An diofar eadar na mùthaidhean a rinneadh air "Rìoghachd na h-Alba"

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The '''Kingdom of Scotland''' ([[Scottish Gaelic language|Gaelic]]: ''Rìoghachd na h-Alba'' [[Scots language|Scots]]: ''Kinrick o Scotland'') was a [[state]] located in [[Western Europe]], in the northern third of the island of [[Great Britain]] - modern day [[Scotland]]. It existed from [[843]] until the [[Acts of Union 1707]] which united it with the [[Kingdom of England]] (927-1707) to form the [[Kingdom of Great Britain]] (1707-1800). Its population in 1700 was approximately 1.1 million.
{{main|Parliament of Scotland|Monarchs of Scotland}}
The political structure of [[Scotland]] was historically complex. However, during most of the existence of the Kingdom of the Scots, a single Monarch, or [[High King]] was recognized. Under the [[suzerainty]] of a High King, were [[Scottish clan|chieftains]] and [[petty kings]] and offices filled through selection by an [[Deliberative assembly|assembly]] under a system known as [[tanistry]] which combined a [[hereditary]] element with the consent of those ruled. Usually the candidate was nominated by the current office holder on the approach of death, and his heir-elect was known as the tanist, from the [[Scottish Gaelic language|Scottish Gaelic]] ''tànaiste''. After [[Macbeth I of Scotland|Macbeth]] was overthrown by [[Máel Coluim III of Scotland|Máel Coluim III]] in [[1057]] and during the reign of King [[David I of Scotland|David I]] the influence of [[Normans|Norman]] settlers in Scotland saw [[primogeniture]] adopted as the means of succession in Scotland as in much of Western Europe and saw the development of a 'hybrid kingdom', one part of which was governed by a mixture of a [[feudal]] government and [[Celt|Celtic]] custom. These early assemblies cannot be considered 'parliaments' in the later sense of the word.
Originally, Scots owed their allegiance primarily to their Clan chieftain or the laird, thus the High King consistently had to keep them in favorable dispositions, or else risk armed conflict.
[[Image:Parliament House, Edinburgh.JPG|300px|thumb|right|[[Parliament House, Edinburgh|Parliament House]] in [[Edinburgh]]]]
The [[Parliament of Scotland]], was the legislature. The members were collectively referred to as the [[Estates of the realm|"Three Estates"]] for nearly all of parliament's history: composed of the first estate of prelates (bishops and abbots), the second estate of lords (dukes, earls, parliamentary peers and lay tenants-in-chief) and the third estate of burgh commissioners. From the sixteenth century the second estate was reorganised by the selection of shire commissioners. This has been argued to have created a 'fourth estate', while a 'fifth estate' of royal office holders has also been identified. These identifications remain highly controversial among parliamentary historians. Regardless, the term used for the assembled members continued to be 'the Three Estates'. The Parliament was a unicameral assembly.
The Scottish parliament is first found on record during the early [[thirteenth century]], and the first meeting for which reliable evidence survives (referred to, like the English parliament, as a ''[[colloquium]]'' in the surviving Latin records) was at [[Kirkliston]] in [[1235]] during the reign of [[Alexander II of Scotland|Alexander II]]. The two most powerful periods of the Scottish Parliament's existence can be defined as [[1639]]-[[1651|51]] and [[1689]]-[[1707]]. During the era of [[Covenanter|Covenanting control]], the Scottish Parliament emerged as a mature political and institutional forum and was one of the most powerful assemblies in Europe. Drawing on the Scottish Constitutional Settlement of [[1640]]-[[1641|41]], a programme of constitutional reform was renewed from 1689, when it passed the [[Claim of Right]], onwards. The last session sat on [[25th May]], 1707.