The impending Scottish referendum on independence raises the question: what is a nation? This article addresses this question in terms of ‘economic nationhood’. Tracing the development of the Scottish economy over the last century and a half, it shows how the extraordinarily ‘globalised’ economy of pre-1913 Scotland slowly evolved into a much more self-reliant entity. Today, Scotland has a de-industrialised and substantially de-globalised economy, with a very large public sector about which key decisions are made in Edinburgh. Scotland has become much more of an economic ‘community of fate’ than ever before in its modern history.