George III, King of Great Britain


George III, King of Great Britain
(1738–1820)
   George III was the king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1760 to 1820. George III began his rein in the midst of the Seven Years’ War from which he swiftly brought his country after he removed from office the elder William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. During the rebellion of the American colonies, 1775–1783, he gave full support to Lord North’s ministry and staunchly refused to come to any terms with the colonists short of their remaining part of the British Empire. He later supported William Pitt the Younger during his long period as prime minister (1783–1801, 1804–1806), not least the government’s vigorous prosecution of the war against revolutionary France after the execution of Louis XVI in 1793. He suffered bouts of illness, probably prophyria, which led to periodic political crises, most significantly in 1788–1789, when talks of a regency and the rise of the Whigs would almost certainly have led to Pitt’s fall and peace with France. The king, however, recovered, and continued to support the war, although disagreement with Pitt over Catholic Emancipation led to the former’s resignation in 1801. From 1811, as a result of a return of insanity, George III withdrew from politics, succeeded by his son, the future George IV, as Prince Regent until 1820.
   See also <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Brooke, John. King George III. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972;
    Ditchfield, G. M. George III: An Essay in Monarchy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002;
    Hibbert, Christopher. George III: A Personal History. London: Viking, 1998.
   GREGORY FREMONT-BARNES

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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