The History Behind the Scottish Independence Vote

George Clark/ The long-awaited referendum on independence for Scotland is finally happening this week (Thursday 18th September, 2014), as Scots vote yes or no to the question of whether they want their nation to become independent from the United Kingdom. If a majority votes yes, Scotland will end its 307-year-old union with England and Wales and become an independent nation with some 5.3 million people. Ahead of the referendum, we take a look back at some of the key moments i...


Barotseland Is Our Country (Litunga Ni Lyetu) and Can Not Be Robbed Of Her Sovereignty - By Saleya Kwalombota

It was within a year of taking office as president of the newly-independent Zambia on 24 October 1964, Kenneth Kaunda began to introduce various acts that abrogated most of the powers allotted to Barotseland under the BA’64 that was not even enacted. Notably, the Local Government Act of 1965 abolished the traditional institutions that had governed Barotseland and brought the kingdom under the administration of a uniform local government system. Then in 1969 the Zambian Parliament passed the Co...


We are On-Course says Afumba Mombotwa in latest Interview on the Current State of Barotseland

7th September 2014 Interview with Rt. Hon. Afumba Mombotwa on Current State of Barotseland Kingdom – by Sibeta Mundia Sibeta: Your Excellency, it’s a rare privilege to catch up with you and solicit your answers to some pertinent questions of interest to the nation and people of Barotseland. Hon. Afumba: The honor is mine, Sibeta. And I would like, through you, to convey not only my gratitude but also my warm greetings to the resilient and great people of Barotseland home and abroad. Sibeta:...


Is African Stand By Force (ASF) The Answer To The African Conflicts? - Saleya Kwalombota

Abbreviations and Acronyms ASF: African Stand by Force AU: African Union ACDS: African Chiefs of Defense and Security MSC: Military Staff Committee SOPs: Standard Operating Procedures PSC: Peace and Security CouncilBA'64: Barotseland Agreement 1964 The analysis of the emergence of the ASF is important as it is the only standby force in the world. Given the fact that African conflicts are mainly caused by Africans themselves, ASF brings a new perspective to conflict prevention and conflict re...


Senanga Main Market Reduced to Ashes

A fire broke out last week on Wednesday the 3rd of September and burned down a large part of Senanga Main Market. The fire is reported to have started from the Section where second hand clothes are sold commonly known as ‘Ma Stand’ and spread to the permanent shops section. Eye witness reports indicated that the fire started around 11:00hrs in the morning and was only put off at around 13:30Hrs. It is estimated that goods worth thousands of Kwacha have been lost in the process. The fire is be...


What Is The Benefit Of Barotseland Independence? - by Saleya Kwalombota

The issue is not whether Barotseland is wealthy enough to be independent but as a result of broken marriage with Zambia and have realized our alienation right to self-determination - caused by the abrogation of union treaty BA’64 by Zambia - constituents of the fundamental rights under UN charter of world peace and cooperation. How will Barotseland become independent? Barotseland will become independent if the people of Barotseland remain steadfast, united and align themselves with the indep...


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Latest Comments

  • Luseso Mutimbwa 17.09.2014 13:19
    This should have given ba Zambia a lesson; kakuli babanani ngana dont fight but they do reason, after ya Scotland, next will be ...


  • Kabisoi 16.09.2014 09:34
    Oh yes! Aluta continua Barotseland. Muyoyange mubuso waluna Barotse Interim Government. we are behind you.


  • Maano 15.09.2014 14:49
    Mutompehi Kwalombota, Kule moyo: Lu lila bupilo! Your article posted on the Watch[censored] re 'What are the Benefits of an Independent ...


  • sibinda 15.09.2014 03:52
    bo we are together brotherman ki nako litunga ni lyetu the transition process underway viva GENERAL


  • Dorcas K Mufalali 11.09.2014 22:53
    The Lord have mercy. We are not blood hungry


  • IMUTE WA KALILO 11.09.2014 00:29
    That was great and very educative Right Honerable Afumba. This is the the reason why I like you. This information has actually come ...


  • Kabisoi 08.09.2014 07:52
    Someday soon all these stories will be a thing of the past, much so if we all rallied behind our leaders toward our total freedom as ...


  • Liseli Kalaluka 02.09.2014 13:17
    Kabimba's been taught a severe thunderstormic lesson for trusting the Sata clan of Northern Rhodesia. Now that he's in a reflection ...


  • BULOZI KINAHA 01.09.2014 09:20
    In my opinion SATA's Spokes person just worked with other Bemba speaking politicians including GBM to put words in MR SATA's mouth ...


  • Kabisoi 01.09.2014 07:56
    We are talking about the lawless Zambians; that is very sad indeed!!! Look at the prevailing and deteriorating political situation ...


  • Kabisoi 01.09.2014 07:32
    Bo Mutompehi Afumba, that is good education and we admire you all our leaders. Luzwelepili ni bundwalume bwaluna. Mapyeha bakalufumana ...


  • Ki nit 29.08.2014 14:40
    Thanks. Well written. That is the reason all the people of Barotseland should pull together. There shouldn't be Br Sinyinda in ...


  • Ki maswabi 26.08.2014 19:02
    Ki Maswabi I regret to say that the Barotse issue is a big violation of human dignity but we need to see a wider picture. It is not ...


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Every Mondays and Fridays at 17:00hrs to 17:15hrs, let’s commit Barotseland in prayer. The Lozis in the Army and police working with our foes, you can say your prayers silently in your hearts. God has already answered our prayer so we need to thank him as much as we can.

George Clark/

The long-awaited referendum on independence for Scotland is finally happening this week (Thursday 18th September, 2014), as Scots vote yes or no to the question of whether they want their nation to become independent from the United Kingdom. If a majority votes yes, Scotland will end its 307-year-old union with England and Wales and become an independent nation with some 5.3 million people. Ahead of the referendum, we take a look back at some of the key moments in Scotland’s long and rocky relationship with its neighbors.

Wars of Independence

When King Alexander III died in 1286, Scotland was left without a ruler. His children were all dead, so his three-year-old granddaughter Margaret, known as the “Maid of Norway,” succeeded to the throne. When she fell ill during the sea voyage from Norway to Scotland and died, 13 rival noblemen stepped forward to stake their claim on the throne. To settle the question, the interim government (known as “guardians”) turned to King Edward I of England, who made all the claimants promise to accept him as overlord of Scotland, which they grudgingly did. Edward’s pick, John Balliol, became king of Scotland over the other leading contender, the sixth Robert de Bruce.

Balliol’s reign kicked off the bloody Wars of Independence, as Scottish landowner William Wallace led the resistance to English rule. Wallace’s forces triumphed at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, but lost at Falkirk the next year, and the English would capture and execute Wallace in 1305. In 1306, when the eighth Robert de Bruce (better known as “Robert the Bruce”) seized the Scottish throne from his rivals, England’s King Edward I moved swiftly to crush his revolt, imprisoning Bruce’s wife and daughter and executing his brothers in brutal fashion. After escaping the king’s wrath himself, Bruce began a guerrilla war against his English and Scottish enemies, culminating in the decisive victory of his supporters over the troops of Edward II at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. In 1328, England finally renounced overlordship over Scotland in the Treaty of Northampton, cementing Robert the Bruce’s status as Scotland’s preeminent hero-king.

Mary and Elizabeth

Thanks to a long-standing alliance with France, Scotland had support in its continuing struggles with England over the centuries after Robert the Bruce declared its independence. When King Henry VIII ordered an invasion of France in 1513, Scotland’s King James IV subsequently invaded England, but died on the battlefield during his troops’ defeat in the Battle of Flodden. His granddaughter, Mary Queen of Scots, grew up in France and married the future King Francis II at the age of 15. Two years later, Francis died and Mary returned to Scotland, then in the throes of the Protestant Reformation.

When her cousin Elizabeth I took the English throne in 1558, Mary was her leading rival for power, as many Roman Catholics believed Mary was the rightful queen due to Elizabeth’s supposed illegitimacy (her father, Henry VIII, had divorced Catherine of Aragon to marry Elizabeth’s mother Anne Boleyn). After Mary was suspected in being complicit in the murder of her husband, she sought refuge in England but was instead kept captive there for some 18 years. Another plot against Elizabeth surfaced in 1586, and the Protestant queen had her Catholic cousin tried for treason and executed. But in 1603, when Elizabeth I died without children, the English throne went to Mary’s son, King James VI, uniting the two crowns after centuries of simmering tensions.

Acts of Union

In 1707, just over a century after King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England, the Acts of Union formally united Scotland with England and Wales as Great Britain. The union came about after a period of upheaval (including the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89) and tensions between the separate parliaments of England and Scotland. Scotland gained economic security from the agreement, while England got increased manpower and resources, as well as political safeguards against possible invasion by the French or the Jacobites (the supporters of King James II, exiled after the Glorious Revolution, and his successors).

Not everyone in Scotland supported the union, however, and many resented answering to lawmakers in London. In 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie, great-grandson of James VI, launched an invasion of England from France to claim the throne for his family. After that rebellion was easily crushed at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the British government placed heavy restrictions on the Scottish people, ending any hopes of independence for the next two centuries.

Rise of Scottish Nationalism

In 1934, the Scottish National Party (SNP) was founded, making its primary goal the future independence of Scotland. The party gradually began gaining ground after World War II, bolstered by the discovery of rich oil resources in the North Sea in the 1970s. In 1974, the SNP won 30 percent of the Scottish vote and 11 seats in Parliament after campaigning on the slogan “It’s Scotland’s oil!”

In a referendum in 1997, Scottish voters voted in favor of devolution of powers, which meant that although Scotland remained part of the United Kingdom, its government gained a broad range of new powers, including control of education and health care, and (for the first time since 1707) a Scottish Parliament.

Voting Yes or No on Independence

In 2007, the SNP won an upset victory in the Scottish parliamentary elections, ending some 50 years of Labour Party dominance; SNP leader Alex Salmond was elected first minister of Scotland, the top government post. He won a second term in 2011 and was able to use his party’s historic mandate to secure approval for a referendum on independence for Scotland. In 2012, Salmond and British Prime Minister David Cameron signed an agreement to hold that referendum in 2014. Subsequent negotiations lowered the voting age in the referendum for 16 and determined that it will pose a single question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Original story:

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