George I

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George I

(George Louis), 1660–1727, king of Great Britain and Ireland (1714–27); son of SophiaSophia
, 1630–1714, electress of Hanover, consort of Elector Ernest Augustus. She was the daughter of Frederick the Winter King and Elizabeth of Bohemia, who was the daughter of James I of England.
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, electress of Hanover, and great-grandson of James I. He became (1698) elector of Hanover, fought in the War of the Spanish Succession, and in 1714 succeeded Queen Anne under the provisions of the Act of SettlementSettlement, Act of,
1701, passed by the English Parliament, to provide that if William III and Princess Anne (later Queen Anne) should die without heirs, the succession to the throne should pass to Sophia, electress of Hanover, granddaughter of James I, and to her heirs, if they
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, becoming the first British sovereign of the house of HanoverHanover, house of,
ruling dynasty of Hanover (see Hanover, province), which was descended from the Guelphs and which in 1714 acceded to the British throne in the person of George I.
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. He was personally unpopular in England because of his German manners, his German mistresses (see Schulenburg, Ehrengard Melusina von der, duchess of KendalSchulenburg, Ehrengard Melusina von der, duchess of Kendal
, 1667–1743, German mistress of George I of England. She became his mistress at the Hanoverian court and followed him to England c.1714.
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), his treatment of his divorced wife, Sophia DorotheaSophia Dorothea
, 1666–1726, electress of Hanover, wife of Elector George Louis (later King George I of England); sometimes called Sophia Dorothea of Celle. Married to George in 1682, she bore him two children: George, later George II of England, and Sophia Dorothea, who
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, and his inability to speak English. George's dual role as elector of Hanover and king of England also raised problems; he spent much of his time in Hanover and was widely (although unjustly) believed to be indifferent to English affairs. Yet, despite the uprising of the JacobitesJacobites
, adherents of the exiled branch of the house of Stuart who sought to restore James II and his descendants to the English and Scottish thrones after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. They take their name from the Latin form (Jacobus) of the name James.
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 in 1715, his crown was never in danger, for he stood to Englishmen as the guarantee of the "revolution settlement" against a return of the Roman Catholic Stuarts. George's succession brought the Whigs to power, and the early years of his reign saw constant maneuvering for power among his ministers—the 1st Earl StanhopeStanhope, James Stanhope, 1st Earl,
1673–1721, English general and statesman. During the War of the Spanish Succession he participated in the capture (1705) of Barcelona, was appointed (1706) minister to Spain,
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, the 3d earl of SunderlandSunderland, Charles Spencer, 3d earl of,
1674–1722, English statesman; son of the 2d earl. His marriage (1700) to a daughter of the 1st duke of Marlborough brought him a secretaryship of state (1706), and he was
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, Viscount TownshendTownshend, Charles Townshend, 2d Viscount
, 1674–1738, English statesman. A leading Whig in the reign of Queen Anne, he served as a commissioner to negotiate the union (1707) with Scotland and as ambassador
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, and Robert WalpoleWalpole, Robert, 1st earl of Orford,
1676–1745, English statesman. Early Life and Career

He was the younger son of a prominent Whig family of Norfolk.
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. The principal achievement of these years was the Quadruple AllianceQuadruple Alliance,
any of several European alliances. The Quadruple Alliance of 1718 was formed by Great Britain, France, the Holy Roman emperor, and the Netherlands when Philip V of Spain, guided by Cardinal Alberoni, sought by force to nullify the peace settlements reached
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 of 1718, which provided an international guarantee of the Hanoverian succession and the status quo of the Peace of Utrecht (1713). Rising to power in the South Sea BubbleSouth Sea Bubble,
popular name in England for the speculation in the South Sea Company, which failed disastrously in 1720. The company was formed in 1711 by Robert Harley, who needed allies to carry through the peace negotiations to end the War of the Spanish Succession.
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 crisis, Walpole dominated the end of the reign, beginning his long tenure as virtual prime minister. George was succeeded by his son, George II.

Bibliography

See biography by J. H. Plumb, The First Four Georges (1956); A. Redman, The House of Hanover (1960, repr. 1968); B. Williams, The Whig Supremacy, 1714–60 (2d ed. 1962); R. Hatton, George the First: Elector and King (1978).


George I,

1845–1913, king of the Hellenes (1863–1913), second son of Christian IXChristian IX,
1818–1906, king of Denmark (1863–1906). A member of the cadet line of Sonderburg-Glücksburg, he succeeded Frederick VII, last of the direct line of Oldenburg.
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 of Denmark. After the deposition (1862) of Otto IOtto I,
1815–67, first king of the Hellenes (1833–62). The second son of King Louis I of Bavaria, he was chosen (1832) by a conference of European powers at London to rule newly independent Greece. He ascended the throne under a highly unpopular regency of Bavarians.
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, he was elected to succeed on the throne of Greece. Much more effective than his predecessor, George introduced (1864) a democratic constitution, acquired (1881) Thessaly and part of Epirus from Turkey, and in 1897 declared war on Turkey in order to aid the insurrection in CreteCrete
, Gr. Kríti, island (1991 pop. 539,938), c.3,235 sq mi (8,380 sq km), SE Greece, in the E Mediterranean Sea, c.60 mi (100 km) from the Greek mainland. The largest of the Greek islands, it extends c.
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. Although badly defeated, George's close contacts with most of the ruling houses of Europe helped prevent Turkey from imposing a harsh peace settlement. George saw Greece through the first of the Balkan WarsBalkan Wars,
1912–13, two short wars, fought for the possession of the European territories of the Ottoman Empire. The outbreak of the Italo-Turkish War for the possession of Tripoli (1911) encouraged the Balkan states to increase their territory at Turkish expense.
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, during which Macedonia was gained, but was assassinated before the outbreak of the second. Harilaos Trikoupis and Eleutherios VenizelosVenizelos, Eleutherios
, 1864–1936, Greek statesman, b. Crete. After studying at the Univ. of Athens, he returned to Crete and played a prominent part in the Cretan insurrection of 1896–97.
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 were the outstanding political figure in George's reign. George married Grand Duchess Olga, a niece of Alexander II of Russia. He was succeeded by his son Constantine IConstantine I,
1868–1923, king of the Hellenes, eldest son of George I, whom he succeeded in 1913. Married to Sophia, sister of the German emperor William II, he opposed the pro-Allied policy of the Greek premier, Eleutherios Venizelos, and was forced to abdicate in 1917
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.

George I

1660--1727, first Hanoverian king of Great Britain and Ireland (1714--27) and elector of Hanover (1698--1727). His dependence in domestic affairs on his ministers led to the emergence of Walpole as the first prime minister