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Britain / History / Georgian
The Georgian era in Britain (1714-1837)
The Georgians
  Further information
Related pages:
Early Britain (before 1066)
  The Middle Ages (1066-1485)
  The Tudors (1485-1603)
  The Stuarts (1603-1714)
  The Victorian age (1837-1914)
  Modern Britain (1914-present)


A brief summary of the history of Britain in the Georgian period (1714-1837)

Ruling family King/Queen Dates

George I

  George II 1727-1760
  George III 1760-1820
  George IV 1820-1830
  William IV 1830-1837

Year Prime Minister Party
1721 Robert Walpole Whig
1742 Spencer Compton Whig
1743 Henry Pelham Whig
1754 Thomas Pelham-Holles Whig
1756 William Cavendish Whig
1757 Thomas Pelham-Holles Whig
1762 John Stuart Tory
1763 George Grenville Whig
1765 Charles Watson-Wentworth Whig
1766 William Pitt the Elder Whig
1767 Augustus Fitzroy Whig
1770 Frederick North Tory
1782 Charles Watson-Wentworth Whig
1782 William FitzMaurice Whig
1783 William Bentinck Tory
1783 William Pitt the Younger Tory
1801 Henry Addington Tory
1804 William Pitt the Younger Tory
1806 William Grenville Whig
1807 William Bentinck Tory
1809 Spencer Perceval Tory
1812 Robert Jenkinson Tory
1827 George Canning Tory
1827 Frederick Robinson Tory
1828 Arthur Wellesley (Duke of Wellington) Tory
1830 Charles Grey (Earl Grey) Whig
1834 William Lamb Whig
1834 Arthur Wellesley (Duke of Wellington) Tory
1834 Robert Peel Tory
1835 William Lamb Whig

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THE GEORGIANS (1714-1837)

Anne had 17 children but they all died as babies or children. Her nearest Protestant relative was George from the House of Hanover, in northern Germany. For over 100 years (from 1714 until 1830) all of the kings were called George: George I, George II, George III and George IV. This is known as the Georgian period.

During this time the Parliament in Westminster became increasingly powerful. The role of Prime Minister was established. The first and longest serving Prime Minister was Walpole. The two main political parties during the Georgian period were the Tories (who usually supported the King) and the Whigs (who usually supported the rights of the land-owners and Parliament).

The Jacobite Rebellions were rebellions by supporters in Scotland of James the Second and the Stuarts. The second of these was led by Bonnie Prince Charlie. Although this was successful at first, Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated at the battle of Culloden, although he managed to escape to France.

Farming methods were greatly improved: this is known as the Agricultural Revolution. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain: new machines were invented to make clothes, water wheels were replaced by steam power after Watt improved the steam engine, and Darby discovered how to improve the way of making iron. Coal mining became a major industry to support these new technologies. Faraday discovered how to make electricity to drive machines.

This was a time of colonialisation by several European countries, including Britain. Captain Cook claimed for Britain the islands of New Zealand and the eastern coast of Australia. Britain and France fought each other over colonies in America and in India. The Seven Years' War against France broke out in 1756. Victory by Britain allowed the British Navy to dominate the Atlantic and Mediterranean. French soldiers were expelled from North America.

Britain established 13 colonies along the eastern coast of America (including the urban centres of Philadelphia, New York and Boston and rural states such as Virginia). The cost of administrating these colonies rose, so the British Parliament tried to raise money by imposing new taxes. The Stamp Act introduced tax on property deals in America. This upset the wealthy local landowners and led to violent protests, which the British tried to suppress by force. In 1774 the Americans created a Congress containing representatives of all 13 colonies, and raised an army under the leadership of George Washington to fight what is known as the American War of Independence. In 1776 the Declaration of Independence was published. With help from France the British army was defeated at Yorktown in 1781, after which Britain no longer controlled these former American colonies. George Washington became the president of the newly independent states.

A few years after the French Revolution in 1789, France declared war on Britain and other countries in Europe. The French army, under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte, had a great deal of success at first. Napoleon was finally defeated by an allied force under the leadership of the Duke of Wellington at the Batle of Waterloo (near Brussels) in 1815.

George the Third suffered from a type of madness when he was older. His eldest son George was made Prince Regent. John Nash was asked to plan large parts of London, including Regent Street and Regent's Park. When George the Third died in 1820 the Prince Regent became George the Fourth. Ten years later he died and his brother became William the Fourth.

The George pub
Aldwych, London
Wellington Monument (c)
Wellington Monument,
Hyde Park Corner, London
English redcoats (c) Mike Lindsay ARPS
English redcoats in battle
(Napoleonic Association)

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The Georgians 1714-1837
Publisher: Kingfisher Books
Date: May 2002

Life in Georgian Britain
Publisher: Pitkin Unichrome
Date: May 2000
Georgian Cookery: Recipes and History
Author: Jennifer Stead
Publisher: English Heritage Publications
Date: November 2003

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British history: Britain/History

Places associated with the Georgian period:
Trafalgar Square: Travel/Tours/London/TrafalgarSquare
Edinburgh (New Town): Travel/Tours/Scotland/Edinburgh
Bath (Royal Crescent): Travel/Tours/England/Bath
Brighton (Royal Pavilion): Travel/Tours/England/Brighton

Home page: Home

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