The article traces the recognition of Scotland within constitutional arrangements. It argues that Scotland is best regarded as a nation, within the union state of the United Kingdom. Historically, Scotland was a separate nation state before 1707. After the union, as part of the United Kingdom, Scotland retained its own legal system and was treated differently in several ways. Since 1885 particularly, measures of devolution have been used in order to appease demands, or accommodate Scottish identity within the union. The Scotland Act 1998, which creates a separately elected Parliament and executive for Scotland is therefore not the first step in that process. The reform is a calculated gamble, and there are grounds to doubt whether the latest accommodation will satisfy.