Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland shares a border with England to the south, and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean; with the North Sea to the east, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the south-west. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 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. Having entered into a personal union with the kingdoms of England and Ireland following James VI's succession to the English and Irish thrones in 1603, Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with England on 1 May 1707 to create a single Kingdom of Great Britain. This union resulted from the Treaty of Union agreed in 1706 and enacted by the twin Acts of Union passed by the Parliaments of both countries, despite popular opposition and anti-union riots in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and elsewhere. Great Britain itself subsequently entered into a political union with Ireland on 1 January 1801 to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
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