I’m loving all this excitement about the new future monarch in our midst! The future King George the seventh, I think it is. (I had heard some speculation that when Prince Charles takes the throne that he might take it as George VII, but that was when The King’s Speech came out and it may just be idle Hollywood-fueled gossip) I guess I’m a bit of a royalist. But no, actually I’m just a history nerd. And as a history nerd, today I want to tell you about the first King George of England.
Because I like George I. He was an interesting man in an interesting time. History has flip-flopped back and forth about whether he was a good king or a bad king, but right now the prevailing opinion is that he was a good king. Apparently he was moderate, fair, tolerant, and influenced by the Enlightenment. But man, did he had a hard time in his own times!
The thing about George I is that he inherited a great big huge mess that could be said to have been started by that old rascal, Henry VIII. Yep, it’s that whole Catholic v. Protestant thing. Religion had been a major hot-button issue all through the 16th and 17th centuries. A civil war was fought over it in England, not to mention decades and decades’ worth of near war and squabbles. Finally, parliament had had enough and the Act of Settlement 1701 was passed, barring Catholics from taking the throne. Continue reading