Since Devolution in 1999 Scotland has become a focus of intense interest both within Britain and throughout the wider world. In this Very Short Introduction, Rab Houston explores how an independent Scottish nation emerged in the Middle Ages, how it was irrevocably altered by Reformation, links with England and economic change, and how Scotland influenced the development of the modern world. Examining politics, law, society, religion, education, migration,and culture, he examines how the nation's history has made it distinct from England, both before and after Union, how it overcame internal tensions between Highland and Lowland society, and how it has today arrived at a political, social and culture watershed. Authoritative, lucid, and ranging widely over issues of environment, people, and identity, this is Scotland's story without myths: an ideal introduction for those interested in the Scots, but also a balanced yet refreshing challenge to those who already feel at home in Scotland past and present. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.