Scotland rejected independence and opted instead to remain part of the United Kingdom in a historic referendum last Thursday. The outcome, which was in doubt until the polls closed, preserves the U.K., but that union of states will be transformed as the Scottish people hold British politicians to their campaign pledge to give them more power over their own affairs.

When first announced, the referendum on Scottish independence — the ballot offered only a simple Yes or No — was thought to be a pipe dream, the fantastic imaginings of a handful of Scottish nationalists who did not speak for the overwhelming majority of Scottish people. For much of the campaign, the No vote appeared to be cruising to victory.

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