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The Union of 1707: New Dimensions 18 May 2007 A one-day conference on The Union of 1707: New Dimensions was

held at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on Friday, 18 May 2007. The aim of the conference was to mark the three-hundredth anniversary of the Act of Union with a wide-ranging conference that would invite fresh thinking and showcase scholars who were at early stages of their careers, as well as some more established scholars. The target audience for the conference included not only Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and interested members of the public, but also academics from the Scottish universities and, in particular, postgraduate students and others who might not be familiar with the Royal Society and its activities. Generous financial support for the conference was provided by the Faculty of Advocates, the Scottish Church History Society, and the University of Glasgows Department of History. The conference, which attracted an audience of over a hundred, occurred just two weeks after a momentous general election in Scotland, the result of which was a minority SNP administration. The days proceedings were opened with an overview of the history of the Union provided by Professor T. Christopher Smout, FRSE, Historiographer-Royal of Scotland. Professor Smout then chaired the morning session, at which four papers were presented. The first of these, a broad and provocative exploration of The Issues facing Scotland in 1707, was delivered by the eminent historian of the Union, Professor Christopher A. Whatley, FRSE, Professor of Scottish History, Head of the College of Arts and Social Sciences and Vice-Principal, University of Dundee. This was followed by a paper on the political history of the Union, Politics, Parties and Patronage: Parliamentary Management and the Ratification of the AngloScottish Union, by Dr Karin Bowie, Lecturer in Scottish History at the University of Glasgow. Dr Richard J. Saville, formerly Lecturer in Economic and Social History and now with Coutts and Company, London, considered the cultural background of the Union with a paper on Intellectual Capital in Pre-1707 Scotland. A presentation on the economic dimension of the Union, Scotlands Trade and Political Relations with Northern Germany, by Ms Kathrin Zickermann, a Postgraduate student at the University of St Andrews, completed the morning session. The afternoon session of four papers was chaired by Professor Stewart J. Brown, FRSE, Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Edinburgh. The afternoon began with a paper exploring the religious aspects of the Union, The Kirk, Parliament and the Union, 1706-7, by Dr Derek J. Patrick, Lecturer in Scottish History at the University of Dundee. Dr Clare Jackson, Lecturer in History at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, then discussed the intellectual framework of the Union debates with a paper on Conceptions of Nationhood in the Anglo-Scottish Union Debates of 1707. This was followed by a paper on the imperial dimension, A Union for Empire? Scotland, the East India Company and the British Union, by Dr Andrew Mackillop, Lecturer in History at the University of Aberdeen. Dr Christopher Storrs, Reader in History at the University of Dundee, considered the European military and diplomatic context, with a paper entitled The Union of 1707 and the War of Spanish Succession. Finally, Professor Colin Kidd, FRSE, Professor of Modern History at the University of Glasgow, provided a set of concluding remarks on the Legacy of the Union, reflecting on the meaning of the Union for Scottish history, summing up the days proceedings, and identifying the emerging themes for future research. Professor Brown brought the conference to a close with the final vote of thanks. The papers inspired lively discussions among the audience, which included a number of leading scholars of Scottish history and culture. The conference proceedings are being published under the title, The Union of 1707: New Dimensions, by the Scottish Historical Review Trust and the University of Edinburgh Press, and the volume is scheduled to appear in late 2008.

Stewart J Brown, FRSE, Professor of Ecclesiastical History, University of Edinburgh Colin Kidd, FRSE, Professor of Modern History, University of Glasgow Christopher A. Whatley, Professor of Scottish History, University of Dundee

Opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the RSE, nor of its Fellows The Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotlands National Academy, is Scottish Charity No. SC000470