Scotland was settled by Celtic peoples during the Bronze and early Iron Age. An independent country in the Middle Ages, it was amalgamated with England as a result of the union of the Crowns in 1603 and of the Parliaments in 1707. The distinctive Celtic society of the Highlands, based on clans, was destroyed in the aftermath of the Jacobite uprisings of 1715 and 1745-6 and the Highland clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1997 the Scots voted in favour of the establishment of a devolved parliament with tax-raising powers, which was inaugurated in 1999
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