Recent models for the tectonic development of the southern Scottish Caledonides are reviewed in terms of the deformation sequence observed within the Southern Uplands of Scotland. The early stages of this history are consistent with deformation within an accretionary prism formed above a northwest-directed subduction zone. Later stages show a reversal in transport direction and also evidence for sinistral shear. A deformational history for the area is proposed in terms of recent data on the deep structure of the Southern Uplands and adjacent regions. The Southern Uplands is considered to be a large-scale, popup structure between a forethrust, the Iapetus suture, and a backthrust, which partially obducted it toward the northwest.