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[67] Realising that the Catholic church was an ally in the struggle against the French revolution, Pitt had tried fruitlessly to persuade the Dublin parliament to loosen the anti-Catholic laws to "keep things quiet in Ireland". The war revealed the limitations of Britain's fiscal-military state when it had powerful enemies and no allies, depended on extended and vulnerable transatlantic lines of communication, and was faced for the first time since the 17th century by both Protestant and Catholic foes. However, although it was widely predicted that the new "mince-pie administration" would not outlast the Christmas season,[27] it survived for seventeen years. Pittsylvania County, Virginia, was formed in 1767, eight years after Pitt the Younger was born. William Pitt the Younger (28 May 1759 – 23 January 1806) was a prominent British Tory statesman of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. [34] The bill of 1785 was the last parliamentary reform proposal introduced by Pitt to British legislators. [94], One of Pitt's accomplishments was a rehabilitation of the nation's finances after the American War of Independence. Pitt, therefore, introduced his own East India bill (1784). [66] The United Irishmen Society was very anti-clerical, being equally opposed to the "superstitions" promoted by both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic church, which caused the latter to support the Crown. [6] According to biographer John Ehrman, Pitt inherited brilliance and dynamism from his father's line, and a determined, methodical nature from the Grenvilles. From the castle, he helped organise a local Volunteer Corps in anticipation of a French invasion, acted as colonel of a battalion raised by Trinity House—he was also a Master of Trinity House—and encouraged the construction of Martello towers and the Royal Military Canal in Romney Marsh. [11] Pitt tended to socialise only with fellow students and others already known to him, rarely venturing outside the university grounds. The crisis again drove the King insane, and after his recovery in March he accused Pitt of having caused his illness. The “influence of the Crown” ensured that the new House of Commons was chosen by the Treasury. Pitt was also forced to introduce Great Britain's first-ever income tax. He was able to mobilize the nation's industrial and financial resources and apply them to defeating France. [54] Many of those who owned slave plantations in the British West Indies had been greatly alarmed by the revolution, which began in 1791, and they were strongly pressing Pitt to restore slavery in St. Domingue, lest their own slaves be inspired to seek freedom. Historians conclude that the loss of the American colonies enabled Britain to deal with the French Revolution with more unity and organisation than would otherwise have been the case. Though his proposal failed, many reformers in Parliament came to regard him as their leader, instead of Charles James Fox. A brief but thoughtful biography is John W. Derry, William Pitt (1962). William Pitt the Younger by William Hague HarperCollins £25, pp651. Thus, the Spanish claim to a monopoly of trade and settlement on the western seaboard of North America was finally destroyed. Left, after his father’s death in 1778, with an income of less than £300 a year, he was called to the bar in 1780 and joined the western assize circuit. In practical terms it appears that Pitt was essentially asexual throughout his life, perhaps one example of how his rapid development as a politician stunted his growth as a man. [93], William Pitt the Younger was a prime minister who consolidated the powers of his office. [51] Though the Pitt government did drastically reduce civil liberties and created a nationwide spy network with ordinary people being encouraged to denounce any "radicals" that may have been in their midst, the historian Eric Evans argued the picture of Pitt's "reign of terror" as portrayed by the Marxist historian E.P. He raised the issue of parliamentary reform in order to strain the uneasy Fox-North coalition, which included both supporters and detractors of reform. The new tax helped offset losses in indirect tax revenue, which had been caused by a decline in trade. By the Constitutional Act of 1791, the province of Quebec was divided into two separate provinces: the predominantly French Lower Canada and the predominantly English Upper Canada. [48] The King had in 1791 offered him a Knighthood of the Garter, but he suggested the honour go to his elder brother, the second Earl of Chatham. At about the same time, however, the king suffered a renewed bout of madness, with the consequence that Addington could not receive his formal appointment. With Shelburne’s consent, Pitt, in February 1783, sought a compact with Charles James Fox, who had gone into opposition, but Fox absolutely refused to serve under Shelburne. Despite Pitt's efforts, the French continued to defeat the First Coalition, which collapsed in 1798. As early as 1792 Pitt had held that an ultimate union of the two countries was the only solution of the Irish religious problem; the events of 1798 convinced him that union was most urgently necessary. "William Pitt, Taxation, and the Needs of War,", Kelly, Paul. "Pitt, William (1759–1806)", Jupp, Peter. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Further augmentations and clarifications of the governor-general's authority were made in 1786, presumably by Lord Sydney, and presumably as a result of the company's setting up of Penang with their own superintendent (governor), Captain Francis Light, in 1786. Pitt's prime ministerial tenure, which came during the reign of King George III, was dominated by major political events in Europe, including the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. … William Pitt the Younger was one of the most extraordinary figures in British history. But those who conducted the impeachment acted with unwarrantable rancour; the trial dragged on for seven years and, although Hastings was finally acquitted, the expenses almost ruined him. In 1788 he made alliances with Prussia and with Holland, aimed at restricting French influence. First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was Prime … Following the Acts of Union 1800, Pitt sought to inaugurate the new United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland by granting concessions to Roman Catholics, who formed a 75% majority of the population in Ireland, by abolishing various political restrictions under which they suffered. [48], An early favourable response to the French Revolution encouraged many in Great Britain to reopen the issue of parliamentary reform, which had been dormant since Pitt's reform bill was defeated in 1785. Pitt refused to negotiate with Parker, whom he wanted to see hanged as a mutineer. Pitt wanted to threaten military retaliation. He also simplified customs and excise duties, bringing them into a single consolidated fund, out of which all public creditors were to be paid. In 1786, he instituted a sinking fund so that £1 million a year was added to a fund so that it could accumulate interest; eventually, the money in the fund was to be used to pay off the national debt. Pitt refused to intervene to restore the French monarchy. Patronage and corruption gave Pitt a majority, and secret service money paid election bills. William Pitt the Younger : biography 28 May 1759 – 16 January 1806 Personal life Of his social relationships, biographer William Hague writes: Pitt was happiest among his Cambridge companions or family. Britain used its economic power to expand the Royal Navy, doubling the number of frigates and increasing the number of large ships of the line by 50%, while increasing the roster of sailors from 15,000 to 133,000 in eight years after the war began in 1793. [62] The British attempt to conquer St. Domingue in 1793 ended in disaster; the British pulled out on 31 August 1798 after having spent 4 million pounds (roughly £400.00 million in today's money) and having lost about 100,000 men − dead or crippled for life, mostly from disease – over the preceding five years. Pitt sought to reduce the national debt by imposing new taxes. His mother, Hester Grenville, was sister to former prime minister George Grenville. Late-eighteenth-century politician William Pitt the Younger was the youngest (at 24) and longest-serving British prime minister. William Pitt the Younger: A Biography by William Hague 688pp, HarperCollins, £25 . It was willingly supported by hundreds of thousands of investors and tax payers, despite the higher taxes on land and a new income tax. Although public opinion aided Pitt in the open constituencies, it is nevertheless misleading to say that he was “the choice of the people”; he was the dispenser of royal patronage. William Pitt the Younger navigational boxes, (as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom). [32] The act centralised British rule in India by reducing the power of the governors of Bombay and Madras and by increasing that of Governor-General Charles Cornwallis. Pitt also supported parliamentary reform measures, including a proposal that would have checked electoral corruption. Gronbeck, Bruce E.; "Government's Stance in Crisis: A Case Study of Pitt the Younger"; harvnb error: no target: CITEREFEnnis2002 (. However Russia's ambassador Semyon Vorontsov organised Pitt's enemies and launched a public opinion campaign. Biography. Pitt, however, was comfortable with Shelburne, and thus joined his government; he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. Had the Prince come to power, he would almost surely have dismissed Pitt. He renewed his friendship with William Wilberforce, now MP for Hull, with whom he frequently met in the gallery of the House of Commons. On April 30 Pitt was informed that the King wished him to plan a new ministry. By the Constitutional Act of 1791 the then province of Quebec was divided into a predominantly French province of Lower Canada and a predominantly English province of Upper Canada. Although the British government clung to neutrality as long as possible, in face of the European wars started by the leaders of the French Revolution, war proved unavoidable. Charles Petrie, "The Bicentenary of the Younger Pitt", Paul Kelly, "British Politics, 1783-4: The Emergence and Triumph of the Younger Pitt's Administration,", The name "mince-pie administration" was created by, harvnb error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFTurner2003 (. [53], In 1793, Pitt decided to take advantage of the Haitian Revolution to seize St. Domingue, the richest French colony in the world, believing this would strike a great blow at France while bringing St. Domingue into the British Empire and ensuring that the slaves in the British West Indies would not be inspired to revolt likewise. The peace in 1783 left France financially prostrate, while the British economy boomed due to the return of American business. The author, a British politician, has written a book on William Wilberforce, and this book on William Pitt the Younger. [18], After Lord North's ministry collapsed in 1782, the Whig Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, was appointed prime minister. Please select which sections you would like to print: While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Ehrman, J. P. W., and Anthony Smith. [75], Pitt returned to the premiership on 10 May 1804. The First Fleet of 11 vessels carried over a thousand settlers, including 778 convicts. In 1798, he passed the Defence of the Realm act, which further restricted civil liberties. Pitt, although often referred to as a Tory, or "new Tory", called himself an "independent Whig" and was generally opposed to the development of a strict partisan political system. Although his resolutions were defeated, reformers now looked to him, rather than to Fox, as their parliamentary leader. Pitt was born in London of a distinguished family. Great legal wranglings ensued, including the examination of every single vote cast, which dragged on for more than a year. Parliament began to enact repressive legislation in order to silence the reformers. He had no social ambitions, and it was rare for him to set out to make a friend. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The biography of Pitt by John Ehrman, The Younger Pitt (1969), is an outstanding work of scholarship which deals exhaustively with Pitt's early years, to 1789. With a population of 16 million, Britain was barely half the size of France, which had a population of 30 million. In 1785, he introduced a bill to remove the representation of thirty-six rotten boroughs, and to extend, in a small way, the electoral franchise to more individuals. "The Character of Pitt the Younger and Party Politics, 1830–1860. [25], Pitt, at the age of 24, became Great Britain's youngest Prime Minister ever. Power was transferred from Pitt to Addington on 14 March, when the king recovered.[74]. Marie Peters, "Pitt, William, first earl of Chatham [Pitt the elder] (1708–1778)", United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland, the capture of Louis XVI by the French revolutionaries, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "History – William Wilberforce (1759–1833)", "Britannica Online Encyclopedia – William Pitt, the Younger: Historical importance", "10 Downing Street – PMs in history – William Pitt 'The Younger' 1783–1801 and 1804-6", "Mince-pie administration (act. "‘I will not alter an Iota for any Mans Opinion upon Earth’: James Gillray's Portraits of William Pitt the Younger, This page was last edited on 21 January 2021, at 05:38. In October 1805, the British Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, won a crushing victory in the Battle of Trafalgar, ensuring British naval supremacy for the remainder of the war. In 1798, Irish nationalists even attempted a rebellion, believing that the French would help them overthrow the monarchy. Foster, R. E.; "Forever Young: Myth, Reality and William Pitt"; Thompson, S. J.; "The first income tax, political arithmetic, and the measurement of economic growth"; The consensus view among historians is that the King was suffering from the blood disorder. Pitt's lack of interest in enlarging his social circle meant that it did not grow to encompass any women outside his own family, a fact that produced a good deal of rumour. Corrections? He set up a new government department, the Board of Control, to supervise the directors of the company. Pitt, born in 1759 was born the second son to William Pitt, the First Earl of Chatham. [16], In Parliament, the youthful Pitt cast aside his tendency to be withdrawn in public, emerging as a noted debater right from his maiden speech. In March 1791 Pitt sent her an ultimatum demanding the restoration to the Sultan of all conquests except Crimea. His greatness came in the war with France. [43] The relations between Russia and Britain were disturbed during the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–92 by Pitt's subscription to the view of the Prussian government that the Triple Alliance could not with impunity allow the balance of power in Eastern Europe to be disturbed. After his death the conservatives embraced him as a great patriotic hero. Pitt himself was returned for the University of Cambridge; only once again (1790), at subsequent elections, did he have to stand a contest. (previous page) (Pitt.) "The political theory of William Pitt the Younger,", Richards, Gerda C. "The Creations of Peers Recommended by the Younger Pitt,", Wilkinson, D. "The Pitt-Portland Coalition of 1794 and the Origins of the 'Tory' party", Foster, R. E. "Forever Young: Myth, Reality and William Pitt,", Ledger-Lomas, Michael. He was admitted to Pembroke College, Cambridge, on 26 April 1773,[8] a month before turning fourteen. Britain’s increased possessions in India made it necessary for the administration there to be supervised by the government rather than be left in the hands of the commercial East India Company. Aside from information specific to William Pitt the Younger's birthday, William Pitt the Younger is the 1162nd most famous English . Pitt honestly believed that there was a case against Hastings and, determined that the British name should be freed from the suspicion of injustice or oppression in the government of Asian peoples, supported the demand for an inquiry. He is known as "William Pitt the Younger" to distinguish him from his father, William Pitt the Elder, who also served … Though he had resigned, Pitt temporarily continued to discharge his duties; on 18 February 1801, he brought forward the annual budget. [30] In most popular constituencies, the election was fought between candidates clearly representing either Pitt or Fox and North. Pitt, who had been stripped of his post as Chancellor of the Exchequer, joined the Opposition. William Pitt the Younger (28 May 1759 – 23 January 1806) was a British politician of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. All factions agreed that the only viable candidate was the King's eldest son, George, Prince of Wales. To regain control of the fleet, Pitt agreed to navy pay increases and had George III pardon the mutineers. By March 8 the majority against him was one vote, and on March 25 Parliament was dissolved. [7], Suffering from occasional poor health as a boy, he was educated at home by the Reverend Edward Wilson. Pitt, born in 1759 was born the second son to William Pitt, the First Earl of Chatham. It is unlikely that it was named for him, and the Pittsylvania page states it was named for his father. Domingue. Professor of Modern History, University of Reading, England, 1947–65. Instead he proposed that the prime minister, Lord North, make peace with the rebellious American colonies. Pitt later appointed Pretyman Bishop of Lincoln, then Winchester, and drew upon his advice throughout his political career. [95] He notes that by the end of Pitt's career, conditions were in place that would have allowed a skillful attempt to pass an abolition bill to succeed, partly because of the long campaigning Pitt had encouraged with his friend William Wilberforce. [40], Pitt sought European alliances to restrict French influence, forming the Triple Alliance with Prussia and Holland in 1788. 86. Because of persistent ill health, he made use in 1776 of the antiquated privilege that allowed noblemen’s sons to graduate without examination. He also received the support of the House of Lords, which passed supportive motions, and many messages of support from the country at large, in the form of petitions approving of his appointment which influenced some Members to switch their support to Pitt. The talented collaborators of his […] William Pitt most commonly refers to: . https://www.britannica.com/biography/William-Pitt-the-Younger, Spartacus Educational - Biography of William Pitt The Younger, Heritage History - Biography of William Pitt, William Pitt the Younger - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). In September 1780, because of his youth, he failed to secure election to Parliament for Cambridge University but four months later was provided with a seat for Appleby in Westmorland, on condition that he should resign it should his views and those of his patron diverge. 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