Skyrim, also known as "The Throat", extends to the northern most reaches of Tamriel. It gets it's nickname from the fact that it's directly north of "The Heartland", Cyrodiil. This arctic province is largely populated by the famously hot-blooded race called the Nords who have, over time, become accustomed to the bitter winters and chilling winds that dominate Skyrim.
[Skyrim Map in 3D: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08Mc6PqRRm0]
Skyrim is one of the coldest provinces in all of Tamriel. Aside from the Morrowind owned island Solstheim, it's considered to have the worst winters and largest amount of annual snowfall. Most of this cold weather can be traced back to the cold as ice ocean that borders Skyrim. There are many mountains scattered throughout Skyrim as well as many furry animals.
It's believed that the first humans to arrive anywhere in Tamriel were part of a series of invasion forces sent from the continent of Atmora. These forces didn't arrive all at once but rather continued to turn up during a period of hundreds of years. The newly arrived Atmorans eventually "evolved" into many different Nedic cultures. This caused the mountainous regions around Saarthal to be fought over rather frequently, thus, adding more and more strength and wealth to that particular area. Not only were the Nedic people fighting each other, they were also fighting early descendants of the elvish race, the Altmer who, at the time, were called the Aldmer. The battles that were waged between the two peoples are still felt today to a certain extent. This might be due to the fact that the Nedic people further "evolved" into who are now known as the Nords, Imperials and Bretons while, the Aldmer elves became the Ayleid, Altmer, Dwemer, Chimer, Dunmer, and Bosmer peoples. Further adding to the importance of this era; one of the most legendary of all Tamrielic figures, the Nord Ysgramor, whom of which all Nordish kings are descended of, arrived in Skyrim.
As the Nedic people (later the Nordish people) were somewhat of newcomers in the land of elves, they had no other option but to live with the "Elder Race" in peace. Elves remained within the borders of Skyrim until Harald, thirteenth descendant of Ysgramor, became king at the start of the First Era. King Harald became the first to renounce Skyrim from the holdings of Atmora stating that the people of Skyrim were self-reliant and no longer needing the mainland.
Another descendant of Ysgramor, Vrage the Gifted began what would later become the First Empire of Men. After only fifty years as king, Vrage the Gifted had led his people to great expansions within the Nordish race. Under his rule the Nords controlled all of Skyrim and parts of High Rock, Cyrodiil, and the Dunmer owned province of Morrowind. However, the procuring of Morrowind was somewhat bloody...
The First Empire of Men was successful for a time but eventually it was it's system of choosing a successor that lead to it's intimidate downfall. For many years, after the current emperor had died, a meeting of all of the knights and lords of various Holds would decide a proper successor to the throne. The Moot as the meeting was called lasted for many many years without fault, however, after the death of King Borgas, The Moot failed to elect the more popular of successors. This confrontation eventually lead to the Skyrim War of Succession at which time the empire's territory began to shrink as the provinces of High Rock, Cyrodiil, and Morrowind seceded from the First Empire of Men with little resistance whatsoever. The war continued to rage until the Pact of Chieftans was signed stating that the Moot shall only be established to convene when there was no clear successor.
In more recent events, Jsashe (a self proclaimed priestess of Lorkhan and the leader of a witch coven) was blamed for the growing attacks by bandits and frost trolls on the Skyrim owned islands of Hrothgar and Whiterun. It's said that she is responsible for a number of even more unbearable winters than Skyrim's normal weather, a series of floods, droughts and fires that have cripple the city that was once known as The Imperial City of Skyrim and for many other unexplainable occurrences. The Witch-Queen of Whiterun, as she's now known as, has full control of that particular island. Although, her magic has yet to bring prosperity to "her" land.