The Hanoverians: George I (1714-1727)

Great Books Guy

As David Starkey writes, “For much of the eighteenth century, the monarchy veered between deep unpopularity and a national joke” (420). The new “Georgian” age lacked the conquests of the Plantagenets, the wild religious extremism of the Tudors and the Stuarts, and all the industriousness and sophistication of the Victorians. It was an age of liberty, new ideas, Georgian-style architecture (in contrast to the ornate French style) and the rise of the novel. The power of the monarchy was in decline but under the careful administration of a clutch of “cabinet” ministers, Britain became a more liberal and cosmopolitan empire. The last gasp of the Stuarts had ended with the death of Queen Anne (followed by her husband William of Orange), and in order to avoid the threat of a despotic Catholic monarch (per the Act of Succession) the crown skipped numerous blood relatives and was handed down to the…

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