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  Hanover (George II), George Augustus of
NameGeorge Augustus of Hanover (George II)
London, , United Kingdom
Born November 10, 1683
DiedOctober 25, 1760 (76 years)
Last ModifedJake
Nov 29, 2004 04:03pm
Tags German -
InfoThere is some debate about his birthday, it was October 30 of 1683 according to some sources. [Link]

George II was born November 10, 1683, the only son of George I and Sophia. His youth was spent in the Hanoverian court in Germany, and he married Caroline of Anspach in 1705. He was truly devoted to Caroline; she bore him three sons and five daughters, and actively participated in government affairs, before she died in 1737. Like his father, George was very much a German prince, but at the age of 30 when George I ascended the throne, he was young enough to absorb the English culture that escaped his father. George II died of a stroke on October 25, 1760.

George possessed three passions: the army, music and his wife. He was exceptionally brave and has the distinction of being the last British sovereign to command troops in the field (at Dettingen against the French in 1743). He inherited his father's love of opera, particularly the work of George Frederick Handel, who had been George I's court musician in Hanover. Caroline proved to be his greatest asset. She revived traditional court life (which had all but vanished under George I, was fiercely intelligent and an ardent supporter of Robert Walpole. Walpole continued in the role of Prime Minister at Caroline's behest, as George was loathe keeping his father's head Cabinet member. The hatred George felt towards his father was reciprocated by his son, Frederick, Prince of Wales, who died in 1751.

Walpole retired in 1742, after establishing the foundation of the modern constitutional monarchy: a Cabinet responsible to a Parliament, which was, in turn, responsible to an electorate. At that time, the system was far from truly democratic; the electorate was essentially the voice of wealthy landowners and mercantilists. The Whig party was firmly in control, although legitimist Tories attempted one last Jacobite rebellion in 1745, by again trying to restore a Stuart to the throne. Prince Charles Edward Stuart, known as the Young Pretender or Bonnie Prince Charlie, landed in Scotland and marched as far south as Derby, causing yet another wave of Anti-Catholicism to wash over England. The Scots retreated, and in 1746, were butchered by the Royal Army at Culloden Moor. Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped to France and died in Rome. The Tories became suspect due to their associations with Jacobitism, ensuring oligarchic Whig rule for the following fifty years.

Walpole managed to keep George out of continental conflicts for the first twelve years of the reign, but George declared war on Spain in 1739, against Walpole's wishes. The Spanish war extended into the 1740's as a component of the War of Austrian Succession, in which England fought against French dominance in Europe. George shrank away from the situation quickly: he negotiated a hasty peace with France, to protect Hanover. The 1750's found England again at war with France, this time over imperial claims. Fighting was intense in Europe, but North America and India were also theatres of the war. Government faltering in response to the French crisis brought William Pitt the Elder, later Earl of Chatham, to the forefront of British politics.

Thackeray describes George II and Walpole as such, in The Four Georges "... how he was a choleric little sovereign; how he shook his fist in the face of his father's courtiers; how he kicked his coat and wig about in his rages; and called everybody thief, liar, rascal with whom he differed: you will read in all the history books; and how he speedily and shrewdly reconciled himself with the bold minister, whom he had hated during his father's life, and by whom he was served during fifteen years of his own with admirable prudence, fidelity, and success. But for Robert Walpole, we should have had the Pretender back again."



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Importance? 9.00000 Average

Wife Caroline of Hanover (Queen Caroline) Aug 22, 1705-Nov 20, 1737
Son Frederick Louis of Hanover 1707-1751
Granddaughter Augusta Frederica Hanover 1737-1813
Grandson George William Frederick of Hanover (George III) 1738-1820
Grandson Edward Augustus of Hanover 1739-1767
Granddaughter Caroline Matilda Oldenburg 1751-1775
Daughter Anne of Hanover 1709-1759
Grandson William Orange-Nassau (Prince William V) 1748-1806
Grandson Willem Frederik Prins Orange-Nassau (William I) 1772-1843
Daughter Louise Oldenburg 1724-1751
Granddaughter Sofia Magdalena Holstein-Gottorp 1746-1813
Grandson Christian Oldenburg (Christian VII) 1749-1808
Granddaughter Louise Hesse 1750-1831
Father George Ludwig von Guelph-d'Este of Hanover (George I) 1660-1727
Grandmother Sophia of Hanover 1630-1714
Great-Grandmother Elizabeth Stuart (Queen Elizabeth) 1596-1662
Sister Sophia Dorothea Hanover 1687-1757
Nephew Frederick Hohenzollern (Frederick II) 1712-1786
Niece Philippine Charlotte Hohenzollern 1716-1801
Niece Louisa Ulrika Holstein-Gottorp 1720-1782
Nephew Augustus William Hohenzollern 1722-1758
Mother Sophia Dorothea Hanover 1666-1726

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