Hanoverian Dynasty (Great Britain)

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HANOVERIAN DYNASTY (GREAT BRITAIN). Under the terms of the 1701 Act of Settlement, on the death of Queen Anne on 1 August 1714 the joint crowns of England and Scotland fell to George Ludwig, elector of Hanover, a north German territory of medium size and power. He was the son of Sophie, the granddaughter of James I of England. George I, as he was styled in Britain, spoke no English and throughout his reign remained more attached to his native land (to which he frequently returned) than to his adopted kingdom, which he ruled until his death in 1727. He was succeeded by his son George II (ruled 17271760), now chiefly remembered for his military valor. He became the last British monarch to lead his troops into battle in person, but at home he also had to fend off a serious challenge to his rule in the uprising led by Charles Edward Stuart ("Bonnie Prince Charlie") in 1745. George II's eldest son, Frederick, Prince of Wales, predeceased him, leaving the king's 22-year-old grandson to succeed him as George III. George was the first of the Hanoverians to be born in England, and he was to enjoy an exceptionally long reign of sixty years, which was, however, punctuated by crises overseas such as the loss of the American colonies in 1783 and the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789. George III was followed on the throne by two of his sons (George IV [ruled 18201830] and William IV [18301837]) and his granddaughter (Victoria [18371901]), making the Hanoverian dynasty one of the most enduring in British history. Despite uprisings seeking the restoration of the male line of the house of Stuart in 1715 and 1745, the Hanoverian age marked a long period of relative domestic stability, which allowed Britain to become a major imperial power.

See also Anne (England) ; George I (Great Britain) ; George II (Great Britain) ; George III (Great Britain) ; Jacobitism .


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Newman, Gerald, ed. Britain in the Hanoverian Age, 1714 1837. New York, 1997.

Owen, John B. "George II Reconsidered." In Statesmen, Scholars and Merchants, edited by Anne Whiteman, John S. Bromley, and Peter G. M. Dickson, pp. 113134. Oxford, 1973.

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Hannes Kleineke