Aimee Saunders

The Monarchy and the American Revolution

George III ruled Britain from 1760-1820 b. June 4, 1738 d. January 29, 1820 married Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (nicknamed Monkey Face) had 15 children lived a quiet life and were in bed by 10pm

King George's life was marked by several periods of illness. The first major attack was in 1788. These instances of poor health were often accompanied by incessant talking, insomnia, depression and violent outbursts. When he recovered in early 1789 his success made him popular with the people. Towards the end of his life the disease came back and he was left with short-term memory loss and senile dementia.

The satire of King George's reign shows that it was moving away from stinging criticism to more comic caricatures. Linda Colley says this helps to preserve the monarchy. He escaped criticism and the blame for the loss of the American colonies because of his position as a limited Monarch. Thus he remained popular while the Prime Minister (Lord North) received the blame

American Revolution (1775-1783)

The Boston Tea party signaled great trouble to the British government. As a reaction to this event the Parliament devised a series of acts which were hoped to bring Massachusetts under control. (AKA the intolerable acts) 1. Boston Port Act --closed Boston harbor 2. Massachusetts Charter Act --rebalance the colony's constitution, strengthen the executive and judicial authority 3. Justice Act-- to protect the loyal supporters. 4. Quartering Act -- troops could stay in private homes in order to be close to suspected riot areas.

George III and his ministers declared Massachusetts and surrounding colonies in a rebellious state that could only be fixed by force. They imposed further restrictions, the Non-Intercourse Act of March 1775. This excludes New England from the Newfoundland fisheries, trading with anyone except Great Britain and forbids access to supplies in Caribbean. Great Britain didn't expect the amount of resistance that the Americans gave. GB only had German allies and could not entice other European countries to ally with him.

The Americans signed the Treaty of Commerce and Alliance with France.

In February of 1783 the House of Commons voted to stop offensive operations in America. In March of that year they threatened Prime Minister Lord North with a vote of no confidence. Lord North and his government resigned before it could happen.

The American Revolution changed the attitudes of British Radicals because it was the first time that they had lost a war and the first time they had fought Protestants. During this same period Ireland received parliamentary independence (1782).

The American Revolution is thought of as a Civil War of sorts. In America one third of the population supported the revolt, one third were loyal to GB, and one third had not made up its mind. Scholars say the same was true for British citizens.

As a result of losing the American colonies GB increased control of other colonies. Parliament issued the India Act of 1784, the Canada Act of 1791 and the Act of Union with Ireland in 1800.

The government also tried to strengthen itself at home. There were parliament reforms, imperial reforms and religious liberation.