This week, Scottish voters go to the polls to make a big decision: Should they stay a part of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, or become an independent sovereign state? It's an enormous decision, and the debate over what exactly will happen to Scotland if it does go independent is still waging. One thing is certain, however: if the "yes" vote wins, Scotland will become the newest independent state in the world, pushing South Sudan to Number 2 and Kosovo to Number 3. Will Scotland follow the same fate as any of the other young nations in the world? Perhaps, but probably not. A glance down the list of the nine newest sovereign states below reveals that each situation is unique: It's hard to fully equate Scotland's situation with that of Slovakia, let alone with East Timor. Even so, a glance back at history does show that the world's borders are changing more than we might appreciate: And the changes can sometimes take some time to settle.