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    The American Revolution

    George III (1738-1820)

    George III was the King of Great Britain and Ireland during the American Revolution. The death of his father, Frederick Lewis, the Prince of Wales, in 1751 meant that the 22-year-old prince succeeded his grandfather, George II, to the throne in 1760. The first royal heir born in Britain in 130 years, George III's reign as a patriot king was intended to mark a new chapter for a British monarchy that had been criticized as more interested in matters in Europe than at home. He emphasized the break from his predecessors in his first meeting of the Privy Council, when he called Britain "this my native country." Hoping to mend a fractured political nation, George III ended the decades-long ban of Tories from national and local office and broke the hold of latitudinarian moderates on the Church of England, both of which had long-term impacts on political and religious life in the British Atlantic.

    Although many Americans, such as Thomas Jefferson, placed the blame for the Revolution squarely on George III's shoulders, no British monarch in more than a century was in a constitutional position to exercise any real responsibility. The policies that created disaffection and fomented rebellion in the colonies-such as the Stamp Act (which George III thought "abundant in absurdities") and the Townshend duties-were generated by successive British ministries. Horace Walpole, a severe critic of George III, explained that the King "seemed to resign himself entirely to their conduct" before 1774. The King understood that Parliament was the true sovereign in Great Britain.

    That is not to say that George III did not contribute to the causes of the American Revolution. His inexperience and overreliance on his childhood tutor-John Stuart, Earl of Bute-for advice on political matters helped trigger the instability of British ministries in the 1760s. The Duke of Devonshire, a senior member of the Privy Council, was shocked to learn that the two knew "so little" about the affairs of the world and it was widely feared on both sides of the Atlantic that Bute, whom one senior British official called "the greatest political coward" he ever met, was the real power behind the throne. He appointed Bute first minister at his earliest opportunity in 1762, but Bute's government failed to command a majority in the House of Commons and lasted less than a year. George III then went through a string of ministries before settling on Frederick, Lord North, in 1770 and then refusing for the next 12 years North's annual requests to resign.

    George III also personally influenced the character of the transatlantic conflict after news of the Boston Tea Party reached London in early 1774. Convinced that the troubles with America derived from the lenience of British policies (and not shifting British ministries), the King argued for strong, coercive measures against the recalcitrant colonials. He declared it his duty to stand fast against the Americans in "the battle of the legislature" and "withstand every attempt to weaken or impair" its sovereign authority throughout the empire. Consequently, he was thrilled that the Coercive Acts passed almost unanimously and celebrated the returns of the parliamentary election of late 1774 that elected an even wider majority of members who opposed conciliation. The Coercive Acts finally drove the colonies into unified opposition, and the King proclaimed to Lord North in November 1774 that "We must either master them or totally leave them to themselves."

    Lord North, however, quickly developed doubts that any victory would be worth the cost. He and Lord Dartmouth, his step-brother and Secretary of State for the Colonies, hoped for something like a negotiated settlement that would return calm to the British Atlantic. North's Conciliatory Proposals, which failed to move the Americans, were considered by Parliament in February 1775 and clearly showed the growing divide between supporters of the King's position and outright opponents of military action such as Edmund Burke, Charles James Fox, the Earl of Chatham, and the Earl of Camden. The King was convinced that "the Deluded Americans" must be brought to "feel the necessity of returning to their Duty" and quickly grew tired of continued debates on the matter. By early 1775 he refused to receive petitions-including John Dickinson's "Olive Branch Petition," adopted by the First Continental Congress-asking for his help in resolving the dispute between Parliament and the colonies, despite North's earnest requests that he at least hear them. The outbreak of war in April 1775 at Lexington and Concord gave the King precisely what he wanted: the opportunity to expressly proclaim the colonies in "open and avowed rebellion," which he did on August 19, 1775. The proclamation also did something that had not previously been a dimension of America's polemical attacks on Britain — it brought George III into the debate as a legitimate target of blame and abuse. As New Jersey's John Witherspoon would later recall, prior to 1775 "greater insults were offered to the sovereign, within the city of London then ever were thought of . . . in any part of America." The publication of Thomas Paine's in 1776 lambasted the King as "the royal brute," and Jefferson's Declaration of Independence was the last straw in the collapse of George III's American legacy when it fictively ascribed to the King a long list of acts as evidence of a personal campaign of tyranny against the colonies and the constitution.

    Source : www.ouramericanrevolution.org

    George III

    George III

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    For other uses, see George III (disambiguation).

    George III

    Coronation portrait by Allan Ramsay, 1762

    King of Great Britain and Ireland,[a]

    Elector/King of Hanover[b] (more...)

    Reign 25 October 1760 – 29 January 1820

    Coronation 22 September 1761

    Predecessor George II

    Successor George IV

    Regent George (1811–1820)

    Born Prince George 4 June 1738 [NS][c]

    Norfolk House, St James's Square, London, England

    Died 29 January 1820 (aged 81)

    Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England

    Burial 16 February 1820

    St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

    Spouse Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

    ​(m. 1761; died 1818)​


    George IV, King of the United Kingdom

    Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany

    William IV, King of the United Kingdom

    Charlotte, Queen of Württemberg

    Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn

    Princess Augusta Sophia

    Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg

    Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover

    Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex

    Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge

    Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh

    Princess Sophia Prince Octavius Prince Alfred Princess Amelia Names

    George William Frederick

    House Hanover

    Father Frederick, Prince of Wales

    Mother Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha

    Religion Protestant Signature

    George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 1738[c] – 29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two kingdoms on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and Prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was a monarch of the House of Hanover but, unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language[1] and never visited Hanover.[2]

    George's life and reign, which were longer than those of any of his predecessors, were marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, and places farther afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia. Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India. However, many of Britain's American colonies were soon lost in the American War of Independence. Further wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France from 1793 concluded in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. In 1807, the transatlantic slave trade was banned from the British Empire.

    In the later part of his life, George had recurrent, and eventually permanent, mental illness. Although it has since been suggested that he had bipolar disorder or the blood disease porphyria, the cause of his illness remains unknown. George suffered a final relapse in 1810, and his eldest son, the Prince of Wales, became Prince Regent the following year. When George III died in 1820, the Regent succeeded him as King George IV. Historical analysis of George III's life has gone through a "kaleidoscope of changing views" that have depended heavily on the prejudices of his biographers and the sources available to them.[3]


    1 Early life 2 Marriage 3 Early reign

    4 American War of Independence

    5 William Pitt 6 Signs of illness 7 Slavery

    8 French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

    9 Final years, illnesses and death

    10 Legacy

    11 Titles, styles, honours and arms

    11.1 Titles and styles

    11.2 Honours 11.3 Arms 12 Issue 13 Ancestry 14 See also 15 Notes 16 References 16.1 Bibliography 17 Further reading 18 External links

    Early life

    George (right) with his brother Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany, and their tutor, Francis Ayscough, later Dean of Bristol, c. 1749

    George was born on 4 June 1738 in London at Norfolk House in St James's Square. He was a grandson of King George II, and the eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. As he was born two months prematurely and thought unlikely to survive, he was baptised the same day by Thomas Secker, who was both Rector of St James's, Piccadilly and Bishop of Oxford.[4][5] One month later he was publicly baptised at Norfolk House, again by Secker. His godparents were King Frederick I of Sweden (for whom Lord Baltimore stood proxy), his uncle Frederick III, Duke of Saxe-Gotha (for whom Lord Carnarvon stood proxy), and his great-aunt Sophia Dorothea, Queen in Prussia (for whom Lady Charlotte Edwin stood proxy).[6]

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    George III

    King George III ruled the British kingdom through turbulent times, including the American Revolutionary War, after which the colonies gained independence.

    George III

    Biography (1738–1820) Publish date: Jul 20, 2015 Comment

    King George III ruled the British kingdom through turbulent times, including the American Revolutionary War, after which the colonies gained independence.

    Who Was George III?

    A member of the Hanover dynasty, which ruled England for almost two centuries, George III was the King of Great Britain during some of the nation’s most tumultuous years, including those of the American Revolutionary War. In 1788, illness brought on a mental breakdown, but he briefly recovered, regaining popularity and admiration for his virtue and steady leadership through the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Ultimately, recurring bouts of insanity led Parliament to enact regency to his son, and George III lived his final years with sporadic periods of lucidity, until his death in 1820.

    Early Life

    Born prematurely on June 4, 1738, to Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, the sickly prince wasn’t expected to live and was baptized the same day. At the time, it seemed unlikely that George William Frederick would one day become King George III, the longest-ruling monarch English before Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II.

    Young George was educated by private tutors, and by age 8 he could speak English and German and would soon learn French. Instructed in a wide range of subjects, he showed a particular interest in the natural sciences. Acutely shy and reserved in his youth, George was strongly influenced by his primary mentor, Scottish nobleman John Stuart, Third Earl of Bute, who helped the young prince overcome his shyness and advised him on many personal and political matters.

    When George’s father died in 1751, George inherited the title Duke of Edinburgh. Three weeks later the 12-year-old was made Prince of Wales by his grandfather, George II, putting him in line to inherit the throne. When George turned 18, his grandfather invited him to live at St. James Place, but Lord Bute convinced him to stay at home to live with his domineering mother, who instilled in him her strict moral values.

    Shy and Inexperienced, George Becomes King

    In 1760, George's grandfather suddenly died, and the 22-year-old became king. A year later, he married Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Though wed on the day they met, the couple enjoyed a 50-year marriage and had 15 children together.

    But in addition to the crown, George inherited an ongoing world war, religious strife and changing social issues. Since 1754, Britain and France had been engaged in a border skirmish along the frontier in North America that began when a British colonial militia, let by Lieutenant George Washington, attacked French Fort Duquesne. During the resulting Seven Years' War, George III was closely advised by his prime minister Lord Bute, who kept the young, inexperienced monarch isolated from key members of Parliament. However, due to his Scottish background and belief in King George III's divine right to rule, Bute was maligned by other members of Parliament and eventually forced to resign due to strong criticism from the press and his purported involvement in a sex scandal involving George’s mother.

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    In 1763, George Grenville succeeded Bute as King George’s prime minister. With the Empire deeply in debt at the end of the Seven Years' War, Grenville looked to the American colonies as a source of revenue. He reasoned that since the colonies had benefited from the outcome of the war and British troops were needed in North America to protect them, they should pay for it. King George agreed with the reasoning and supported the Sugar Act of 1764 and the Stamp Act in 1765. But in the colonies, the Stamp Act was met with outrage, contempt and, for some tax collectors, violence. Claims of “no taxation without representation!” rang out in Boston, Massachusetts, and eventually other colonial cities.

    The American Revolution

    Though the Stamp Act was repealed, Parliament passed the Declaratory Act in 1766, stating the colonies were subordinate to Parliament and subject to British Law. Parliament then proceeded to pass more tax laws. As the protests in the colonies spread, Lords Edmund Burke and William Pitt the Elder expressed opposition to taxing the colonies as impractical, arguing that the distance and difficulty in making collections was too great. Amidst all this political dissent, King George III pushed Parliament to pass the Royal Marriages Act. A devout Anglican, the king was appalled by the behavior of his adulterous brother, Prince Henry, and the act made it illegal for a member of the royal family to marry without permission of the monarch.

    By 1775, many colonists had had enough of Parliament’s overreach. Inspired by Enlightenment philosophers John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau, the colonists formed the Second Continental Congress and crafted their sentiments in a declaration of independence. Though Parliament conceived and passed the laws, the king was the exclusive target of the colonists’ grievances. By 1779, it was apparent to many British officials that the war was a lost cause, though the king continued to insist it had to be fought to avoid rewarding disobedience. On October 19, 1781, combined French and American forces surrounded the British Army at Yorktown, ending any chance for a British victory. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 secured America’s independence.

    Source : www.biography.com

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