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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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Turmoil and Crisis 1741–1746

Turmoil and Crisis 1741–1746

(p.169) 7 Turmoil and Crisis 1741–1746
George II

Jeremy Black

Liverpool University Press

The beginning of the 1740s was crucial for George II's reign as king of Britain. Rivalries within the royal family posed key political problems; George had to contend with his eldest son, Frederick, Prince of Wales, and his nephew, Frederick II, the Great, of Prussia. George had hoped that Frederick II's accession to the Prussian throne would transform the diplomatic situation, but the latter chose to attack Austria by invading the wealthy province of Silesia, triggering the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748). Robert Walpole sought a reconciliation with Prince Frederick of Wales, but the latter demanded his resignation as a condition for coming to terms with his father. Walpole decided to resign on February 2, 1742, and Parliament was adjourned the following day. Walpole's departure did not end instability, but was instead followed by turmoil. George II achieved glory at the battle of Dettingen in 1743, but in his sixties, his time appeared to be over.

Keywords:   royal family, George II, Britain, Frederick II, Prussia, Austria, War of the Austrian Succession, Robert Walpole, Prince Frederick of Wales, battle of Dettingen

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