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biography of william pitt the younger

biography of william pitt the younger

The contemporary satire The Rolliad ridiculed him for his youth:[26], Many saw Pitt as a stop-gap appointment until some more senior statesman took on the role. William Pitt the Younger is an illuminating biography of one of the great iconic figures in British history: the man who in 1784 at the age of twenty-four became (and so remains) the youngest Prime Minister in the history of England. for Sarum. [24], A constitutional crisis arose when the King dismissed the Fox-North coalition government and named Pitt to replace it. Unlike in the latter stages of the Napoleonic Wars, at this point Britain had only a very small standing army, and thus contributed to the war effort mainly through sea power and by supplying funds to other coalition members facing France. He did not have such an opportunity, however, as Parliament spent months debating legal technicalities relating to the regency. Pitt, born in 1759 was born the second son to William Pitt, the First Earl of Chatham. [55] The British landed in St. Domingue on 20 September 1793, stating they had come to protect the white population from the blacks, and were able to seize some coastal enclaves. The French financial system was inadequate and Napoleon's forces had to rely in part on requisitions from conquered lands. He hung on, and gradually the coalition’s majority in Parliament began to crumble; many members, fearing the loss of their seats at a general election, went over to Pitt’s side during February and March, doubtless in the hope that he would gain a majority in the existing house sufficient to make a dissolution unnecessary. "William Pitt the Younger" in R. Eccleshall and G. Walker, eds., Cooper, William. 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. Some historians argue that his success was inevitable given the decisive importance of monarchical power; others argue that the King gambled on Pitt and that both would have failed but for a run of good fortune. Thanks to Pitt's efforts, Britain joined the Third Coalition, an alliance that included Austria, Russia, and Sweden. To embarrass the new government, which, under the nominal premiership of the Duke of Portland, consisted of an admixture of reformers and anti-reformers, Pitt brought forward the question of parliamentary reform, with which he had already once, a year earlier, concerned himself. [29], In March 1784, Parliament was dissolved, and a general election ensued. His administration secure, Pitt could begin to enact his agenda. The result was a crisis from 1776 to 1783. The Younger Pitt (Profiles In Power). [92], Pitt became known as a "three-bottle man" in reference to his heavy consumption of port wine. Pitt himself was returned for the University of Cambridge; only once again (1790), at subsequent elections, did he have to stand a contest. By March 8 the majority against him was one vote, and on March 25 Parliament was dissolved. Pages in category "William Pitt the Younger" This category contains only the following page. In Jane Austen's novel Northanger Abbey, which was written in the 1790s, but not published until 1817, one of the characters' remarks that it is not possible for a family to keep secrets in these modern times when spies for the government were lurking everywhere. He rented land abutting the Castle to farm on which to lay out trees and walks. [81] The system of smuggling finished products into the continent undermined French efforts to ruin the British economy by cutting off markets. To regain control of the fleet, Pitt agreed to navy pay increases and had George III pardon the mutineers. Lowther effectively controlled the pocket borough of Appleby; a by-election in that constituency sent Pitt to the House of Commons in January 1781. Pitt was an expert in finance and served as chancellor of the exchequer. [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.

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