Timeline Description: The Georgian Era (1714 - 1830) is a period of British history spanning the reigns of the first four Hanoverian kings of Britain, all of whom were named George. The age was followed by the brief reign of William IV, and then by Queen Victoria, who is the namesake of the Victorian era. During the Georgian Era, the population of Britain grew rapidly from five million in 1700 to around nine million by 1801. The period was marked by extreme luxury and poverty, the birth of industrialization, and the growth of the British empire. There was also a flowering in the arts and architecture and a growth in consumer culture.
|August 1, 1714||George I inherits the throne and the Georgian Era begins.
Following the death of his cousin Queen Anne in 1714, George, Elector of Hanover, inherits the throne. While there are around 50 Roman Catholic relatives with stronger claims to the throne, George inherits under the Act of Settlement, which is designed to protect Protestant royals.
|April 4, 1721||Robert Walpole takes over the administration.
George I depends on his ministers throughout his reign, and after 1717 he rarely attends any Cabinet meetings. When the South Sea Company, in which the government and monarchy have heavily invested, crashes, George's most able minister, Robert Walpole, takes over in 1721. Walpole becomes known as Britain's first "Prime Minister" and holds the longest administration in British history (1721 - 1742).
|June 11, 1727||George II inherits the throne.
George I dies on a visit to Hanover, and his son, George II of Wales, inherits the throne. At first George II is unpopular due to his preference for staying in Hanover, but he gradually becomes respected due to Britain's prosperity under his rule.
|April 16, 1746||Charles Edward Stuart is defeated and the Jacobite threat ends.
The Jacobite cause, led by James Stuart, the Old Pretender, and his son Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, threaten George II's claim to the throne for much of his reign. Charles lands in Scotland in 1745, thus increasing the threat, but he is defeated at the Battle of Culloden on April 16, 1746. The Jacobite threat ends.
|October 25, 1760||George III inherits the throne.
George II dies on October 25, 1760, and as his son Frederick died in 1751, his grandson George III inherits the throne. He is the first Hanoverian monarch to be born in England and to speak English as his first language.
|February 10, 1763||Britain wins the Seven Years' War.
The Seven Years' War lasts from 1756 to 1763, primarily between Britain, Spain, and France over their colonial territories in North America. Britain wins the war in 1763, making it the preeminent colonial power in Europe. However, Britain incurs a huge number of debts, and its attempts to pay for those debts with American taxes ultimately contributes to the American war of independence.
|December 10, 1768||George III founds the Royal Academy of Arts.
George III founds the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768 and pays for its initial costs. It becomes renowned for its education, cadre of eminent artists, and exhibitions.
|September 3, 1783||Britain loses the American colonies.
After a lengthy war, British forces surrender to American forces, and the United States of America is declared an independent nation with the Treaty of Paris in 1783. The political aftermath of the loss of the American colonies places great strain on George III, who ultimately goes insane in 1810.
|1785||Edmund Cartwright patents the power loom.
Britain begins to industrialize in the 1700s, and in 1785 Edmund Cartwright patents the power loom. This invention greatly improves the weaving process, allowing for the mass production of cheap, light cloth. Britain's cloth comes into demand around the world.
|January 1, 1801||The Act of Union goes into effect.
On January 1, 1801, the Act of Union goes into effect, uniting Great Britain (England and Scotland) and Ireland under the name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
|February 5, 1811||The regency period begins.
George, Prince of Wales, the son of George III, begins his nine-year rule as regent, as his father has become delusional. This period is known as the regency period.
|1811||Jane Austen releases her first novel.
Jane Austen releases her first novel, Sense and Sensibility, and continues to publish novels through 1815. She achieves success with her work, which highlights life among the landed gentry of the Georgian period.
|November 20, 1815||Britain wins the Napoleonic Wars.
After Napoleon Bonaparte seizes power in France in 1799, Britain declares war on France, its long-time rival, in 1803. They remain at war until 1815, when Britain wins a sound victory over France. The victory reaffirms Britain's dominance as the preeminent naval power in Europe.
|January 29, 1820||George IV inherits the throne.
Weakened by illness and madness, George III dies on January 29, 1820, and his son, George IV, inherits the throne. George IV's profligacy and marital difficulties make him an unpopular ruler.
|June 26, 1830||George IV dies and the Georgian Era ends.
When George IV dies in 1830, his brother, William IV, inherits the throne. The Georgian Era ends.