- Canning, George
- (1770–1827)One of the leading British statesmen of the early nineteenth century. Canning forsook his Whig tendencies for more Tory sympathies when he supported William Pitt from 1794. Although a distinguished speaker in Parliament, Canning did not hold a prominent position in government until 1807, when he was appointed Foreign Secretary under the Duke of Portland in which office he served until 1809. In this capacity he sent a punitive expedition against Copenhagen and played a prominent part in Britain’s involvement in the Peninsular War against Napoleon in Spain and Portugal. He strongly opposed his country’s expedition against Walcheren in 1809, and his disagreements with Castlereagh, the Secretary of State for War, led to an inconclusive duel between them. He served again as Foreign Secretary in 1822–1827 during which time he recognized the newly independent Latin American states, thus securing substantial economic benefits for his country. He served briefly as prime minister in 1827.FURTHER READING:Dixon, Peter. Canning: Politician and Statesman. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1976;Hinde, Wendy. George Canning. London: Collins, 1973;Temperley, Harold. The Foreign Policy of Canning, 1822-1827. Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1966.GREGORY FREMONT-BARNES
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.