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George II
George II

George II (1683-1760) succeeded his father, George I, in 1727. Born in Hanover, he was almost as German as his father.

George II was a brave man and ambitious for military prestige. He was the last British ruler to lead troops on the battlefield. This increased his popularity greatly. Although George II was a stubborn and rather stupid man, he usually took advice, especially if he was persuaded that he had really originated the idea. During the first part of his reign, he depended chiefly upon Robert Walpole and upon his wife, Queen Caroline, who took an active part in politics. Later, his chief ministers, Henry Pelham and the elder William Pitt, helped him greatly.

Great changes marked the reign of George II. Military triumphs, especially during the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), laid the foundations of an empire in India and Canada, and increased British prestige throughout the European world. The failure of the second Jacobite rebellion in 1745 proved the stability of the Hanoverian regime. Important agricultural and industrial advances changed the political and social structure of Britain.