WORLD HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN (from 1707)
Table of Contents
Great Britain: from1707
The people who live on the island of Britain, which includes England, Wales, and Scotland, are unsure of who they are as a group. The letters GB (for Great Britain) are displayed on their vehicles when they travel abroad. At international conferences, their diplomats sit behind the letters UK (for the United Kingdom).
In everyday conversation, neither phrase is frequently used. Despite their well-known disregard for the sensibilities of the Welsh and Scots, with whom they have been associated since 1536 and 1707, the English, who make up the vast majority of the population in the United Kingdom, frequently refer to their nation as England.
The more generally adequate name, likewise in like manner use, is England. The common modern term “Brits” for the island’s inhabitants and phrases like “the British empire,” which even the English have never claimed as their own, reflect its prevalence.
The term “United Kingdom” was first used casually in the 18th century to describe the newly formed nation of Scotland and England. In 1800, the Act of Union with Ireland gave the expanded kingdom the name United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, making it legally binding. England and Scotland will “be united into one kingdom by the name of Great Britain,” according to the 1707 Act of Union.
Act of Union: 1707
The union of the two kingdoms seems to have happened suddenly and unexpectedly, given the centuries of animosity that existed between Scotland and England, including warfare even in the 17th century under a shared Stuart king. It has been being talked about for a significant time frame, for James VI and I attempts to accomplish it in the wake of acquiring the English high position in 1603. Despite being implemented during the Commonwealth, the idea did not gain much traction until the beginning of the 18th century.
The inspiration in 1707 was generally financial for the Scots and political for the English.
Scotland’s attempt to establish a colony in Darien, on the isthmus of Panama, in 1698, was a disastrous failure. When the examination is deserted, in 1700, it is assessed to have cost £200,000 and around 2000 lives. Commercially, it appears that the more appealing option is tariff-free access to all English markets, both in Britain and in the developing colonies.
It is appealing for England, which is engaged in prolonged wars with the French, who are sympathetic to the exiled Stuart dynasty, to eliminate any threat from its sole land border. The association of the realms makes an island domain.
The Scottish parliament was abolished by the Act of Union, giving the Scots 45 seats in the Commons and 16 seats in the Lords at Westminster instead. The Scottish legal system, which is very different from English common law, is protected in particular.
During a significant portion of the 18th century, a powerful faction that supported the Jacobite cause (the claim to the throne of the exiled Stuarts) caused unrest and conflict in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands. The rebellions of 1715 and 1745 are two instances of this discontent. However, the majority of Scots are content with their new position in the United Kingdom known as Great Britain. The 20th century must bring about a resurgence of Scottish nationalism.
Hanoverians and Jacobites: 1714-1715
The demise of Sovereign Anne in August 1714 brought into impact the Demonstration of Settlement of 1701. The electress Sophia of Hanover, Anne’s legal heir, had passed away just two months prior. So the new ruler is Sophia’s child, the voter of Hanover, who shows up in Britain in September as George I.
His promotion to the high position is serene however the by questionable. The inheritance is a political issue between Whigs and Tories, just like it was in 1688. Some conservatives still yearn for a return to the Stuart dynasty. James Stuart, also known as the Old Pretender in English history, is the infant whose birth in 1688 sparked the crisis. His dad, James II, has kicked the bucket in 1701. He is undeniably the legitimate heir in terms of divine right.
James has resisted the recent argument made by some Tory party members that he should convert to Protestantism and reclaim his father’s crown. James is a fervent Roman Catholic. He is supported in his hopes by a small but passionate minority that, regardless of religion, backs his claim.
The Jacobites (from the Latin Jacobus, “James”) are this group of people who have remained loyal to James II and are now loyal to James his son. The Highlands of Scotland are where Jacobite sentiment is at its strongest because, during James II’s early years in exile, the Massacre of Glencoe resulted in a number of martyrs for the cause.
In September 1715, the Earl of Mar started a Jacobite uprising in Scotland, which made James want to cross from France later that year. He arrives in December and goes to Scone, where arrangements are in progress for his crowning ordinance. The Old Pretender, on the other hand, decides that discretion ought to prevail over valour when his supporters are disorganized and incompetent. He will be back in France by February.
The failure of this 1715 uprising, also known as the Fifteen, secured the Hanoverians’ claim to the English throne. However, the Jacobite cause is still a romantic one that is held with fervour. Thirty years later, the Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie, leads a final, more serious attempt known as the Forty-Five.
The Whig Supremacy: 1714-1784
Since George I took power, the Tory party has been plagued by two major handicaps. Oxford and Bolingbroke, its leaders, have been involved in the Jacobite cause (in fact, Bolingbroke escaped impeachment in 1715 and became secretary of state for the Old Pretender in France). As a result, the Tory name is associated with treachery.
In addition, the Jacobite-Hanoverian issue has profoundly divided the party itself. Due to their devotion to the Anglican faith, at least half of the Tories are in the Hanoverian camp.
In 1714, George I. established a Whig ministry in order to reward his own faction. This marks the beginning of a period of seventy years during which the Tories lacked any real power. They won’t recuperate a huge job in that frame of mind until the party refocuses in 1784 under the youthful William Pitt.
For a lot of this time the Whigs, as a party, are not in power by the same token. George III, who had been on the throne since 1760, tried to rule with his cronies and factions regardless of which party they belonged to. In the meantime, from 1714 to 1720, the Whigs’ internal divisions were so great that they formed their own opposition. But Robert Walpole, a great Whig minister, is brought to power by a financial crisis in 1720 known as the South Sea Bubble.
South Sea Bubble: 1720
The business that was at the centre of England’s infamous 1720 bubble has been in operation for nearly ten years. It was laid out in 1711 as the South Ocean Organization, with a syndication of English exchange to South America and the Pacific. It initially turned into a popular offer to purchase in 1718, when the ruler turned into a lead representative.
A plan for the company to assume a significant portion of the national debt sparked the bursting of the bubble in 1720. This is accomplished by providing holders of government bonds with the opportunity to exchange them for shares in the business at a highly advantageous rate. The cost of the offers starts to ascend, in a self-propagating furore of energy that fails to assess any basic worth.
The price is eight times higher in August than it was in January, but once it starts to fall, it falls even faster. Despite the fact that this is a modest decline in percentage terms when compared to the current Mississippi Bubble in France, the shares are back at their January level in December.
On the way up, there are as many fortunes made as lost. However, in a time when there is no financial regulation, the chaos and suffering will unavoidably raise suspicions of corruption. It is noted that the king and his German mistresses, as well as some ministers in the government, performed well.
In contrast to the South Sea Company itself, numerous other speculative schemes have been launched as a result of the investment frenzy. The majority of these schemes are fraudulent. In these cases, fortunes pass straightforwardly from the artless to the lawbreaker.
The Bubble Act was quickly passed before the end of the year as a result of these negative experiences. It restricted the formation of joint-stock companies for a little over a century until it was repealed in 1825, hurting honest entrepreneurs as much as it discouraged confidence tricksters. By and by lawful provisos are found. During the 18th century, in particular, in the insurance industry, numerous joint-stock companies were established under different names in Britain.
The age of Walpole: 1721-42
Robert Walpole, a prominent Whig, has benefited the most from the South Sea Bubble. He has the good fortune to sell his own shares near the top of the market, laying the groundwork for his wealth, but he is politically clean.
From 1715 to 1717, Walpole served as the first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer. In 1717, he resigned on the grounds of foreign policy. As a result, he was not in office during the buildup to the 1720 crisis. Additionally, he contends strongly against the South Ocean Organization being permitted to offer its portions instead of government bonds.
Walpole is successful in maintaining Whig control of parliament in the chaos that ensues from the financial calamity of 1720. He is given his two previous positions—first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer—again in 1721. He held both positions until 1742, giving him personal control over the British political system that no other minister has had for as long as he has.
Although Walpole never used the term “prime minister,” he was widely regarded as the first British politician to do so.
Walpole is shameless when it comes to putting his allies in lucrative positions in order to build and maintain his power. His success propelled a jobbery-and-corruption-based political system that persisted in Britain for more than a century before being swept away by the Reform Act of 1832. Nevertheless, it works for Walpole.
In support of his two main goals, Walpole expects his placemen to be loyal and to regularly attend the House of Commons. He wants to keep the house of Hanover on the throne against Jacobite opposition and provide the prosperity he believes will bring happiness to both Hanoverians and Whigs.
Lower taxes, increased trade, and international peace are the main goals of his policy, which Walpole does a lot to achieve. After the dramatic episode of Jenkins’ Ear (see the War of Jenkins’ Ear), he fails to prevent Britain from going to war with Spain in 1739, much to his chagrin. The following year, this conflict joined the larger War of the Austrian Succession.
Walpole leaves during the conflict, in 1742, and resigns to Houghton Lobby, the house which he has underlying Norfolk. Walpole was a great man of his time when he built this magnificent mansion with a wonderful collection of pictures. This is one of the first Palladian-style stately homes in Britain.
Palladianism and the English stately home: 18th century
At the beginning of the 18th century, Britain witnessed a significant uprising against the self-indulgence of baroque architecture, which was replaced by Palladio’s crisp classical lines. The style of the incomparable Venetian planner is known in Britain just from his four books of plans (the Quattro Libri) and from the London show-stoppers of a devotee getting back from Italy, Inigo Jones. The Banqueting House in Whitehall from 1622 and the Queen’s House in Greenwich from 1629 to 1640 are examples of these.
Throughout the rest of the 17th century, which was dominated by baroque, the pioneering work that Inigo Jones produced in the Palladian style was very little copied.
Florid still won in the mid-eighteenth 100 years as the favoured style for any grandee arranging a glorious nation seat. The clearest models are two structures planned by Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor in organization – Palace Howard for the lord of Carlisle in 1700-26, and Blenheim Royal residence for the Duke of Marlborough in 1705-22.
But the current fashion shifts while Castle Howard and Blenheim are being built. Colen Campbell, a British architect, published Vitruvius Britannicus, a collection of classical designs in the Palladian style.
Vitruvius Britannicus dispatches another design in eighteenth-century Britain. In 1717 the baron of Burlington utilised Campbell to redesign his London house in Piccadilly in the Palladian style. He was given the task of building Houghton Hall, a large Palladian country house in Norfolk, in 1722 by Robert Walpole.
Essentially, in this progress period, Walpole adds domes at the sides of Campbell’s plan, giving a hint of ornate. It’s possible that he needs a little bit more of the grandeur of Castle Howard or Blenheim.
Soon after, aristocrats all over Britain followed the trend and bought Palladian or Neoclassical mansions so they could enjoy the surrounding estates. To impress the outside world, country seats are built with pillared porticos and columned halls, similar to Roman basilicas, or domed reception areas, like the Pantheon. The impressive home turns into a component of the English open country.
Many prominent architects are extremely busy as a result of the demand, including Robert Adam toward the century’s end. In the meantime, the proud owners also need a landscape surrounding the house that is equally elegant to attract attention from the windows.
The trade of landscape gardening dates back a very long time. Overlords have without exception needed to decorate their environmental elements, from the draping nurseries of Babylon to the proper vistas of Versailles. However, in the 18th century, the landowners of Britain added a new component.
They don’t want the formal arrangements that were popular in the past; instead, they want a landscape that looks more natural than what nature can do in the agricultural areas of England or Scotland. This requires another kind of scene groundskeeper (pre-prominent among them Ability Brown), who will make lakes and cascades, lush slants, old sanctuaries and heartfelt remnants to accomplish an impression of the easily beautiful.