Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, known between 1725 and 1742 as Sir Robert Walpole, was a British statesman, regarded as the de facto first Prime Minister of Great Britain. Although the exact dates of Walpole's dominance, dubbed the "Robinocracy", are a matter of scholarly debate, the period 1721–1742 is used, he dominated the Walpole–Townshend ministry and the subsequent Walpole ministry and holds the record as the longest-serving British prime minister in history. Speck says that Walpole's uninterrupted run of 20 years as Prime Minister "is rightly regarded as one of the major feats of British political history... Explanations are offered in terms of his expert handling of the political system after 1720, his unique blending of the surviving powers of the crown with the increasing influence of the Commons", he was a Whig from the gentry class, first elected to Parliament in 1701 and held many senior positions. He looked to country gentlemen for his political base. Historian Frank O'Gorman says his leadership in Parliament reflected his "reasonable and persuasive oratory, his ability to move both the emotions as well as the minds of men, above all, his extraordinary self-confidence".
Hoppit says Walpole's policies sought moderation: he worked for peace, lower taxes and growing exports and allowed a little more tolerance for Protestant Dissenters. He avoided controversy and high-intensity disputes as his middle way attracted moderates from both the Whig and Tory camps. H. P. Dickinson sums up his historical role by saying that "Walpole was one of the greatest politicians in British history, he played a significant role in sustaining the Whig party, safeguarding the Hanoverian succession, defending the principles of the Glorious Revolution He established a stable political supremacy for the Whig party and taught succeeding ministers how best to establish an effective working relationship between Crown and Parliament". Walpole was born in Houghton, Norfolk in 1676. One of 19 children, he was the third son and fifth child of Robert Walpole, a member of the local gentry and a Whig politician who represented the borough of Castle Rising in the House of Commons, his wife Mary Walpole, the daughter and heiress of Sir Geoffrey Burwell of Rougham, Suffolk.
Horatio Walpole, 1st Baron Walpole was his younger brother. As a child, Walpole attended a private school at Norfolk. Walpole entered Eton College in 1690 where he was considered "an excellent scholar", he matriculated at King's College, Cambridge on the same day. On 25 May 1698, he left Cambridge after the death of his only remaining elder brother, Edward, so that he could help his father administer the family estate to which he had become the heir. Walpole had planned to become a clergyman but as he was now the eldest surviving son in the family, he abandoned the idea. In November 1700 his father died, Robert succeeded to inherit the Walpole estate. A paper in his father's handwriting, dated 9 June 1700, shows the family estate in Norfolk and Suffolk to have been nine manors in Norfolk and one in Suffolk; as a young man, Walpole had bought shares in the South Sea Company, which monopolized trade with Spain, the Caribbean and South America. The speculative market for slaves and mahogany spawned a frenzy that had ramifications throughout Europe when it collapsed.
However, Walpole had bought at the bottom and sold at the top, adding to his inherited wealth and allowing him to create Houghton Hall as seen today. Walpole's political career began in January 1701 when he won a seat in the general election at Castle Rising, he left Castle Rising in 1702 so that he could represent the neighbouring borough of King's Lynn, a pocket borough that would re-elect him for the remainder of his political career. Voters and politicians nicknamed him "Robin". Like his father, Robert Walpole was a member of the Whig Party. In 1705, Walpole was appointed by Queen Anne to be a member of the council for her husband, Prince George of Denmark, Lord High Admiral. After having been singled out in a struggle between the Whigs and the government, Walpole became the intermediary for reconciling the government to the Whig leaders, his abilities were recognised by Lord Godolphin and he was subsequently appointed to the position of Secretary at War in 1708. Despite his personal clout, Walpole could not stop Lord Godolphin and the Whigs from pressing for the prosecution of Henry Sacheverell, a minister who preached anti-Whig sermons.
The trial was unpopular with much of the country, causing the Sacheverell riots, was followed by the downfall of the Duke of Marlborough and the Whig Party in the general election of 1710. The new ministry, under the leadership of the Tory Robert Harley, removed Walpole from his office of Secretary at War but he remained Treasurer of the Navy until 2 January 1711. Harley had first attempted to entice him and threatened him to join the Tories, but Walpole rejected the offers, instead becoming one of the most outspoken members of the Whig Opposition, he defended Lord Godolphin against Tory attacks in parliamentary debate, as well as in the press. In 1712, Walpole was accused of venality and corruption in the matter of two forage contracts for Scotland. Although it was proven that he had retained none of the money, Walpole was pronounced "guilty of a high breach of trust and notorious corruption", he was found guilty by the House of Lords. While in the T
William Pitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger was a prominent British Tory statesman of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. He became the youngest UK Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24, he left office in 1801, but served as Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer for most of his time as Prime Minister, he is known as "the Younger" to distinguish him from his father, William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, called William Pitt the Elder or "Chatham", who had served as Prime Minister. The younger Pitt's prime ministerial tenure, which came during the reign of George III, was dominated by major events in Europe, including the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Pitt, although referred to as a Tory, or "new Tory", called himself an "independent Whig" and was opposed to the development of a strict partisan political system, he led Britain in the great wars against Napoleon. Pitt was an outstanding administrator who worked for efficiency and reform, bringing in a new generation of outstanding administrators.
He cracked down on radicalism. To engage the threat of Irish support for France, he engineered the Acts of Union 1800 and tried to get Catholic emancipation as part of the Union, he created the "new Toryism", which revived the Tory Party and enabled it to stay in power for the next quarter-century. The historian Asa Briggs argues that his personality did not endear itself to the British mind, for Pitt was too solitary and too colourless, too exuded superiority, his greatness came in the war with France. Pitt reacted to become what Lord Minto called "the Atlas of our reeling globe", his integrity and industry and his role as defender of the threatened nation allowed him to inspire and access all the national reserves of strength. William Wilberforce said that, "For personal purity, disinterestedness and love of this country, I have never known his equal." Historian Charles Petrie concludes that he was one of the greatest prime ministers "if on no other ground than that he enabled the country to pass from the old order to the new without any violent upheaval...
He understood the new Britain." For this he is ranked amongst British Prime Ministers. William Pitt, second son of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, was born at Hayes Place in the village of Hayes, Kent. Pitt was from a political family on both sides, his mother, Hester Grenville, was sister to former prime minister George Grenville. According to biographer John Ehrman, Pitt inherited brilliance and dynamism from his father's line, a determined, methodical nature from the Grenvilles. Suffering from occasional poor health as a boy, he was educated at home by the Reverend Edward Wilson. An intelligent child, Pitt became proficient in Latin and Greek. In 1773, aged fourteen, he attended Pembroke College, where he studied political philosophy, mathematics, trigonometry and history. At Cambridge, Pitt was tutored by George Pretyman. Pitt appointed Pretyman Bishop of Lincoln Winchester and drew upon his advice throughout his political career. While at Cambridge, he befriended the young William Wilberforce, who became a lifelong friend and political ally in Parliament.
Pitt tended to socialise only with fellow students and others known to him venturing outside the university grounds. Yet he was described as friendly. According to Wilberforce, Pitt had an exceptional wit along with an endearingly gentle sense of humour: "no man... indulged more or in that playful facetiousness which gratifies all without wounding any." In 1776, plagued by poor health, took advantage of a little-used privilege available only to the sons of noblemen, chose to graduate without having to pass examinations. Pitt's father, who had by been raised to the peerage as Earl of Chatham, died in 1778; as a younger son, Pitt the Younger received a small inheritance. He received legal education at Lincoln's Inn and was called to the bar in the summer of 1780. During the general elections of September 1780, Pitt, at the age of 21, contested the University of Cambridge seat, but lost. Still intent on entering Parliament, with the help of his university comrade, Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland, secured the patronage of James Lowther.
Lowther controlled the pocket borough of Appleby. Pitt's entry into parliament is somewhat ironic as he railed against the same pocket and rotten boroughs that had given him his seat. In Parliament, the youthful Pitt cast aside his tendency to be withdrawn in public, emerging as a noted debater right from his maiden speech. Pitt aligned himself with prominent Whigs such as Charles James Fox. With the Whigs, Pitt denounced the continuation of the American War of Independence, as his father had. Instead he proposed that the prime minister, Lord North, make peace with the rebellious American colonies. Pitt supported parliamentary reform measures, including a proposal that would have checked electoral corruption, he renewed his friendship with William Wilberforce, now MP for Hull, with whom he met in the gallery of the House of Commons. After Lord North's ministry collapsed in 1782, the Whig Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham was appointed prime minister. Pitt was offered the minor post of vice-treasurer of Ireland, but he refused, considering the post overly subordinate.
Lord Rockingham died only three months after coming to power. Many
Government debt contrasts to the annual government budget deficit, a flow variable that equals the difference between government receipts and spending in a single year. The debt is a stock variable, measured at a specific point in time, it is the accumulation of all prior deficits. Government debt can be categorized as external debt. Another common division of government debt is by duration. Short term debt is considered to be for one year or less, long term debt is for more than ten years. Medium term debt falls between these two boundaries. A broader definition of government debt may consider all government liabilities, including future pension payments and payments for goods and services which the government has contracted but not yet paid. Governments create debt by issuing government bills. Less creditworthy countries sometimes borrow directly from a supranational organization or international financial institutions. Monetarily sovereign countries that issue debt denominated in their home currency can make payments on the interest or principal of government debt by creating money, although at the risk of higher inflation.
In this way their debt is different from that of households. Thus such government bonds are at least as safe as any other bonds denominated in the same currency. A central government with its own currency can pay for its nominal spending by creating money ex novo, although typical arrangements leave money creation to central banks. In this instance, a government issues securities to the public not to raise funds, but instead to remove excess bank reserves and'...create a shortage of reserves in the market so that the system as a whole must come to the Bank for liquidity.' During the Early Modern era, European monarchs would default on their loans or arbitrarily refuse to pay them back. This made financiers wary of lending to the king and the finances of countries that were at war remained volatile; the creation of the first central bank in England—an institution designed to lend to the government—was an expedient by William III of England for the financing of his war against France. He engaged a syndicate of city merchants to offer for sale an issue of government debt.
This syndicate soon evolved into the Bank of England financing the wars of the Duke of Marlborough and Imperial conquests. The establishment of the bank was devised by Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, in 1694, to the plan, proposed by William Paterson three years before, but had not been acted upon, he proposed a loan of £1.2m to the government. The Royal Charter was granted on 27 July through the passage of the Tonnage Act 1694; the founding of the Bank of England revolutionised public finance and put an end to defaults such as the Great Stop of the Exchequer of 1672, when Charles II had suspended payments on his bills. From on, the British Government would never fail to repay its creditors. In the following centuries, other countries in Europe and around the world adopted similar financial institutions to manage their government debt. 1815, at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, British government debt reached a peak of more than 200% of GDP. A government bond is a bond issued by a national government.
Such bonds are most denominated in the country's domestic currency. Sovereigns can issue debt in foreign currencies: 70% of all debt in 2000 was denominated in US dollars. Government bonds are sometimes regarded as risk-free bonds, because national governments can if necessary create money de novo to redeem the bond in their own currency at maturity. Although many governments are prohibited by law from creating money directly, central banks may provide finance by buying government bonds, sometimes referred to as monetizing the debt. Government debt, synonymous to sovereign debt, can be issued either in domestic or foreign currencies. Investors in sovereign bonds denominated in foreign currency have exchange rate risk: the foreign currency might depreciate against the investor's local currency. Sovereigns issuing debt denominated in a foreign currency may furthermore be unable to obtain that foreign currency to service debt. In the 2010 Greek debt crisis, for example, the debt is held by Greece in Euros, one proposed solution is for Greece to go back to issuing its own drachma.
This proposal would only address future debt issuance, leaving substantial existing debts denominated in what would be a foreign currency doubling their cost Public debt is the total of all borrowing of a government, minus repayments denominated in a country's home currency. CIA's World Factbook lists only the percentages of GDP. A debt to GDP ratio is one of the most accepted ways of assessing the significance of a nation's debt. For example, one of the criteria of admission to the European Union's euro currency is that an applicant country's debt should not exceed 60% of that countr
Frederick North, Lord North
Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, better known by his courtesy title Lord North, which he used from 1752 to 1790, was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1770 to 1782. He led Great Britain through most of the American War of Independence, he held a number of other cabinet posts, including Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer. North's reputation among historians has swung forth, it reached its lowest point in the late nineteenth century when he was depicted as a creature of the king and an incompetent who lost the American colonies. In the early twentieth century a revisionism emphasised his strengths in administering the Treasury, handling the House of Commons, in defending the Church of England. Whig historian Herbert Butterfield, argued that his indolence was a barrier to efficient crisis management. Lord North was born in London on 13 April 1732, at the family house at Albemarle Street, just off Piccadilly, though he spent much of his youth at Wroxton Abbey in Oxfordshire. North's strong physical resemblance to George III suggested to contemporaries that Prince Frederick might have been North's real father, a theory compatible with the Prince's reputation but supported by little real evidence.
His father, the first Earl, was at the time Lord of the Bedchamber to Prince Frederick, who stood as godfather to the infant. North was descended from the 1st Earl of Sandwich and was related to Samuel Pepys and the 3rd Earl of Bute, he at times had a turbulent relationship with his father Francis North, 1st Earl of Guilford, yet they were close. In his early years the family was not wealthy, though their situation improved in 1735 when his father inherited property from his cousin. Frederick's mother, Lady Lucy Montagu, died in 1734, his father remarried, but his stepmother, Elizabeth North, died in 1745, when Frederick was thirteen. One of his stepbrothers was Lord Dartmouth, he was educated at Eton College between 1742 and 1748, at Trinity College, where in 1750 he was awarded an MA. After leaving Oxford he travelled in Europe on the Grand Tour with Dartmouth, he visited Vienna and Paris, returning to England in 1753. On 15 April 1754, North twenty-two, was elected unopposed as the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Banbury, He served as an MP from 1754 to 1790 and joined the government as a junior Lord of the Treasury on 2 June 1759 during the Pitt–Newcastle ministry.
He soon developed a reputation as a good administrator and parliamentarian, was liked by his colleagues. Although he considered himself a Whig, he did not align with any of the Whig factions in Parliament and it became obvious to many contemporaries that his sympathies were Tory. In November 1763 he was chosen to speak for the Government concerning radical MP John Wilkes. Wilkes had made a savage attack on both the Prime Minister and the King in his newspaper The North Briton, which many thought libelous. North's motion that Wilkes be expelled from the House of Commons passed by 273 votes to 111. Wilkes' expulsion took place in his absence, as he had fled to France following a duel; when a government headed by the Whig magnate Lord Rockingham came to power in 1765, North left his post and served for a time as a backbench MP. He turned down an offer by Rockingham to rejoin the government, not wanting to be associated with the Whig grandees that dominated the Ministry, he returned to office when Pitt returned to head a second government in 1766.
North became a Privy Counsellor. As Pitt was ill, the government was run by the Duke of Grafton, with North as one of its most senior members. In December 1767, he succeeded Charles Townshend as Chancellor of the Exchequer. With the resignation of the secretary of state Henry Seymour Conway in early 1768, North became Leader of the Commons as well, he continued to serve. When the Duke of Grafton resigned as Prime Minister, North formed a government on 28 January 1770, his ministers and supporters tended to be known as Tories, though they were not a formal grouping and many had been Whigs. He took over with Great Britain in a triumphant state, following the Seven Years' War, which had seen the First British Empire expand to a peak by taking in vast new territories on several continents. Circumstances forced him to keep many members of the previous cabinet in their jobs, despite their lack of agreement with him. In contrast to many of his predecessors, North enjoyed a good relationship with George III based on their shared patriotism and desire for decency in their private lives.
North's ministry had an early success during the Falklands Crisis in 1770 in which Great Britain faced down a Spanish attempt to seize the Falkland islands, nearly provoking a war. Both France and Spain had been left unhappy by Great Britain's perceived dominance following the British victory in the Seven Years War. Spanish forces seized the British settlement on the Falklands and expelled the small British garrison; when Britain opposed the seizure, Spain sought backing from France. However, Louis XV did not believe his country was ready for war and in the face of a strong mobilisation of the British fleet the French compelled the Spanish to back down. Louis dismissed Choiseul, the hawkish French Chief Minister, who had advocated war and a large invasion of Great Britain by the French; the British government's prestige and popularity were enormously boosted by the
In English church history, a Nonconformist was a Protestant who did not "conform" to the governance and usages of the established Church of England. Broad use of the term was precipitated after the Restoration of the British monarchy in 1660, when the Act of Uniformity 1662 re-established the opponents of reform within the Church of England. By the late 19th century the term included the Reformed Christians, plus the Baptists and Methodists; the English Dissenters such as the Puritans who violated the Act of Uniformity 1559—typically by practising radical, sometimes separatist, dissent—were retrospectively labelled as Nonconformists. By law and social custom, Nonconformists were restricted from many spheres of public life—not least, from access to public office, civil service careers, or degrees at university—and were referred to as suffering from civil disabilities. In England and Wales in the late 19th century the new terms "free churchman" and "Free Church" started to replace "dissenter" or "Nonconformist".
One influential Nonconformist minister was Matthew Henry, who beginning in 1710 published his multi-volume Commentary, still used and available in the 21st century. Isaac Watts is an recognized Nonconformist minister whose hymns are still sung by Christians worldwide; the Act of Uniformity of 1662 required churchmen to use all rites and ceremonies as prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. It required episcopal ordination of all ministers of the Church of England—a pronouncement most odious to the Puritans, the faction of the church which had come to dominance during the English Civil War and the Interregnum. Nearly 2,000 clergymen were "ejected" from the established church for refusing to comply with the provisions of the act, an event referred to as the Great Ejection; the Great Ejection created an abiding public consciousness of non-conformity. Thereafter, a Nonconformist was any English subject belonging to a non-Anglican church or a non-Christian religion. More broadly, any person who advocated religious liberty was called out as Nonconformist.
The strict religious tests embodied in the laws of the Clarendon code and other penal laws excluded a substantial section of English society from public affairs and benefits, including certification of university degrees, for well more than a century and a half. Culturally, in England and Wales, discrimination against Nonconformists endured longer. Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Calvinists, other "reformed" groups and less organized sects were identified as Nonconformists at the time of the 1662 Act of Uniformity. Following the act, other groups, including Methodists, Quakers, Plymouth Brethren, the English Moravians were labelled as Nonconformists as they became organized; the term dissenter came into particular use after the Act of Toleration, which exempted those Nonconformists who had taken oaths of allegiance from being penalized for certain acts, such as for non-attendance to Church of England services. A religious census in 1851 revealed Nonconformist comprised about half that of the people who attended church services on Sundays.
In the larger manufacturing areas, Nonconformists outnumbered members of the Church of England. In Wales in 1850, Nonconformist chapel attendance outnumbered Anglican church attendance, they were based in the fast-growing upwardly mobile urban middle class. Historians distinguish two categories of Dissenters, or Nonconformists, in addition to the evangelicals or "Low Church" element in the Church of England. "Old Dissenters", dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, included Baptists, Congregationalists, Quakers and Presbyterians outside Scotland. "New Dissenters" emerged in the 18th century and were Methodists. The "Nonconformist Conscience" was their moral sensibility which they tried to implement in British politics; the "Nonconformist conscience" of the Old group emphasized religious freedom and equality, pursuit of justice, opposition to discrimination and coercion. The New Dissenters stressed personal morality issues, including sexuality, family values, Sabbath-keeping. Both factions were politically active, but until mid-19th century the Old group supported Whigs and Liberals in politics, while the New—like most Anglicans—generally supported Conservatives.
In the late 19th the New Dissenters switched to the Liberal Party. The result was a merging of the two groups, strengthening their great weight as a political pressure group, they joined together on new issues regarding schools and temperance. By 1914 the linkage was weakening and by the 1920s it was dead. Nonconformists in the 18th and 19th century claimed a devotion to hard work, temperance and upward mobility, with which historians today agree. A major Unitarian magazine, the Christian Monthly Repository asserted in 1827: Throughout England a great part of the more active members of society, who have the most intercourse with the people have the most influence over them, are Protestant Dissenters; these are manufacturers and substantial tradesman, or persons who are in the enjoyment of a competency realized by trade and manufacturers, gentlemen of the professions of law and physic, agriculturalists, of that class who live upon their own freehold. The virtues of temperance, frugality and integrity promoted by religious Nonconformity...assist the temporal prosperity of these descriptions of persons, as they tend to lift others to the same rank in society.
The emerging middle-class norm for women was separate spheres, whereby women avoid the public sp
In finance, an option is a contract which gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset or instrument at a specified strike price prior to or on a specified date, depending on the form of the option. The strike price may be set by reference to the spot price of the underlying security or commodity on the day an option is taken out, or it may be fixed at a discount or at a premium; the seller has the corresponding obligation to fulfill the transaction – to sell or buy – if the buyer "exercises" the option. An option that conveys to the owner the right to buy at a specific price is referred to as a call. Both are traded, but the call option is more discussed; the seller may grant an option to a buyer as part of another transaction, such as a share issue or as part of an employee incentive scheme, otherwise a buyer would pay a premium to the seller for the option. A call option would be exercised only when the strike price is below the market value of the underlying asset, while a put option would be exercised only when the strike price is above the market value.
When an option is exercised, the cost to the buyer of the asset acquired is the strike price plus the premium, if any. When the option expiration date passes without the option being exercised, the option expires and the buyer would forfeit the premium to the seller. In any case, the premium is income to the seller, a capital loss to the buyer; the owner of an option may on-sell the option to a third party in a secondary market, in either an over-the-counter transaction or on an options exchange, depending on the option. The market price of an American-style option closely follows that of the underlying stock being the difference between the market price of the stock and the strike price of the option; the actual market price of the option may vary depending on a number of factors, such as a significant option holder may need to sell the option as the expiry date is approaching and does not have the financial resources to exercise the option, or a buyer in the market is trying to amass a large option holding.
The ownership of an option does not entitle the holder to any rights associated with the underlying asset, such as voting rights or any income from the underlying asset, such as a dividend. Contracts similar to options have been used since ancient times; the first reputed option buyer was the ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher Thales of Miletus. On a certain occasion, it was predicted that the season's olive harvest would be larger than usual, during the off-season, he acquired the right to use a number of olive presses the following spring; when spring came and the olive harvest was larger than expected he exercised his options and rented the presses out at a much higher price than he paid for his'option'. In London, puts and "refusals" first became well-known trading instruments in the 1690s during the reign of William and Mary. Privileges were options sold over the counter in nineteenth century America, with both puts and calls on shares offered by specialized dealers, their exercise price was fixed at a rounded-off market price on the day or week that the option was bought, the expiry date was three months after purchase.
They were not traded in secondary markets. In the real estate market, call options have long been used to assemble large parcels of land from separate owners. Film or theatrical producers buy the right — but not the obligation — to dramatize a specific book or script. Lines of credit give the potential borrower the right — but not the obligation — to borrow within a specified time period. Many choices, or embedded options, have traditionally been included in bond contracts. For example, many bonds are convertible into common stock at the buyer's option, or may be called at specified prices at the issuer's option. Mortgage borrowers have long had the option to repay the loan early, which corresponds to a callable bond option. Options contracts have been known for decades; the Chicago Board Options Exchange was established in 1973, which set up a regime using standardized forms and terms and trade through a guaranteed clearing house. Trading activity and academic interest has increased since then.
Today, many options are created in a standardized form and traded through clearing houses on regulated options exchanges, while other over-the-counter options are written as bilateral, customized contracts between a single buyer and seller, one or both of which may be a dealer or market-maker. Options are part of a larger class of financial instruments known as derivative products, or derivatives. A financial option is a contract between two counterparties with the terms of the option specified in a term sheet. Option contracts may be quite complicated.
Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands; the unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government, based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover; the early years of the unified kingdom were marked by Jacobite risings which ended in defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746.
In 1763, victory in the Seven Years' War led to the dominance of the British Empire, to become the foremost global power for over a century and grew to become the largest empire in history. The Kingdom of Great Britain was replaced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801 with the Acts of Union 1800; the name Britain descends from the Latin name for the island of Great Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, the land of the Britons via the Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The term Great Britain was first used in 1474; the use of the word "Great" before "Britain" originates in the French language, which uses Bretagne for both Britain and Brittany. French therefore distinguishes between the two by calling Britain la Grande Bretagne, a distinction, transferred into English; the Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union state that England and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", as such "Great Britain" was the official name of the state, as well as being used in titles such as "Parliament of Great Britain".
Both the Acts and the Treaty describe the country as "One Kingdom" and a "United Kingdom", which has led some much publications into the error of treating the "United Kingdom" as a name before it came into being in 1801. The websites of the Scottish Parliament, the BBC, others, including the Historical Association, refer to the state created on 1 May 1707 as the United Kingdom of Great Britain; the term United Kingdom was sometimes used during the 18th century to describe the state, but was not its name. The kingdoms of England and Scotland, both in existence from the 9th century, were separate states until 1707. However, they had come into a personal union in 1603, when James VI of Scotland became king of England under the name of James I; this Union of the Crowns under the House of Stuart meant that the whole of the island of Great Britain was now ruled by a single monarch, who by virtue of holding the English crown ruled over the Kingdom of Ireland. Each of the three kingdoms maintained laws.
Various smaller islands were in the king's domain, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This disposition changed when the Acts of Union 1707 came into force, with a single unified Crown of Great Britain and a single unified parliament. Ireland remained formally separate, with its own parliament, until the Acts of Union 1800; the Union of 1707 provided for a Protestant-only succession to the throne in accordance with the English Act of Settlement of 1701. The Act of Settlement required that the heir to the English throne be a descendant of the Electress Sophia of Hanover and not be a Catholic. Legislative power was vested in the Parliament of Great Britain, which replaced both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. In practice it was a continuation of the English parliament, sitting at the same location in Westminster, expanded to include representation from Scotland; as with the former Parliament of England and the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of Great Britain was formally constituted of three elements: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Crown.
The right of the English peerage to sit in the House of Lords remained unchanged, while the disproportionately large Scottish peerage was permitted to send only 16 representative peers, elected from amongst their number for the life of each parliament. The members of the former English House of Commons continued as members of the British House of Commons, but as a reflection of the relative tax bases of the two countries the number of Scottish representatives was reduced to 45. Newly created peers in the Peerage of Great Britain were given the automatic right to sit in the Lords. Despite the end of a separate parliament for Scotland, it retained its own laws and system of courts, As its own established Presbyterian Church, control over its own schools; the social structure was hierarchical, the same elite remain in control after 1707. Scotland continued to have its own excellent universities, with the strong intellectual community in Edinburgh, The Scottish Enlightenment had a major impact on British and European thinking.
As a result of Poynings' Law of 1495, the Parliament of Ireland was subordinate to the Parliament of England, after 1707 to the Parliament of Great Britain. The Westminster parliament's Declaratory Act 1719 (also called the Dependency of Ireland