Friday, April 23, 2010

The Scottish, Welsh and Irish Nations, 2

England. England has the largest area and the English are the largest nationality within the United Kingdom. They are so numerous that many people often forget that there are other nationalities as well.

Wales. Wales is situated to the west of England. It is a principally, which means it a country ruled by a prince. The Welsh language is a Celtic language and it is quite different from English. Because the English are so powerful within the United Kingdom. English has become the main language used in Wales. Welsh, however, is taught in the school and continues to be used by some people as their mother tongue. The following are the names of two places in Wales that are written in the Welsh language: Troedyrhiw and Cewmrhydyceirw. The United Kingdom law was reformed in recent years to allow Welsh to become one of the official language in use in Wales. The other official language is English. This reform came after protests from Welsh-speaking people that they were being denied their rights regarding the Welsh language.

Scotland. Scotland is situated to the north of England. Some Scots in the mountainous western coast still speak Scots Gaelic, a Celtic language that used to be widely spoken in Scotland before Scotland came under English rule. Since it became part of the United Kingdom, some of the Scottish people have objected to and protested against the Union with England and Wales. A Nationalist Party and its demonstrations are proof that Scottish nationalism is still alive.

Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland shares the same island as the Republic of Ireland, but is politically a part of the United Kingdom. The people in Northern Ireland are divided between two nationalities – the one a Protestant people with British loyalties (called ‘Loyalists’), the other a Catholic people with republican Irish loyalties. The problem has been that the British Loyalties have tried to deny any power to the republicans and, as a result, the republicans have waged a war against the United Kingdom. The main republican force calls itself the Irish Republican Army (the IRA) and has organized a terrorist war against the British since the foundation of the Northern Irish state in 1921.

Ireland. The republic of Ireland was part of the British Empire until 1921. It gained its independence after fighting a guerrilla war against the British. Since that time relations between the two countries have been quite good. Indeed, many Irish people have, and still do, migrate to the United Kingdom to find work. As a result many people in the United Kingdom have family connections with Ireland. While English is the dominant language in Ireland, Irish Gaelic is still spoken in certain parts of the country.

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