In the 1900s some of the most fundamental characteristics of the British people were remarkably uniform. They spoke the same language, with the notable exception of about half of the Welsh, who spoke their native language, and a few Gaelic speakers in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Most were Christian, the great majority being Protestant, and most were white. This relative uniformity in language, confession and ethnicity was a contrast to many European countries. Nevertheless, it concealed varying local, and in some cases religious and ethnic, identities.