Scotland votes to remain with United Kingdom

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

UK map
Centuries of complicated conflicts, war, and legal unions have resulted in the United Kingdom, which is made up of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales.

Over 300 years after the Acts of Union merged the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland together in 1707, Scottish residents voted on whether or not to declare independence from the United Kingdom (UK). The result? They’ll be sticking together!

See, the UK (commonly called Britain) is actually made up of England in the southeast, Scotland in the north, Northern Ireland to the west, and Wales to the southwest. It took centuries of combat and conquest for the British monarchy, called the “Crown”, to combine the states together under one government and national identity.

Several British celebrities said they were against the separation, like the Beatles’ megastar Paul McCartney, physicist Stephen Hawking, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, and American Idol’s sassy Simon Cowell. Rowling even made a major donation to the Better Together Campaign, which organized people against the division, and McCartney spoke out alongside the similarly aligned Let’s Stay Together group.

Scottish actors like Sean Connery (famous for playing James Bond in numerous spy movies) and Gerard Butler, expressed their support for independence.

Voters headed to the polls on Thursday, at more than 5,500 poll stations across 32 districts. Over 4.2 million people registered to vote and there was a massive 86% turnout, one of the highest in the democratic world. The result wasn’t a landslide though, as about 55% said “No” to independence and roughly 45% said “Yes” to breaking away.

Featured image courtesy of Jack Torcello on Flickr. Image of United Kingdom map courtesy of TUBS on Wikimedia.