George I of Great Britain

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George I (George Louis; German: Georg Ludwig; 28 May 1660 – 11 June 1727)[1] was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 until his death, and ruler of Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire from 1698.

George was born in Lower Saxony, in what is now Germany, and eventually inherited the title and lands of the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. A succession of European wars expanded his German domains during his lifetime, and in 1708 he was ratified as prince-elector of Hanover. At the age of 54, after the death of Queen Anne of Great Britain, George ascended the British throne as the first monarch of the House of Hanover. Although over fifty Catholics bore closer blood relationships to Anne, the Act of Settlement 1701 prohibited Catholics from inheriting the British throne. George, however, was Anne's closest living Protestant relative. In reaction, the Jacobites attempted to depose George and replace him with Anne's Catholic half-brother, James Francis Edward Stuart, but their attempts failed.

During George's reign the powers of the monarchy diminished and Britain began a transition to the modern system of cabinet government led by a prime minister. Towards the end of his reign, actual power was held by Sir Robert Walpole, Great Britain's first de facto prime minister. George died on a trip to his native Hanover, where he was buried.


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