History of England 1760-1801
Publisher: Merkaba Press
George III. was in his twenty-third year when he succeeded his grandfather, George II., on October 25, 1760. His accession caused general satisfaction. The jacobite schism had come to an end; no one imagined that a restoration of the exiled house was possible, or seriously wished that it might take place. The remembrance of the rising of '45 strengthened the general feeling of loyalty to the reigning house; the Old Pretender had lost all interest in public affairs, and his son, Charles Edward, was a confirmed drunkard, and had alienated his friends by his disreputable life. Englishmen were determined not to have another Roman catholic king, and they were too proud of their country willingly to accept as their king a prince who was virtually a foreigner as well as a papist, and whose cause had in past years been maintained by the enemies of England. It is true that their last two kings had been foreigners, but this was so no longer; their new king had been born and brought up among them and was an Englishman to the backbone. He succeeded an old king of coarse manners and conversation and of openly immoral life, and his youth and the respectability of his morals added to the pleasure with which his people greeted him as a sovereign of their own nation.
National feeling was growing in strength; it had been kindled by Pitt, and fanned into a flame by a series of victories which were largely due to the inspiration of his lofty spirit. He had raised Great Britain from a low estate to a height such as it had never reached before. The French power had been overthrown in North America and the dominion of Canada had been added to the British territories. In India the victories of Clive and his generals were soon to be crowned by the fall of Pondicherry, and French and Dutch alike had already lost all chance of successfully opposing the advance of British rule by force of arms. Great Britain had become mistress of the sea. Her naval power secured her the possession of Canada, for her ships cut off the garrison of Montreal from help by sea; it sealed the fate of the French operations in India, for D'Aché was forced to withdraw his ships from the Coromandel coast and leave Lally without support. In the West Indies Guadeloupe had fallen, and in Africa Goree. In every quarter the power of France was destroyed, her colonies were conquered, her ships captured or driven from the sea...
Available since: 07/12/2017.