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Scotland & Wales: Nationalism, History & Governance

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In 1997, both Scotland and Wales voted for increased independence from the central British government in London. However, while Scotland received a parliament with the power to pass laws, Wales merely received an assembly with power limited to administrative matters. Why does Scottish nationalism appear to be quite strong, while Welsh nationalism seems much weaker?

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Solution Summary

The solution provides a historic background on the history of Scotland and Wales, states that together with Northern Ireland and England make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain. It discusses the history of each state until their eventual membership into the British Kingdom and provides information on how each state is governed in relation to the British Constitutional Monarchy government. It briefly discusses nationalism in each state & how one or the other has a stringer sense of self holding on to fierce 'nationalistic pride' as a unique indetifying trademark of the state, the people and all it symbolizes.

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Welsh Nationalism:

Wales was incorporated into what would eventually be Great Britain at a much earlier date than was the case with Scotland. In 927 AD, the kings of Wales gave a formal submission to the King of England as their "over king."

Wales was to be brought under permanent English control in 1282 when the armies of
King Edward I smashed the forces of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. It would be another two and a half centuries, however, before England's control was made official.

After Henry VIII had broken with Rome, he felt ready to further show his power as
rightful king of Wales as well as England. The first of the Acts of Union (a modern term describing several acts of legislation having to do with Wales) took place in 1536. Its provisions ensured the political annexation of Wales to England

Another factor which contributes to the mildness of Welsh nationalism is the sharing of identity between the Welsh and English. Prior to the invasion of the Saxons (and later the Normans), all of southern Britain was inhabited by Britons, the North a home to Picts and Scots. The Saxon invasion and their subsequent taking of most of what, today is known as England cut the Welsh off from their Briton cousins in Albion. Gwyn Williams writes: "Our name for ourselves, Cymry, which means people living together in a region, had been used for the North Britons too, there are traces of it in names like Cumberland, but now it stood only for the people of what we today call Cymru, Wales".

Perhaps one of the historical factors which unite the English and Welsh today is the
legend of King Arthur. Arthur, the Briton king who resisted the Saxon ...

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