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The Augustan Age

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The Augustan Age

  1. 1. The Augustan Age
  2. 2. George I (1714-1727) • When Queen Anne died without an heir, the parliament called the Duke of Hanover=> his mother was the granddaughter of king James I • He became King with the title George I • He spoke no English (only German) and had to rely on the elected MPs to govern • Most MPs were Whigs=> they were the most powerful • The Tories instead wanted the descendant of King James II to govern England. They were called Jacobites => Jacobus=James in Latin • (they attempted two rebellions, 1715 and 1745, without success)
  3. 3. George II (1727-1760) • His reign was marked by the presence and influence of Sir Horace Walpole. This one was a Whig supporter, who became the First Prime Minister and remained in power for more than 20 years. • The King gave Walpole the house at 10 Downing Street. Walpole managed to govern England well and peacefully, but after 1726 his government was accused of corruption. He lost the election in 1742 and resigned his office.
  4. 4. George III (1760-1801) • His reign was marked by a series of military conflicts, the American War of Independence and the French Revolution. • He suffered from mental illnesses later in his life. • During his reign the Pitt family governed as Prime Ministers: William Pitt the Elder (1766-68) and William Pitt the Younger (1783-1801).
  5. 5. Life during the Augustan age • The political and intellectual leaders saw the country as the heir of the Augustan Rome=> it meant a stable government, a growing empire and material prosperity. • Coffee houses flourished in towns. They were intellectual and social centres for debates. • Women were excluded from political life and they constituted the market for fiction. • Britain was still a rural country and the life expectancy was low.

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