King of Great Britain and Ireland (1714-27) and elector of Hanover (1698-1727), born 28 March 1660 in Osnabrück, near Hanover (Germany), and died June 12, 1727 in the same locality. Son of the first elector of Hanover, Ernesto Augusto and Sophia, granddaughter of Jacobo I of England and daughter of Federico, elector of the Palatinate. It was the first English monarch of the House of Hanover.
In the year 1682, Jorge married his cousin Sophia Dorothea to ensure the unity of the House of Hanover, but many infidelities of the King led his wife to seek a divorce in the year 1694, who was confined by Jorge in the castle of Ahlden, where he/she died after a prolonged existence of thirty-two years. In the year 1698, Jorge succeeded his father as elector of Hanover. Thanks to the Act of settlement (1701), the rights of succession to the English throne were transferred to the House of Hanover, Protestant, to the detriment of the Stuart, Catholics. This fact placed Jorge in third place in the line of succession to the English throne, after Queen Anne and their mother Sophia.
Before belting the English Crown, Jorge played an important role in European military affairs. Between 1707 and 1709 he/she was appointed Supreme Commander of the imperial army on the Rhine, during the course of the war of the Spanish succession. Although it remained on the fringes of English politics until his ascension to the throne, Jorge maintained close contacts with the party liberal whig, who favoured at all times, against tory conservative party, which supported and encouraged the dynastic rights of the Stuart. When the mother of Jorge, Sofia, died 8 June 1714, this became the direct heir to the English throne. Just two months later, on 20 October, the death of the English Queen Ana on 1 August of the same year, Jorge was crowned King solemnly in the Abbey of Wenstminster.
As King of England, Jorge I entrusted the direction of his Government to the liberal whig party, given the decided support of the tories to the Stuart, Jacobo Eduardo Estuardo Catholic suitor. The revolt of the year 1715, in the North of Scotland, by the Jacobite faction, Jorge I found the necessary pretext for, in the year 1719, remove at a stroke the Tory party, forming in this way a totally appropriate to their interests, and liberal government that did not give problems until his death.
Closely allied with the Orléans family, Jorge I took an active part in the continental policy in relation to the war begun by Spain. The Crown of Spain, encouraged by a policy of claim and review by his Prime Minister Alberoni, attacked his old Italian possessions, so Jorge I encouraged the formation of the Triple Alliance (1717) which was subsequently increased with the entry of Austria (1718). Thanks to this military entente, Spain had to return conquered, resulting in the resignation of his Minister, Alberoni. Jorge I managed to consolidate their rights to the throne of the English against the Stuart pretender, as did the Duke of Orleans on the French throne, against the wishes of the Spanish King Felipe V, who claimed it for himself.
Throughout his reign, Jorge I gave samples of a great bias towards his counselors and German Ministers, who filled with lucrative perks of all kinds. He/She visited six times their possessions of Hanover, since he/she considered his new Kingdom only an excellent source of income. Even so, Jorge I knew how to carry out a successful domestic policy to entrust the ship of State to two politicians of relief, as Stanhopeand Walpole, who alternated as Prime Minister, aprovechando confident that granted the King and the absolute political monopoly by the Defenestration of the tories. Once the problems between Jorge I and his son and successor, the future Jorge II, were met, and also solves the financial scandal by the collapse of the South Sea Company, which was involved the own monarch and several of his ministers, the Kingdom began to consolidate its future colonial empire and industrial hegemony which would place in the last years of the century to Great Britain as the first world power.
Jorge I always kept German preferences, without never making the least effort by integrating into the culture and customs of his new Kingdom, to the extent that not even strove to speak the language of his people. So, ended up not attending meetings of his ministers, downloading the political weight in the Prime Minister's question time, which unconsciously gave birth to the Presidential Cabinet, which was to become the supreme organ of power, to supplant the private old Council. This new form of governance has contributed to the establishment and strengthening of true parliamentary and liberal institutions.
WOODWARD, E.L. history of England. (Madrid, 1984).
SPECK, W.A. history of Great Britain. (Cambridge, 1996).
BENNASSAR, M.B. modern history. (Madrid, 1980).
RIBOT GARCÍA, L. history of the modern world. (Madrid, 1992).