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George III

George III (1738–1820), king of Great Britain and Ireland (1760–1820), and elector of Hanover. Popular misconceptions about George III are principally of three varieties: first, that he attempted systematically to subvert the traditional constitution; second, that he was personally responsible for the loss of the American colonies; third, that he became mad. None of these assertions has withstood detailed historical analysis. Consequently, the reputation of George III has been revised perhaps to a greater degree than any other British monarch.

He was born in England, the first of the Hanoverian monarchs to be a native of his own kingdom. Upon the death of his father Frederick in 1751, George succeeded as prince of Wales and heir to the throne. The young prince was not on good terms with his grandfather George II. He came to believe that the old king was the tool of a corrupt clique of politicians. A key influence on the formation of this naïve viewpoint was Lord Bute, tutor to the prince from 1755. Bute puffed up his protégé with unrealistic expectations of reforming the political system by royal initiative and assumed the character of essential partner in this putative reign of virtue. When George succeeded to the throne in 1760, Bute rapidly rose from courtier to cabinet minister and, in May 1762, became prime minister. Yet Bute proved a disappointment and resigned within a year. Ministries followed each other in swift succession: there were four different premiers between the fall of Bute and the appointment of North in 1770. Many contemporaries attributed these fluctuations to the influence, behind the scenes, of Bute. A more balanced assessment is that exaggerated suspicions of him poisoned the political atmosphere, though George III himself rapidly outgrew his youthful dependence. The accusation that the king aimed at increasing the royal prerogative or deliberately connived at secret influence will not bear scrutiny. His view of the constitution accorded with the contemporary interpretation that the monarch possessed the undoubted right to choose his own ministers. One practical constraint, however, was the necessity of managing the House of Commons, the key to both public confidence and national finance.

The advent of the North ministry, led by an able parliamentarian possessing the confidence of the king, inaugurated a lengthy period of political stability. The king behaved with impeccable constitutional propriety throughout North's twelve-year premiership. Ministers, not the crown, were responsible for policy. This was particularly the case with regard to America. Colonial propaganda prior to the outbreak of war recognized the realities of political authority in Britain, focusing on the ministerial and parliamentary dimension to the burgeoning conflict. Yet, once war had broken out, it became necessary for the rebels to describe matters differently and the Declaration of Independence of 1776 enshrined the king as villain of the piece. This was a necessary fiction (justifying recourse to foreign aid) but fundamentally untrue.

George III took a keen interest in the military struggle and refused to accept that America was lost, even after the disastrous defeat at Yorktown in 1781. Bowing to Parliament's refusal to continue the war, the king reluctantly parted with North. The king tried to maintain some freedom of manœuvre by playing upon the rivalry between Shelburne and Rockingham, the leading opposition politicians who now formed a ministry. When Rockingham died unexpectedly in July 1782, George III appointed Shelburne as his successor. But Shelburne was forced to resign following a concerted attack by the followers of Charles Fox and Lord North. The king viewed North's actions as personal betrayal, and, in the context of the unprecedented and recent humiliation of the war, remained implacably hostile to the Fox–North coalition. He withheld confidence from his new ministers, refused requests for peerages, and created difficulties over financial provisions for the prince of Wales. The king's obvious dissatisfaction persuaded the younger Pitt to negotiate secretly for the overthrow of the coalition, which was accomplished during the India Bill crisis of 1783. There was no constitutional justification for the king's interference in the House of Lords, nor was any public defence attempted. Pitt, at the head of a minority ministry, adroitly distanced himself from recent events and held out until it was safe to call a general election. Although the means had been underhand, the king's choice of Pitt proved excellent. Political stability was re-established and no serious threat arose until the king fell ill in the autumn of 1788. The ensuing Regency crisis was precipitated by the apparent madness of the king. According to modern diagnosis he was suffering from acute intermittent porphyria, a hereditary metabolic disorder. This condition, unknown to 18th-cent. medical science, gave rise to rival attempts at a cure, which shared ignorance and brutality in common. The king, in accordance with the pathogeny of the disease, recovered despite the treatment he suffered.

Pitt, having survived in office, continued to dominate parliamentary politics, but found it necessary, in the wake of the French Revolution, to strengthen the ministry by incorporating Portland and the conservative Whigs. An English revolution did not materialize, and the king benefited from a groundswell of enthusiasm for monarchy, becoming a personal symbol of the durability of the traditional political system. But the danger of revolution was not negligible, nor was George III universally popular. Indeed, disaffection and rebellion in Ireland convinced ministers of the necessity of parliamentary union. Having achieved this objective, Pitt resigned in 1801 over George III's refusal to countenance the removal of residual penalties against catholics. The king's views were never in doubt, nor had they changed substantially in the previous decade. He considered his coronation oath, with its pledge to uphold the protestant religion, to be absolutely binding and resisted what he regarded as sophistical arguments to the contrary. The fall of Pitt led to a period of factional instability, akin to the early years of the reign, but further complicated by fears for the king's mental state. Some politicians vowed never again to raise the catholic question; and a moderate proposal for relief, by the Talents ministry in 1807, precipitated a ministerial crisis, during which the king reaffirmed his intransigence.

In 1810 the king suffered a final decline into mental derangement, exacerbated by increasing deafness and blindness. The following year a regency was established under his eldest son, the future George IV. As a hard-working monarch, devoted husband, and sincere Christian, George III compares favourably with his dissolute successor. Although undeniably stubborn, he was prepared to admit some, though not all, of his errors. Three themes from his reign became benchmarks for opposition politicians: his involvement with Bute, his underhand conduct during the India Bill crisis, and his rejection of catholic emancipation. George III was not blameless on any of these counts, but contemporary myth should not be mistaken for historical assessment.

David Wilkinson

Bibliography

Ayling, S. , George the Third (1972);
Brooke, J. , King George III (1972);
Hibbert, C. , George III (1998).

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"George III." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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George III

George III

George III (1738-1820) was king of Great Britain and Ireland from 1760 to 1820. His long reign witnessed the American Revolution, the defeat of Napoleon, the founding of the "second British empire," and the decline of monarchical power.

Born on June 4, 1738, in London, George III was the eldest son of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Frederick's death in 1751 left the young George heir apparent to the throne, to which he ascended when his grandfather, George II, died in 1760.

As a youth, George was a poor student whose emotional immaturity matched his mental underdevelopment. He formed strong attachments to older men whom he could respect as figures of authority. Abstemious, economical, and morally upright, he worked conscientiously, though unimaginatively, at being king, at preserving the Crown's dignity, and at maintaining England's power and honor. He knew the constitutional limits of monarchical power and had no wish to exceed them. With experience he grew adept at using all the Crown's considerable political influence, supporting one faction against another and employing "secret service money." Indeed, his skill at these activities lent color to Opposition cries that he exercised "personal rule" and "subverted" the English constitution.

Early Reign

One of the first matters to occupy the new king's attention was his own marriage. Suppressing his preference for an English woman, George chose, as was expected of him, a German Protestant princess, Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Although she was homely and dull, George remained faithful to her after their marriage in 1761, and they had 15 children.

Early in his reign George made himself unpopular by ousting William Pitt the Elder (1761) and installing in the Treasury his adviser, Lord Bute. As a Scot, Bute was despised and distrusted by the English even before he made an unpopular peace with France. George relied utterly upon Bute, but his confidence was misplaced, for Bute had neither sagacity nor courage and soon resigned (1763).

Thus began the King's long search for a minister in whom he had confidence and who could also control the government. After Bute came George Grenville (1763-1765) and Lord Rockingham (1765-1766). Then George brought Pitt back and created him Earl of Chatham (1766). But Chatham suffered a mental breakdown, and George then entrusted the government to the Duke of Grafton (1768-1770). Grafton proved incompetent, and when he resigned in January 1770, the King appointed Lord North first lord of the Treasury (1770-1782). At last George III had a "prime minister" whom he liked and trusted. By this time experience had made George a master politician. His strength and determination kept the increasingly reluctant (and increasingly unsuccessful) North at the head of the government for 12 years.

Several explosive issues buffeted George and his government during the first 2 decades of his reign. Most significant were the turbulences created by the political reformer John Wilkes and by the American colonies. The pious King regarded the disreputable Wilkes with horror and hatred. By prosecuting the popular Wilkes, George further increased both his personal unpopularity and the public's lack of confidence in his government. But the exercise of power depended not on mob approval but on the favor of the gentry in the House of Commons. As the American war dragged on, the government's lack of success together with the haranguing of the Opposition alienated many of the gentry who had formerly voted for the King's policies. Furthermore, large segments of influential public opinion outside Parliament disapproved of the American war and of government policy and wished for administrative reform and economy. North's ministry fell in 1782, and the American colonies won their independence. These two events ushered in a new phase in British government and in the life of George III.

Later Reign

Once more George had to tolerate ministries headed by persons whom he detested: first Rockingham, until his death in 1782 brought Lord Shelburne to power, and then the "infamous" Fox-North coalition nominally headed by the Duke of Portland. By exceeding the strict bounds of his constitutional authority, George managed to bring down the coalition over the issue of Fox's East India Bill. To head the new ministry, he picked William Pitt the Younger.

Pitt was strong and capable, and his long tenure of office was markedly successful. His strength rebuffed, just as North's weakness had invited, the King's political maneuvering. While Pitt devoted himself to financial and administrative reforms and then to the struggle with France, George III retired more and more from political life into domestic concerns. He still had occasional political impact, most notably when by his adamant opposition to Catholic emancipation in Ireland he caused Pitt's resignation (1801). His domestic tranquility was disturbed by the coarse extravagances of his two eldest sons (George, Prince of Wales, and Frederick, Duke of York) and by his own ill health.

George III experienced mental incapacity on a number of occasions. His mental aberration, long deemed manic-depressive insanity, has recently been diagnosed by medical experts as the result of a rare metabolic disorder called porphyria. George had four major attacks: October 1788 to February 1789; February-March 1801; January-March 1804; and October 1810 to his death on Jan. 29, 1820. The last illness led to the establishment of Prince George's regency (February 1811). In his last years George III was also totally blind and deaf, a proper object of sympathy, even affection, for the public who despised the Regent's profligacy.

Further Reading

A full-length biography of George III is J. C. Long, George III: The Story of a Complex Man (1961). An interesting biographical essay is provided in J. H. Plumb, The First Four Georges (1956). For the King's mental condition, the long-accepted view of Manfred S. Guttmacher, America's Last King: An Interpretation of the Madness of George III (1941), has now been authoritatively challenged by Ida Macalpine and Richard Hunter, George III and the Mad-Business (1969). For an understanding of George III's political role, a number of special studies are invaluable: L. B. Namier, The Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III (2 vols., 1929; 2d ed., 1 vol., 1957); Romney Sedgwick's long introduction to his edition of the Letters from George III to Lord Bute, 1756-1766 (1939); Richard Pares, King George III and the Politicians (1953); and John Derry, The Regency Crisis and the Whigs, 1788-89 (1964). A general history of the period is J. Steven Watson, The Reign of George III, 1760-1815 (1960).

Additional Sources

Andrews, Allen, The King who lost America: George III and independence, London: Jupiter Books, 1976.

Delany, Mrs. (Mary), The autobiography and correspondence of Mary Granville, Mrs. Delany: with interesting reminiscences of King George the Third and Queen Charlott, New York, AMS Press, 1974.

Gattey, Charles Neilson, "Farmer" George's black sheep: the lives and loves of George III's brothers and sister, Abbotsbrook, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire: Kensal Press, 1985.

Pain, Nesta, George III at home, London: Eyre Methuen, 1975.

Plumb, J. H. (John Harold), New light on the tyrant George III, Washington: Society of the Cincinnati, 1978.

Van der Kiste, John, George III's children, Far Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire: A. Sutton, 1992. □

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George III (Great Britain) (1738–1820; Ruled 1760–1820)

GEORGE III (GREAT BRITAIN) (17381820; ruled 17601820)

GEORGE III (GREAT BRITAIN) (17381820; ruled 17601820), king of Great Britain and Ireland. George III was also elector of Hanover (17601815), king of Hanover (18141820), and the last monarch to rule the thirteen colonies that became the United States of America. George III's father, Frederick Louis (17071751), the son of George II (ruled 17271760), died in 1751, leaving his eldest son to succeed him first as Prince of Wales and then as king. As prince George III developed a sense of antagonism toward the prevailing political system, which he thought oligarchical and factional. The young prince and his confidant, John Stuart (17131792), third earl of Bute, favored the idea of politics without party and a king above faction.

Succeeding his grandfather, George II, in 1760, George III was a figure of controversy from the outset because of his determination to reign without party. Unlike George I (ruled 17141727) and George II, George III was not a pragmatist, and he did have an agenda for Britain. He thought that much about the political system was corrupt and ascribed this in part to the size of the national debt. As a consequence George's moral reformism, which drew on his piety, was specifically aimed against faction and luxury. Like other rulers, George found it difficult to create acceptable relationships with senior politicians at his accession, and this contributed powerfully to the ministerial and political instability of the 1760s. Nevertheless, there was no fundamental political crisis, and after George found an effective political manager in Frederick North (17321792) in 1770, the political situation within Britain became far more quiescent. However, George's determination to maintain royal authority played a major role in the crisis of relations with the American colonies that led to revolution there in 1775. In turn failure there brought down the North ministry in 1782, beginning a period of instability that lasted until 1784.

George matured in office, becoming a practiced politician and a man more capable of defining deliverable goals. His conscientious nature shines through his copious correspondence. George felt the monarch could reach out, beyond antipathy and factional self-interest on the part of politicians, to a wider, responsible, and responsive public opinion.

George remained politically influential during the long ministry of William Pitt the Younger (17591806), but his ill health in 1788 led to a serious political crisis. George's attack of porphyria, which led to symptoms of insanity, caused the regency crisis. George's recovery in 1789 ended the crisis, and he again became a factor to reckon with. His obduracy created problems for his ministers when in the 1790s he opposed the extension of rights to Catholics in Ireland or Britain. Arguing that such moves would breach his coronation oath, George stated that he would not give royal assent to such legislation. This helped precipitate Pitt's resignation in 1801 and the fall of the ministry of William Wyndham Grenville (17591834) in 1807.

George's attitude also made religious issues even more central in the politics of the early nineteenth century than they might otherwise have been. His firmness, not to say rigidity, contrasted with the more flexible attitude of his non-Anglican predecessors, George II, George I, William III (ruled 16891702), and arguably Charles II (ruled 16601685). It also helped focus the defense of order, hierarchy, and continuity much more on religion than would otherwise have been the case in a period of revolutionary threats. George was motivated not only by his religious convictions but also by the argument that the position of the Church of England rested on fundamental parliamentary legislation. Any repeal would also thus challenge the constitutional safeguards that were similarly founded and secured. It is not surprising therefore that Edmund Burke's emphasis, in his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), on continuity and the value of the Glorious Revolution found favor with George III.

The monarchy became a more potent symbol of national identity and continuity in response to the French Revolution. In 1809, when George celebrated his jubilee, the public event not only symbolized the stability he had provided in an age of volatile politics but also expressed the genuine affection and admiration his subjects now had for the monarch. The social elite and the bulk of public opinion had rallied around the themes of country, crown, and church.

George's health broke down permanently in 1811. The following year his eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, became regent; in 1820 he succeeded his father as George IV (ruled 18201830).

George III was a keen family man. His wife, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, whom he married in 1761, struck up a genuinely close relationship with him, but as their numerous children grew to adulthood (Charlotte bore a total of nine sons and six daughters), there arose a conflict between George's own sense of propriety and the dissolute lifestyle adopted by most of his boys. The members of the younger generation were especially loath to accept the king and queen's choices of marriage partners and entered into liaisons that, while often stable and personally fulfilling, hardly redounded to the increasingly prudish image George wished to promote. The alienation between the generations was represented most strikingly in the endless disputes between the king and the Prince of Wales.

George was a major art collector and a supporter of the astronomer Sir William Herschel (17381822). His cultural preferences, particularly his interest in the work of George Frideric Handel (16851759), were related to his moral concerns. George was interested in farming and was known as "Farmer George." Although this led to satire at his expense, his domestication of the monarchy and his lack of ostentatious grandeur was important to a revival in popularity for the monarchy that served it well in the political crisis of the 1790s caused by the French Revolution. He was the originator of the emphasis on domesticity in the British royal family. The contrast between the fates of the British and French monarchies was due to many factors, but the differences between the personalities and attitudes of George III and Louis XVI (ruled 17741792) were important. Similarly George was subsequently favorably contrasted by British commentators with the apparently tyrannical and bellicose Napoléon I.

See also American Independence, War of (17751783) ; George II (Great Britain) ; Handel, George Frideric ; Hanoverian Dynasty (Great Britain) ; Pitt, William the Elder and William the Younger ; Revolutions, Age of .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Black, Jeremy. Eighteenth-Century Britain, 16881783. Basingstoke, U.K., 2001.

Ditchfield, G. M. George III: An Essay on Monarchy. Basingstoke, U.K., 2002.

Newman, Gerald. Britain in the Hanoverian Age, 1714 1837: An Encyclopedia. New York and London, 1997.

Pares, Richard. George III and the Politicians. Oxford, 1953.

Thomas, P. D. G. George III: King and Politicians, 1760 1770. Manchester, U.K., 2002.

Jeremy Black

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George III (king of Great Britain and Ireland)

George III, 1738–1820, king of Great Britain and Ireland (1760–1820); son of Frederick Louis, prince of Wales, and grandson of George II, whom he succeeded. He was also elector (and later king) of Hanover, but he never visited it.

Early Reign

After his father's early death (1751), young George was educated for his future role as king by his domineering mother, Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, and by John Stuart, earl of Bute. He succeeded to the throne at the age of 22 and earnestly set himself to cleanse politics of corruption and to curb the arrogance of the aristocratic Whig leaders, who he believed had weakened the royal powers. George, for his part, was viewed with suspicion by those who resented Lord Bute's influence over the young king. This suspicion appeared justified when the successful and popular William Pitt, later earl of Chatham, was allowed to resign (1761) and was replaced by Bute. Bute, however, could not muster parliamentary support and resigned in 1763, and George, who matured rapidly in office, quickly outgrew his dependence on him.

Political instability marked the first 10 years of the reign, for the king's lack of faith in most of the available ministers and increasing factionalism led to a rapid turnover of ministries and inconsistency of policy. The ministry of George Grenville (1763–65) initiated prosecution of John Wilkes and imposed the unpopular Stamp Act on the American colonies; that of the marquess of Rockingham (1765–66) repealed the Stamp Act; that of Lord Chatham (1766–68) levied new duties in America with the Townshend Acts; while that of the duke of Grafton (1768–70) renewed prosecution of Wilkes. Thwarted in his unrealistic attempts to break the system of patronage and connection by which political groupings were formed, George himself resorted to the lavish use of patronage to establish in Parliament a group of supporters known as the "king's friends."

Ministries of North and the Younger Pitt

Only in 1770 did George find in Frederick, Lord North, a chief minister who was able to manage Parliament and willing to follow royal leadership. Although North achieved financial consolidation at home and imposed closer government control over the East India Company by the Regulating Act (1772), his 12-year ministry is remembered chiefly for his policy of coercion against the American colonists that led finally to the American Revolution. This policy of course reflected the views of the king, whose refusal to accept the loss of the colonies prolonged the war. Opposition in Parliament to what was regarded as increasing royal influence finally forced George to accept the resignation (1782) of North and the formation of ministries first by Lord Rockingham and then by the earl of Shelburne, who concluded the Treaty of Paris (1783), granting independence to the United States.

Shelburne's ministry was brought down (1783) by the surprising coalition of George's old friend Lord North and his leading Whig opponent Charles James Fox. This alliance so incensed the king that he exerted his influence in the House of Lords to secure defeat of Fox's East India Bill (1783) and thus forced the ministry out, replacing it with one formed by the younger William Pitt. Despite the furious reaction to the king's action among Whigs, Pitt won control of Parliament in the 1784 election and was to retain power until 1801 and then hold it again from 1804 to 1806.

After Pitt's appointment George retired from active participation in government, except for taking an interest in such major issues as Catholic Emancipation, which he defeated in 1801. Pitt was able to improve trade, reform the governments of Canada and India, and unite the kingdoms of Ireland and England (1800). He also managed the wars with France (see French Revolutionary Wars; Napoleon I).

England in the Reign of George III

Before George died in 1820 the fabric of English life had been vastly altered from the stable society of 1760. Despite the loss of the American colonies there had been a great expansion of empire and trade, and the ground for further expansion had been laid by the explorations of James Cook. At home, the population almost doubled, improved agricultural methods increased productivity, and advances in technology and transportation marked the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Social reform, although much discussed, made little headway, and all attempts to effect an extension of the suffrage or a redistribution of parliamentary representation failed. The Church of England, fettered by apathy and patronage, failed to move into the new factory towns, but Methodism spread rapidly to fill the gap. Science made great strides with the work of Henry Cavendish, Joseph Priestley, John Dalton, and Sir Humphrey Davy. In English literature 18th-century neoclassicism declined, and the romantic movement had its rise. A revolution in social and economic thinking, assisted by the spread of literacy and learning through a wider distribution of books and periodicals, promoted theories of utilitarianism and laissez-faire. Among important thinkers of the period were Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, Jeremy Bentham, and Edmund Burke. Through all these developments George patronized the arts, especially portraiture, and founded the Royal Academy of Arts. He was a friend of Josiah Wedgwood and other industrialists.

Later Life and Character

George, who had suffered a short nervous breakdown in 1765 and a more serious one in 1788–89 (which caused a fierce conflict between Pitt and Fox over the powers to be vested in the regency), became permanently insane in 1810. It has been suggested that he was a victim of the hereditary disease porphyria. He spent the rest of his life in the care of his devoted wife, Charlotte Sophia, whom he had married in 1761, and the prince of Wales (later George IV) was made regent (see Regency). Unlike the first two Georges, George III had a tranquil domestic life, although scandal touched his brothers and sons. George was an honest and well-intentioned man, but his stubbornness and limited intellectual power confounded his efforts to rule well and made him a somewhat tragic figure.

Bibliography

See editions of George III's correspondence by J. Fortescue (6 vol., 1927–28; additions and corrections by L. B. Namier, 1937) and by A. Aspinall (5 vol., 1962–70); biographies by J. C. Long (1961), S. E. Ayling (1972), J. Brooke (1972), and J. C. Clarke (1972); studies by H. Butterfield (1949, repr. 1968; rev. ed. 1959), J. S. Watson (1960), J. H. Plumb (1985), R. Pares (1953, repr. 1988), and C. Hibbert (1999); study of his private life by J. Hadlow (2014).

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George III

George III (1738–1820), king of Great Britain. George III ascended the throne in 1760 upon the sudden death of his grandfather, George II, with whom he was politically at odds. He was a member of the House of Hanover, an ethnic German family that succeeded to the British throne in 1714. The new king tended to defer to his ministers’ advice, especially in colonial matters. He was not averse to conciliation, provided that it did not diminish the authority of king and Parliament. In 1766, he backed the repeal of the Stamp Act. After the Boston Tea Party in 1774, however, his willingness to compromise vanished. The king supported the Coercive Acts of that year and adamantly rejected the colonists’ argument that they could disobey Parliament while remaining loyal to the king.

George III became a fervent advocate of the war against the Americans. He participated minimally in the war's actual planning and management, but he used his influence to commit his government and his people to enforcing the colonies’ obedience. During the Revolutionary War, the king never wavered in his support of Lord North, his chief minister (1770–1782), and his backing delayed the emergence of an opposition party strong enough to bring down North's ministry and foster a compromise.

Perhaps George III's most significant contribution to the American Revolution was his presence as a symbol of British sovereignty—and, ultimately, tyranny. The patriot leaders always insisted, down to 1776, on their loyalty to the crown, as the only legitimate link between America and Great Britain. Hence the Declaration of Independence indicted the king, rather than Parliament, for Britain's misdeeds. George III's rhetorical transformation from symbol of monarchical benevolence to tyrant provided the ultimate justification for revolution. After 1784, George III largely retired from an active role in government. He suffered a nervous breakdown in 1788–89; when he was declared insane in 1810, his son was appointed regent.

Bibliography

Stanley Ayling , George III, 1972.

Jon T. Coleman

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George III

George III (1738–1820) King of Great Britain and Ireland (1760–1820), and King of Hanover (1760–1820), grandson of George II. He was the first thoroughly English monarch of his line. George shared the blame with Lord North for the loss of the American colonies in the American Revolution (1775–83), but was quick to appreciate the talents of William Pitt (the Younger). His reign witnessed the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. In 1765, he suffered his first attack of apparent insanity, now known to be symptoms of porphyria. The attacks grew worse and, in 1811, his son, the future George IV, became Prince Regent.

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"George III." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"George III." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/george-iii