This is the first full scholarly study of state formation and the exercise of state power in Scotland. It sets the Scottish state in a British and European context, revealing that Scotland -- like larger and better-known states -- developed a more integrated governmental system in thesixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This study provides an invaluable new contribution to the history of Scotland. Julian Goodare shows how the magnates ceased to exercise autonomous local power, and instead managed the new administrative structure through client networks. The state no longer drew its main revenues from land, but developed new taxes; its fighting forces were modernized and detached from landedpower. With the Reformation, powerful church institutions were created, and were gradually integrated into the state. The states territorial integrity increased, giving it a closer and more troubled relationship with the Highlands. Scotland remained a sovereign state even after the union of crownsin 1603, but it was finally absorbed by England in 1707, and Dr Goodare examines the long-term context of this development.