A suffragette was a member of militant women's organisations in the early 20th century who, under the banner "Votes for Women", fought for the right to vote in public elections, known as women's suffrage. The term refers in particular to members of the British Women's Social and Political Union, a women-only movement founded in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst, which engaged in direct action and civil disobedience. In 1906 a reporter writing in the Daily Mail coined the term suffragette for the WSPU, from suffragist, in an attempt to belittle the women advocating women's suffrage; the militants embraced the new name adopting it for use as the title of the newspaper published by the WSPU. Women had won the right to vote in several countries by the end of the 19th century; when by 1903 women in Britain had not been enfranchised, Pankhurst decided that women had to "do the work ourselves". The suffragettes heckled politicians, tried to storm parliament, were attacked and sexually assaulted during battles with the police, chained themselves to railings, smashed windows, set fire to postboxes and empty buildings, set bombs in order to damage churches and property, faced anger and ridicule in the media.
When imprisoned they went on hunger strike. The death of one suffragette, Emily Davison, when she ran in front of the king's horse at the 1913 Epsom Derby, made headlines around the world; the WSPU campaign had varying levels of support from within the suffragette movement. The suffragette campaign was suspended when World War I broke out in 1914. After the war, the Representation of the People Act 1918 gave the vote to women over the age of 30 who met certain property qualifications. Ten years women gained electoral equality with men when the Representation of the People Act 1928 gave all women the vote at age 21. Although the Isle of Man had enfranchised women who owned property to vote in parliamentary elections in 1881, New Zealand was the first self-governing country to grant all women the right to vote in 1893 when women over the age of 21 were permitted to vote in parliamentary elections. Women in South Australia achieved the same right and became the first to obtain the right to stand for parliament in 1895.
In the United States, white women over the age of 21 were allowed to vote in the western territories of Wyoming from 1869 and in Utah from 1870. In 1865 John Stuart Mill was elected to be a feminist on a platform that included votes for women, in 1869 he published his essay in favour of equality of the sexes The Subjection of Women. In 1865 a discussion group was formed to promote higher education for women, named the Kensington Society. Following discussions on the subject of women's suffrage, the society formed a committee to draft a petition and gather signatures, which Mill agreed to present to Parliament once they had gathered 100 signatures. In October 1866 amateur scientist, Lydia Becker, attended a meeting of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science held in Manchester and heard one of the organisors of the petition, Barbara Bodichon, read a paper entitled Reasons for the Enfranchisement of Women. Becker was inspired to help gather signatures around Manchester and to join the newly formed Manchester committee.
Mill presented the petition to Parliament in 1866 by which time the supporters had gathered 1499 signatures, including those of Florence Nightingale, Harriet Martineau, Josephine Butler and Mary Somerville. In March 1867, Becker wrote an article for the Contemporary Review, in which she said: It will not be denied that women have, ought to have, opinions of their own on subjects of public interest, on the events which arise as the world wends on its way, but if it be granted that women may, without offence, hold political opinions, on what ground can the right be withheld of giving the same expression or effect to their opinions as that enjoyed by their male neighbours? Two further petitions were presented to parliament in May 1867 and Mill proposed an amendment to the 1867 Reform Act to give women the same political rights as men but the amendment was treated with derision and defeated by 196 votes to 73; the first public meeting on the subject of women's suffrage in UK was held in Manchester's Free Trade Hall in 1868.
Amongst the audience was the 15-year-old Emmeline Goulden, to become an ardent campaigner for women's rights, married Dr. Pankhurst and adopted his surname as was customary, becoming known as Emmeline Pankhurst. During the summer of 1880, Lydia Becker visited the Isle of Man to address five public meetings on the subject of women's suffrage to audiences composed of women; these speeches instilled in the Manx women a determination to secure the franchise, on 31 January 1881, women on the island who owned property in their own right were given the vote. In Manchester the Women's Suffrage Committee had been formed in 1867 to work with the Independent Labour Party to secure votes for women, but although the local ILP were supportive, nationally the party were more interested in securing the franchise for working class men and refused to make women's suffrage a priority. In 1897 the Manchester Women's Suffrage committee had merged with the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies but Emmeline Pankhurst, a member of the original Manchester committee, her eldest daughter Christabel had become impatient with the ILP
Philanthropy means the love of humanity. A conventional modern definition is "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life", which combines an original humanistic tradition with a social scientific aspect developed in the 20th century; the definition serves to contrast philanthropy with business endeavors, which are private initiatives for private good, e.g. focusing on material gain, with government endeavors, which are public initiatives for public good, e.g. focusing on provision of public services. A person who practices philanthropy is called a philanthropist. Philanthropy has distinguishing characteristics separate from charity. A difference cited is that charity aims to relieve the pain of a particular social problem, whereas philanthropy attempts to address the root cause of the problem—the difference between the proverbial gift of a fish to a hungry person, versus teaching them how to fish. In the second century CE, Plutarch used the Greek concept of philanthrôpía to describe superior human beings.
During the Roman Catholic Middle Ages, philanthrôpía was superseded by Caritas charity, selfless love, valued for salvation and escape from purgatory. Philanthropy was modernized by Sir Francis Bacon in the 1600s, credited with preventing the word from being owned by horticulture. Bacon considered philanthrôpía to be synonymous with "goodness", correlated with the Aristotelian conception of virtue, as consciously instilled habits of good behaviour. Samuel Johnson defined philanthropy as "love of mankind; this definition still survives today and is cited more gender-neutrally as the "love of humanity." In London prior to the 18th century and civic charities were established by bequests and operated by local church parishes or guilds. During the 18th century, however, "a more activist and explicitly Protestant tradition of direct charitable engagement during life" took hold, exemplified by the creation of the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge and Societies for the Reformation of Manners.
In 1739, Thomas Coram, appalled by the number of abandoned children living on the streets of London, received a royal charter to establish the Foundling Hospital to look after these unwanted orphans in Lamb's Conduit Fields, Bloomsbury. This was "the first children's charity in the country, one that'set the pattern for incorporated associational charities' in general." The hospital "marked the first great milestone in the creation of these new-style charities."Jonas Hanway, another notable philanthropist of the era, established The Marine Society in 1756 as the first seafarer's charity, in a bid to aid the recruitment of men to the navy. By 1763, the society had recruited over 10,000 men and it was incorporated in 1772. Hanway was instrumental in establishing the Magdalen Hospital to rehabilitate prostitutes; these organizations were run as voluntary associations. They raised public awareness of their activities through the emerging popular press and were held in high social regard—some charities received state recognition in the form of the Royal Charter.
Philanthropists, such as anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce, began to adopt active campaigning roles, where they would champion a cause and lobby the government for legislative change. This included organized campaigns against the ill treatment of animals and children and the campaign that succeeded in ending the slave trade throughout the Empire starting in 1807. Although there were no slaves allowed in Britain itself, many rich men owned sugar plantations in the West Indies, resisted the movement to buy them out until it succeeded in 1833. Financial donations to organized charities became fashionable among the middle-class in the 19th century. By 1869 there were over 200 London charities with an annual income, all together, of about £2 million. By 1885, rapid growth had produced with an income of about £ 4.5 million. They included a wide range of religious and secular goals, with the American import, the YMCA as one of the largest, many small ones such as the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association.
In addition to making annual donations wealthy industrialists and financiers left generous sums in their wills. A sample of 466 wills in the 1890s revealed a total wealth of £76 million, of which £20 million was bequeathed to charities. By 1900 London charities enjoyed an annual income of about £8.5 million. Led by the energetic Lord Shaftesbury, philanthropists organized themselves. In 1869 they set up the Charity Organisation Society, it was a federation of one in each of the 42 Poor Law divisions. Its central office had experts in coordination and guidance, thereby maximizing the impact of charitable giving to the poor. Many of the charities were designed to alleviate the harsh living conditions in the slums; such as the Labourer's Friend Society founded in 1830. This included the promotion of allotment of land to labourers for "cottage husbandry" that became the allotment movement, in 1844 it became the first Model Dwellings Company—an organization that sought to improve the housing conditions of the working classes by building new homes for them, while at the same time receiving a competitive rate of return on any investment.
This was one of the first housing associations, a philanthropic endeavor that flourished in the second half of the nineteenth century, brought about by the growth of the middle class. Associations included the Peabody Trust, t
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, domestically as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, the House of Commons; the two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London. The House of Lords includes two different types of members: the Lords Spiritual, consisting of the most senior bishops of the Church of England, the Lords Temporal, consisting of life peers, appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister, of 92 hereditary peers, sitting either by virtue of holding a royal office, or by being elected by their fellow hereditary peers.
Prior to the opening of the Supreme Court in October 2009, the House of Lords performed a judicial role through the Law Lords. The House of Commons is an elected chamber with elections to 650 single member constituencies held at least every five years under the first-past-the-post system; the two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Palace of Westminster in London. By constitutional convention, all government ministers, including the Prime Minister, are members of the House of Commons or, less the House of Lords and are thereby accountable to the respective branches of the legislature. Most cabinet ministers are from the Commons, whilst junior ministers can be from either House. However, the Leader of the House of Lords must be a peer; the Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union by Acts of Union passed by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, both Acts of Union stating, "That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same Parliament to be styled The Parliament of Great Britain".
At the start of the 19th century, Parliament was further enlarged by Acts of Union ratified by the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland that abolished the latter and added 100 Irish MPs and 32 Lords to the former to create the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 formally amended the name to the "Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", five years after the secession of the Irish Free State in 1922. With the global expansion of the British Empire, the UK Parliament has shaped the political systems of many countries as ex-colonies and so it has been called the "Mother of Parliaments". However, John Bright – who coined the epithet – used it in reference to the political culture of "England" rather than just the parliamentary system. In theory, the UK's supreme legislative power is vested in the Crown-in-Parliament. However, the Crown acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the powers of the House of Lords are limited to only delaying legislation.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was created on 1 January 1801, by the merger of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland under the Acts of Union 1800. The principle of ministerial responsibility to the lower House did not develop until the 19th century—the House of Lords was superior to the House of Commons both in theory and in practice. Members of the House of Commons were elected in an antiquated electoral system, under which constituencies of vastly different sizes existed. Thus, the borough of Old Sarum, with seven voters, could elect two members, as could the borough of Dunwich, which had completely disappeared into the sea due to land erosion. Many small constituencies, known as pocket or rotten boroughs, were controlled by members of the House of Lords, who could ensure the election of their relatives or supporters. During the reforms of the 19th century, beginning with the Reform Act 1832, the electoral system for the House of Commons was progressively regularised.
No longer dependent on the Lords for their seats, MPs grew more assertive. The supremacy of the British House of Commons was reaffirmed in the early 20th century. In 1909, the Commons passed the so-called "People's Budget", which made numerous changes to the taxation system which were detrimental to wealthy landowners; the House of Lords, which consisted of powerful landowners, rejected the Budget. On the basis of the Budget's popularity and the Lords' consequent unpopularity, the Liberal Party narrowly won two general elections in 1910. Using the result as a mandate, the Liberal Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith, introduced the Parliament Bill, which sought to restrict the powers of the House of Lords; when the Lords refused to pass the bill, Asquith countered with a promise extracted from the King in secret before the second general election of 1910 and requested the creation of several hundred Liberal peers, so as to erase the Conservative majority in the House of Lords. In the face of such a threat, the House of Lords narrowly passed the bill.
The Parliament Act 1911, as it became, prevented the Lords from blocking a money bill, allowed them to delay any other bill for a maximum of three sessions, after which it could become law over their objections. However, regardless of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, t
Evelina Haverfield was a British suffragette and aid worker. In the early part of the 20th century, she was involved in Emmeline Pankhurst's militant women's suffrage organisation the Women's Social and Political Union. During World War I she worked as a nurse in Serbia. After the war, she returned to Serbia with her companion Vera Holme to set up an orphanage in Bajina Bašta, a town in the west of the country. Evelina's birth is recorded as'Honourable Evilena Scarlett' born on 9 August 1867 at Inverlochy Castle, Kingussie in Scotland, she was the third child of the 5 daughters and a son of William Frederick Scarlett, 3rd Baron Abinger and his wife Helen Magruder, the daughter of a United States Navy Commodore. Her childhood was divided between the Inverlochy estate. In 1880 she went to school in Germany. On 10 February 1887, at the age of 19, she married a Royal Artillery officer, Major Henry Wykeham Brooke Tunstall Haverfield, in Kensington and the couple went to live at Sherborne, Dorset, her husband was 20 years her senior.
The marriage was a happy one producing two sons, John Campbell Haverfield and Brook Tunstall Haverfield but Henry Haverfield died eight years later. Haverfield enjoyed a lifestyle not yet commonplace for women, for example, she rode a bicycle she called Pegasus. Cycling was embraced by the suffragists; the sense of liberation was dynamic during the Great War, when mobility was at a high premium and engendered equality. On 19 July 1899, she married John Henry Balguy, from a Derbyshire gentry family, another Royal Artillery major a brigadier-general, a friend of her late husband; the ceremony took. The bride soon reverted to the name kept her home in Sherborne. On her wedding day, she wrote in her diary:'I married Major Balguy with no intention of changing my name or mode of life in any way, he is an old friend of my darling Jack.' During the Second Boer War, she travelled to South Africa for two years to act as assistant to her husband, stationed there. She enjoyed being involved in the military zone and took part in rifle practice.
While there she formed a retirement camp for horses. After ten years, the couple did not divorce. Haverfield began to take an interest in politics and aligned herself with the moderate women's suffrage groups, she joined the Sherborne branch of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies. In 1908 she attended a rally at the Royal Albert Hall and started supporting the militant suffragettes, joining the Women's Social and Political Union, she took part in numerous protests and was arrested several times for obstructing and assaulting the police. In 1909 Haverfield took part in the Bill of Rights March. Members of the WSPU, led by Emmeline Pankhurst, attempted to enter the House of Commons, they were blocked over 100 women were arrested, including Haverfield. Following a WSPU demonstration in 1910 she was arrested for assaulting a police officer after hitting him in the mouth. According to the charges brought against her, she had said "It was not hard enough. Next time I will bring a revolver."
In 1911 she was among 200 women arrested in London for breaking windows and damaging government buildings during a public protest against the Manhood Suffrage bill. The Veto bill passing through the Commons was challenged several times by the Lords during efforts by the Liberal government to secure the provisions in their budgets in 1909 and 1910; the Parliament Act 1911 Haverfield's part in this particular protest had been to attempt to disrupt a police cordon by leading police horses out of their rank. In the same year Haverfield began a relationship with her fellow suffragette the actress Vera "Jack" Holme which lasted until Haverfield's death, although during 1919 Holme was living in Kirkcudbright where she had an affair with the artist Dorothy Johnstone; when World War I broke out in 1914, Haverfield became concerned with how women could help in the event of an invasion of the UK and founded the Women's Emergency Corps. In 1915 she volunteered to go abroad with the Scottish Women's Hospitals, joining Elsie Inglis in Serbia.
In early 1916, they were forced to leave Serbia following the German invasion. Haverfield gave press interviews about the situation in Serbia. In August, she travelled at Inglis' request to Dobrudja in Romania. With Flora Sandes she founded the Hon. Evelina Haverfield's and Sert-Major Flora Sandes's Fund for Promoting Comforts for Serbian Soldiers and Prisoners. Following the end of the war, Evelina turned her attention to the orphaned Serbian children, she travelled to Serbia with Vera Holme and helped to build a children's health centre in Bajina Basta, named after her. She is buried in the cemetery at Bajina Basta. Holme was left £50 a year for life by Haverfield. History of the bicycle craze Elsie Inglis
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order. Recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire were made on the nomination of the United Kingdom, the self-governing Dominions of the Empire and the Viceroy of India. Nominations continue today from Commonwealth countries that participate in recommending British honours. Most Commonwealth countries ceased recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire when they created their own honours; the five classes of appointment to the Order are, in descending order of precedence: Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Knight Commander or Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire The senior two ranks of Knight or Dame Grand Cross, Knight or Dame Commander, entitle their members to use the title of Sir for men and Dame for women before their forename.
Most members are citizens of the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth realms that use the Imperial system of honours and awards. Honorary knighthoods are appointed to citizens of nations where the Queen is not head of state, may permit use of post-nominal letters but not the title of Sir or Dame. Honorary appointees are, referred to as Sir or Dame – Bob Geldof, for example. Honorary appointees who become a citizen of a Commonwealth realm can convert their appointment from honorary to substantive enjoy all privileges of membership of the order, including use of the title of Sir and Dame for the senior two ranks of the Order. An example is Irish broadcaster Terry Wogan, appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Order in 2005, on successful application for British citizenship, held alongside his Irish citizenship, was made a substantive member and subsequently styled as Sir Terry Wogan. King George V founded the Order to fill gaps in the British honours system: The Orders of the Garter, of St Patrick honoured royals, peers and eminent military commanders.
In particular, King George V wished to create an Order to honour many thousands of those who had served in a variety of non-combatant roles during the First World War. When first established, the Order had only one division. However, in 1918, soon after its foundation, it was formally divided into Military and Civil Divisions; the Order's motto is For the Empire. At the foundation of the Order, the'Medal of the Order of the British Empire' was instituted, to serve as a lower award granting recipients affiliation but not membership. In 1922, this was renamed the'British Empire Medal', it stopped being awarded by the United Kingdom as part of the 1993 reforms to the honours system, but was again awarded beginning in 2012, starting with 293 BEMs awarded for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. In addition, the BEM is awarded by some other Commonwealth nations. In 2004, a report entitled "A Matter of Honour: Reforming Our Honours System" by a Commons committee recommended to phase out the Order of the British Empire, as its title was "now considered to be unacceptable, being thought to embody values that are no longer shared by many of the country's population".
The British monarch is Sovereign of the Order, appoints all other members of the Order. The next most senior member is the Grand Master, of whom there have been three: Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales; the Order is limited to 300 Knights and Dames Grand Cross, 845 Knights and Dames Commander, 8,960 Commanders. There are no limits applied to the total number of members of the fourth and fifth classes, but no more than 858 Officers and 1,464 Members may be appointed per year. Foreign appointees, as honorary members, do not contribute to the numbers restricted to the Order as full members do. Although the Order of the British Empire has by far the highest number of members of the British Orders of Chivalry, with over 100,000 living members worldwide, there are fewer appointments to knighthoods than in other orders. Though men can be knighted separately from an order of chivalry, women cannot, so the rank of Knight/Dame Commander of the Order is the lowest rank of damehood, second-lowest of knighthood.
Because of this, an appointment as Dame Commander is made in circumstances in which a man would be created a Knight Bachelor. For example, by convention, female judges of the High Court of Justice are created Dames Commander after appointment, while male judges
Feminism is a range of political movements and social movements that share a common goal: to define and achieve the political, economic and social equality of the genders. This includes fighting gender stereotypes and seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to those for men. Feminist movements have campaigned and continue to campaign for women's rights, including the right to vote, to hold public office, to work, to earn fair wages or equal pay, to own property, to receive education, to enter contracts, to have equal rights within marriage, to have maternity leave. Feminists have worked to ensure access to legal abortions and social integration, to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence. Changes in dress and acceptable physical activity have been part of feminist movements; some scholars consider feminist campaigns to be a main force behind major historical societal changes for women's rights in the West, where they are near-universally credited with achieving women's suffrage, gender neutrality in English, reproductive rights for women, the right to enter into contracts and own property.
Although feminist advocacy is, has been focused on women's rights, some feminists, including bell hooks, argue for the inclusion of men's liberation within its aims because they believe that men are harmed by traditional gender roles. Feminist theory, which emerged from feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women's social roles and lived experience. Numerous feminist movements and ideologies have developed over the years and represent different viewpoints and aims; some forms of feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white, middle class, college-educated perspectives. This criticism led to the creation of ethnically specific or multicultural forms of feminism, including black feminism and intersectional feminism. Charles Fourier, a Utopian Socialist and French philosopher, is credited with having coined the word "féminisme" in 1837; the words "féminisme" and "féministe" first appeared in France and the Netherlands in 1872, Great Britain in the 1890s, the United States in 1910, the Oxford English Dictionary lists 1852 as the year of the first appearance of "feminist" and 1895 for "feminism".
Depending on the historical moment and country, feminists around the world have had different causes and goals. Most western feminist historians contend that all movements working to obtain women's rights should be considered feminist movements when they did not apply the term to themselves. Other historians assert that the term should be limited to the modern feminist movement and its descendants; those historians use the label "protofeminist" to describe earlier movements. The history of the modern western feminist movements is divided into three "waves"; each wave dealt with different aspects of the same feminist issues. The first wave comprised women's suffrage movements of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, promoting women's right to vote; the second wave was associated with the ideas and actions of the women's liberation movement beginning in the 1960s. The second wave campaigned for social equality for women; the third wave is a continuation of, a reaction to, the perceived failures of second-wave feminism, which began in the 1990s.
First-wave feminism was a period of activity during early twentieth century. In the UK and the US, it focused on the promotion of equal contract, marriage and property rights for women. By the end of the 19th century, a number of important steps had been made with the passing of legislation such as the UK Custody of Infants Act 1839 which introduced the Tender years doctrine for child custody arrangement and gave women the right of custody of their children for the first time. Other legislation such as the Married Women's Property Act 1870 in the UK and extended in the 1882 Act, these became models for similar legislation in other British territories. For example, Victoria passed legislation in 1884, New South Wales in 1889, the remaining Australian colonies passed similar legislation between 1890 and 1897. Therefore, with the turn of the 19th century activism had focused on gaining political power the right of women's suffrage, though some feminists were active in campaigning for women's sexual and economic rights as well.
Women's suffrage began in Britain's Australasian colonies at the close of the 19th century, with the self-governing colonies of New Zealand granting women the right to vote in 1893 and South Australia granting female suffrage in 1895. This was followed by Australia granting female suffrage in 1902. In Britain the Suffragettes and the Suffragists campaigned for the women's vote, in 1918 the Representation of the People Act was passed granting the vote to women over the age of 30 who owned property. In 1928 this was extended to all women over 21. Emmeline Pankhurst was the most notable activist in England, with Time naming her one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century stating: "she shaped an idea of women for our time. In the U. S. notable leaders of this movement included Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, who each campaigned for the abolition of slavery prior to championing women's right to vote; these women were influenced by the
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