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George IIPuppet of the Politicians?$
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Jeremy Black

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780859898072

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780859898072.0001.0001

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George and Walpole: Double Act or King in the Shadows? 1731–1741

George and Walpole: Double Act or King in the Shadows? 1731–1741

(p.140) 6 George and Walpole: Double Act or King in the Shadows? 1731–1741
George II

Jeremy Black

Liverpool University Press

Despite their differences over foreign policy and ministerial composition in 1729–1730, George II supported Robert Walpole in office until his fall in 1742. This was evident in 1733, during the second major ministerial crisis of his reign, when George publicly backed Walpole against those who had earlier been the king's favourites. In January 1733, the British government intercepted and deciphered an instruction, sent from Frederick William I of Prussia to Count Degenfeld, his envoy in London, to stop the intended marriage of William IV of Orange and Princess Anne, Frederick William's niece. The 1733 crisis was unexpected because Walpole had appeared in secure control of the tempo of politics in the past two years, and much to the benefit of George II. The resignation of Charles Townshend in 1730 as Secretary of State for the Northern Department ensured that Walpole's position in the ministry was strengthened and allowed him to dominate policy.

Keywords:   George II, Robert Walpole, ministerial crisis, Frederick William I, Prussia, William IV of Orange, Charles Townshend, Northern Department, Princess Anne

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