software created prior to 1974. Other works are dedicated by their authors to the public domain; the term public domain is not applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as "under license" or "with permission". As rights vary by country and jurisdiction, a work may be subject to rights in one country and be in the public domain in another; some rights depend on registrations on a country-by-country basis, the absence of registration in a particular country, if required, gives rise to public-domain status for a work in that country.
The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". Although the term "domain" did not come into use until the mid-18th century, the concept "can be traced back to the ancient Roman Law, as a preset system included in the property right system." The Romans had a large proprietary rights system where they defined "many things that cannot be owned" as res nullius, res communes, res publicae and res universitatis. The term res nullius was defined as things not yet appropriated; the term res communes was defined as "things that could be enjoyed by mankind, such as air and ocean." The term res publicae referred to things that were shared by all citizens, the term res universitatis meant things that were owned by the municipalities of Rome. When looking at it from a historical perspective, one could say the construction of the idea of "public domain" sprouted from the concepts of res communes, res publicae, res universitatis in early Roman law.
When the first early copyright law was first established in Britain with the Statute of Anne in 1710, public domain did not appear. However, similar concepts were developed by French jurists in the 18th century. Instead of "public domain", they used terms such as publici juris or propriété publique to describe works that were not covered by copyright law; the phrase "fall in the public domain" can be traced to mid-19th century France to describe the end of copyright term. The French poet Alfred de Vigny equated the expiration of copyright with a work falling "into the sink hole of public domain" and if the public domain receives any attention from intellectual property lawyers it is still treated as little more than that, left when intellectual property rights, such as copyright and trademarks, expire or are abandoned. In this historical context Paul Torremans describes copyright as a, "little coral reef of private right jutting up from the ocean of the public domain." Copyright law differs by country, the American legal scholar Pamela Samuelson has described the public domain as being "different sizes at different times in different countries".
Definitions of the boundaries of the public domain in relation to copyright, or intellectual property more regard the public domain as a negative space. According to James Boyle this definition underlines common usage of the term public domain and equates the public domain to public property and works in copyright to private property. However, the usage of the term public domain can be more granular, including for example uses of works in copyright permitted by copyright exceptions; such a definition regards work in copyright as private property subject to fair-use rights and limitation on ownership. A conceptual definition comes from Lange, who focused on what the public domain should be: "it should be a place of sanctuary for individual creative expression, a sanctuary conferring affirmative protection against the forces of private appropriation that threatened such expression". Patterson and Lindberg described the public domain not as a "territory", but rather as a concept: "here are certain materials – the air we breathe, rain, life, thoughts, ideas, numbers – not subject to private ownership.
The materials that compose our cultural heritage must be free for all living to use no less than matter necessary for biological survival." The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". A public-domain book is a book with no copyright, a book, created without a license, or a book where its copyrights expired or have been forfeited. In most countries the term of protection of copyright lasts until January first, 70 years after the death of the latest living author; the longest copyright term is in Mexico, which has life plus 100 years for all deaths since July 1928. A notable exception is the United States, where every book and tale published prior to 1924 is in the public domain.
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a conflict fought between the United States, the United Kingdom, their respective allies from June 1812 to February 1815. Historians in Britain see it as a minor theater of the Napoleonic Wars. From the outbreak of war with Napoleonic France, Britain had enforced a naval blockade to choke off neutral trade to France, which the US contested as illegal under international law. To man the blockade, Britain impressed American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy. Incidents such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair, which happened five years before the war, inflamed anti-British sentiment in the US. In 1811, the British were in turn outraged by the Little Belt affair, in which 11 British sailors died. Britain supplied Native Americans who raided American settlers on the frontier, hindering American expansion and provoking resentment. Historians debate whether the desire to annex some or all of British North America contributed to the American decision to go to war. On June 18, 1812, US President James Madison, after heavy pressure from the War Hawks in Congress, signed the American declaration of war into law.
With most of its army in Europe fighting Napoleon, Britain adopted a defensive strategy, with offensive operations limited to the border, the western frontier. American prosecution of the war effort suffered from its unpopularity in New England, where it was derogatorily referred to as "Mr. Madison's War". American defeats at the Siege of Detroit and the Battle of Queenston Heights thwarted attempts to seize Upper Canada, improving British morale. American attempts to invade Lower Canada and capture Montreal failed. In 1813, the Americans won the Battle of Lake Erie, gaining control of the lake, at the Battle of the Thames defeated Tecumseh's Confederacy, securing a primary war goal. A final American attempt to invade Canada was fought to a draw at the Battle of Lundy's Lane during the summer of 1814. At sea, the powerful Royal Navy blockaded American ports, cutting off trade and allowing the British to raid the coast at will. In 1814, one of these raids burned the capital, but the Americans repulsed British attempts to invade New York and Maryland, ending invasions of the northern and mid-Atlantic United States from Canada.
Fighting took place overseas in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In neighbouring Spanish Florida, a two-day battle for the city of Pensacola ended in Spanish surrender. In Britain, there was mounting opposition to wartime taxation. With the abdication of Napoleon, the war with France ended and Britain ceased impressment, rendering the issue of the impressment of American sailors moot; the British were able to increase the strength of the blockade on the United States coast, annihilating American maritime trade, but attempts to invade the U. S. ended unsuccessfully. Peace negotiations began in August 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24. News of the peace did not reach America for some time. Unaware of the treaty, British forces invaded Louisiana and were defeated at the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815; these late victories were viewed by Americans as having restored national honour, leading to the collapse of anti-war sentiment and the beginning of the Era of Good Feelings, a period of national unity.
News of the treaty arrived shortly thereafter. The treaty was unanimously ratified by the US Senate on February 17, 1815, ending the war with no boundary changes. Historians have long debated the relative weight of the multiple reasons underlying the origins of the War of 1812; this section summarizes several contributing factors which resulted in the declaration of war by the United States. As Risjord notes, a powerful motivation for the Americans was the desire to uphold national honour in the face of what they considered to be British insults such as the Chesapeake–Leopard affair. H. W. Brands says, "The other war hawks spoke of the struggle with Britain as a second war of independence; the approaching conflict was about violations of American rights, but it was about vindication of American identity." Americans at the time and historians since have called it the United States' "Second War of Independence". The British were offended by what they considered insults such as the Little Belt affair.
This gave the British a particular interest in capturing the United States flagship President, which they succeeded in doing in 1815. In 1807, Britain introduced a series of trade restrictions via the Orders in Council to impede neutral trade with France, which Britain was fighting in the Napoleonic Wars; the United States contested these restrictions as illegal under international law. Historian Reginald Horsman states, "a large section of influential British opinion, both in the government and in the country, thought that America presented a threat to British maritime supremacy."The American merchant marine had nearly doubled between 1802 and 1810, making it by far the largest neutral fleet. Britain was the largest trading partner, receiving 80% of U. S. cotton and 50% of other U. S. exports. The British public and press were resentful of commercial competition; the United States' view was. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy expanded to 176 ships of the line and 600 ships overall, requiring 140,000 sailors to man.
While the Royal Navy could man its ships with volunteers in peacetime, it competed in wartime with merchant shi
Brest is a city in the Finistère département in Brittany. Located in a sheltered bay not far from the western tip of the peninsula, the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon; the city is located on the western edge of continental Europe. With 142,722 inhabitants in a 2007 census, Brest is at the centre of Western Brittany's largest metropolitan area, ranking third behind only Nantes and Rennes in the whole of historic Brittany, the 19th most populous city in France. Although Brest is by far the largest city in Finistère, the préfecture of the department is the much smaller Quimper. During the Middle Ages, the history of Brest was the history of its castle. Richelieu made it a military harbour. Brest grew around its arsenal until the second part of the 20th century. Damaged by the Allies' bombing raids during World War II, the city centre was rebuilt after the war. At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, the deindustrialization of the city was followed by the development of the service sector.
Nowadays, Brest is an important university town with 23,000 students. Besides a multidisciplinary university, the University of Western Brittany and its surrounding area possess several prestigious French elite schools such as École Navale, Télécom Bretagne and the Superior National School of Advanced Techniques of Brittany. Brest is an important research centre focused on the sea, with among others the largest Ifremer centre, le Cedre and the French Polar Institute. Brest's history has always been linked to the sea: the Académie de Marine was founded in 1752 in this city; the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle was built there. Every four years, Brest hosts the international festival of the sea and sailors: it is a meeting of old riggings from around the world; the name of the town is first recorded as Bresta. In 1342, John IV, Duke of Brittany, surrendered Brest to the English, in whose possession it was to remain until 1397; the importance of Brest in medieval times was great enough to give rise to the saying, "He is not the Duke of Brittany, not the Lord of Brest."
With the marriage of Francis I of France to Claude, the daughter of Anne of Brittany, the definitive overlordship of Brest – together with the rest of the duchy – passed to the French crown. The advantages of Brest's situation as a seaport town were first recognized by Cardinal Richelieu, who in 1631 constructed a harbour with wooden wharves; this soon became a base for the French Navy. Jean-Baptiste Colbert, finance minister under Louis XIV, rebuilt the wharves in masonry and otherwise improved the harbour. Fortifications by Vauban followed in 1680–1688; these fortifications, with them the naval importance of the town, were to continue to develop throughout the 18th century. In 1694, an English squadron under Lord Berkeley was soundly defeated in its attack on Brest. In 1917, during the First World War, Brest was used as the disembarking port for many of the troops coming from the United States. Thousands of such men came through the port on their way to the front lines; the United States Navy established a naval air station on 13 February 1918 to operate seaplanes.
The base closed shortly after the Armistice of 11 November 1918. In the Second World War, the Germans maintained a large U-boat submarine base at Brest. Despite being within range of RAF bombers, it was a base for some of the German surface fleet, giving repair facilities and direct access to the Atlantic Ocean. For much of 1941, Scharnhorst and Prinz Eugen were under repair in the dockyards; the repair yard facilities for both submarines and surface vessels were staffed by both German and French workers, with the latter forming the major part of the workforce. In 1944, after the Allied invasion of Normandy, the city was totally destroyed during the Battle for Brest, with only a tiny number of buildings left standing. After the war, the West German government paid several billion Deutschmarks in reparations to the homeless and destitute civilians of Brest in compensation for the destruction of their city. Large parts of today's rebuilt city consist of utilitarian concrete buildings; the French naval base now houses the Brest Naval Training Centre.
A wartime German navy memorandum suggested that the town should serve as a German enclave after the war. In 1972, the French Navy opened its nuclear weapon-submarine base at Île Longue in the Rade de Brest; this continues to be an important base for the French nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines. The meaning of the coat of arms of Brest is half France, half Brittany; these arms were used for the first time in a register of deliberations of the city council dated the 15 July 1683. Brest is best known for the military arsenal and the rue de Siam; the castle and the Tanguy tower are the oldest monuments of Brest
Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. It is on the east coast of Ireland, in the province of Leinster, at the mouth of the River Liffey, is bordered on the south by the Wicklow Mountains, it has an urban area population of 1,173,179, while the population of the Dublin Region, as of 2016, was 1,347,359, the population of the Greater Dublin area was 1,904,806. There is archaeological debate regarding where Dublin was established by the Gaels in or before the 7th century AD. Expanded as a Viking settlement, the Kingdom of Dublin, the city became Ireland's principal settlement following the Norman invasion; the city expanded from the 17th century and was the second largest city in the British Empire before the Acts of Union in 1800. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State renamed Ireland. Dublin is a historical and contemporary centre for education, the arts and industry; as of 2018 the city was listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network as a global city, with a ranking of "Alpha −", which places it amongst the top thirty cities in the world.
The name Dublin comes from the Irish word Dubhlinn, early Classical Irish Dubhlind/Duibhlind, from dubh meaning "black, dark", lind "pool", referring to a dark tidal pool. This tidal pool was located where the River Poddle entered the Liffey, on the site of the castle gardens at the rear of Dublin Castle. In Modern Irish the name is Duibhlinn, Irish rhymes from County Dublin show that in Dublin Leinster Irish it was pronounced Duílinn; the original pronunciation is preserved in the names for the city in other languages such as Old English Difelin, Old Norse Dyflin, modern Icelandic Dyflinn and modern Manx Divlyn as well as Welsh Dulyn. Other localities in Ireland bear the name Duibhlinn, variously anglicized as Devlin and Difflin. Scribes using the Gaelic script wrote bh with a dot over the b, rendering Duḃlinn or Duiḃlinn; those without knowledge of Irish omitted the dot. Variations on the name are found in traditionally Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland, such as An Linne Dhubh, part of Loch Linnhe.
It is now thought that the Viking settlement was preceded by a Christian ecclesiastical settlement known as Duibhlinn, from which Dyflin took its name. Beginning in the 9th and 10th century, there were two settlements; the Viking settlement of about 841, a Gaelic settlement, Áth Cliath further up river, at the present day Father Mathew Bridge, at the bottom of Church Street. Baile Átha Cliath, meaning "town of the hurdled ford", is the common name for the city in modern Irish. Áth Cliath is a place name referring to a fording point of the River Liffey near Father Mathew Bridge. Baile Átha Cliath was an early Christian monastery, believed to have been in the area of Aungier Street occupied by Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church. There are other towns of the same name, such as Àth Cliath in East Ayrshire, Anglicised as Hurlford; the area of Dublin Bay has been inhabited by humans since prehistoric times, but the writings of Ptolemy in about AD 140 provide the earliest reference to a settlement there.
He called it Eblana polis. Dublin celebrated its'official' millennium in 1988, meaning the Irish government recognised 988 as the year in which the city was settled and that this first settlement would become the city of Dublin, it is now thought the Viking settlement of about 841 was preceded by a Christian ecclesiastical settlement known as Duibhlinn, from which Dyflin took its name. Beginning in the 9th and 10th century, there were two settlements which became the modern Dublin; the subsequent Scandinavian settlement centred on the River Poddle, a tributary of the Liffey in an area now known as Wood Quay. The Dubhlinn was a pool on the lowest stretch of the Poddle, used to moor ships; this pool was fully infilled during the early 18th century, as the city grew. The Dubhlinn lay where the Castle Garden is now located, opposite the Chester Beatty Library within Dublin Castle. Táin Bó Cuailgne refers to Dublind rissa ratter Áth Cliath, meaning "Dublin, called Ath Cliath". Dublin was established as a Viking settlement in the 10th century and, despite a number of attacks by the native Irish, it remained under Viking control until the Norman invasion of Ireland was launched from Wales in 1169.
It was upon the death of Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn in early 1166 that Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair, King of Connacht, proceeded to Dublin and was inaugurated King of Ireland without opposition. According to some historians, part of the city's early economic growth is attributed to a trade in slaves. Slavery in Ireland and Dublin reached its pinnacle in the 10th centuries. Prisoners from slave raids and kidnappings, which captured men and children, brought revenue to the Gaelic Irish Sea raiders, as well as to the Vikings who had initiated the practice; the victims came from Wales, England and beyond. The King of Leinster, Diarmait Mac Murchada, after his exile by Ruaidhrí, enlisted the help of Strongbow, the Earl of Pembroke, to conquer Dublin. Following Mac Murrough's death, Strongbow declared himself King of Leinster after gaining control of the city. In response to Strongbow's successful invasion, King Henry II of England affirmed his ultimate sovereignty by mou
The Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. Anglesey, Wales, is the largest island in the Irish Sea; the second in size is the Isle of Man and the sea may but be referred to as the Manx Sea. The Irish Sea is of significant economic importance to regional trade and transport, power generation in the form of wind power and nuclear power plants. Annual traffic between Great Britain and Ireland amounts to over 12 million passengers and 17 million tonnes of traded goods; the Irish Sea is connected to the North Atlantic at both its southern ends. To the north, the connection is through the North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Malin Sea; the southern end is linked to the Atlantic through the St George's Channel between Ireland and Pembrokeshire, the Celtic Sea. It is composed of a deeper channel about 190 miles long and 20–30 miles wide on its western side and shallower bays to the east; the western channel's depth ranges from 80 metres up to 275 m in the Beaufort's Dyke in the North Channel.
Cardigan Bay in the south, the waters to the east of the Isle of Man, are less than 50 m deep. With a total water volume of 2,430 km3 and a surface area of 47,000 km2, 80% is to the west of the Isle of Man; the largest sandbanks are the Bahama and King William Banks to the east and north of the Isle of Man and the Kish Bank, Codling Bank, Arklow Bank and Blackwater Bank near the coast of Ireland. The Irish Sea, at its greatest width, narrows to 47 miles; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Irish Sea as follows, On the North. The Southern limit of the Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland, defined as a line joining the South extreme of the Mull of Galloway in Scotland and Ballyquintin Point in Northern Ireland. On the South. A line joining St. David's Head in Wales to Carnsore Point in Ireland; the Irish Sea has undergone a series of dramatic changes over the last 20,000 years as the last glacial period ended and was replaced by warmer conditions. At the height of the glaciation, the central part of the modern sea was a long freshwater lake.
As the ice retreated 10,000 years ago, the lake reconnected to the sea. Ireland has no bridge connection to Great Britain. Northern Ireland ports handle 10 million tonnes of goods trade with the rest of the United Kingdom annually; the Port of Liverpool handles 734 thousand passengers a year. Holyhead port handles most of the passenger traffic from Dublin and Dún Laoghaire ports, as well as 3.3 million tonnes of freight. Ports in the Republic handle 3,600,000 travellers crossing the sea each year, amounting to 92% of all Irish Sea travel. Ferry connections from Wales to Ireland across the Irish Sea include Fishguard Harbour and Pembroke to Rosslare, Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire and Holyhead to Dublin. From Scotland, Cairnryan connects with both Larne. There is a connection between Liverpool and Belfast via the Isle of Man or direct from Birkenhead; the world's largest car ferry, Ulysses, is operated by Irish Ferries on the Dublin Port–Holyhead route. "Irish Sea" is the name of one of the BBC's Shipping Forecast areas defined by the coordinates: 54°50′N 05°05′W 54°45′N 05°45′W 52°30′N 06°15′W 52°00′N 05°05′WTransport for Wales Rail, Iarnród Éireann, Irish Ferries, Stena Line, Northern Ireland Railways, Stena Line and Abellio ScotRail promote SailRail with through rail tickets for the train and the ferry.
The Caernarfon Bay basin contains up to 7 cubic kilometres of Permian and Triassic syn-rift sediments in an asymmetrical graben, bounded to the north and south by Lower Paleozoic massifs. Only two exploration wells have been drilled so far, there remain numerous undrilled targets in tilted fault block plays; as in the East Irish Sea Basin, the principal target reservoir is the Lower Triassic, Sherwood Sandstone, top-sealed by younger Triassic mudstones and evaporites. Wells in the Irish Sector to the west have demonstrated that pre-rift, Westphalian coal measures are excellent hydrocarbon source rocks, are at peak maturity for gas generation. Seismic profiles image these strata continuing beneath a basal Permian unconformity into at least the western part of the Caernarfon Bay Basin; the timing of gas generation presents the greatest exploration risk. Maximum burial of, primary gas migration from, the source rocks could have terminated as early as the Jurassic, whereas many of the tilted fault blocks were reactivated or created during Paleogene inversion of the basin.
However, it is possible that a secondary gas charge occurred during regional heating associated with intrusion of Paleogene dykes, such as those that crop out nearby on the coastline of north Wales. (Floodpage et al
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce