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George II reigned 1727 – 1760

The son of George I and Sophia Dorothea, George II was crowned King at Westminster Abbey on 11th Oct 1727.

Like his father he was involved in politics and when crowned was persuaded by his wife Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach, to retain Walpole as Prime Minister.

For the first twelve years George reigned over a country at peace. Walpole worked hard to steer Britain away from conflicts with her close neighbours and George, like his father, enjoyed being at the centre of the political stage, controlling all major appointments to the civil service and the armed forces.

From 1739 however Britain was once again at war with Spain, then France and Austria. Walpole struggled as a Prime Minister at war, resigning in 1742 and George II was quick to retain his authority on Parliament. This period saw the emergence of a political system that was to have a huge impact on the country and it’s affairs.

The struggle for leadership emerged with William Pitt rising as a new star.

George II disliked Pitt and did all he could to prevent him from rising further, keeping him tied down in lesser roles. After much political intrigue, he was forced to accept that the people wanted Pitt in the Commons. Change was afoot.

Alongside all the wars and political dealings, George II was reigning over a country which was also fighting for dominion over the world commercial markets, by the end of his reign, Britain would have the greatest empire seen, since the Roman Empire.

George II unexpected death in 1760 after 33 years as King came at a time when the rate of political, social and economic change in Britain was greater than it had been ever before.