When news of this spread, it was assumed Fox and his associates had tried to bring down Pitt by any means. He became First Minister in 1783 at the age of 24, and died in 1806, having been a thoroughly dedicated and professional politician. William Pitt, the Younger, (born May 28, 1759, Hayes, Kent, England—died January 23, 1806, London), British prime minister (1783–1801, 1804–06) during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. But Pitt wisely declined, for he knew he would be incapable of securing the support of the House of Commons. Biographer William Hague considers the unfinished abolition of the slave trade to be Pitt's greatest failure. 1783–1784)", "Why were convicts transported to Australia", "History of New South Wales From the Records, Volume I - Governor Phillip - Chapter 1.4", "PITT, Hon. The new tax helped offset losses in indirect tax revenue, which had been caused by a decline in trade. Another imperial problem with which Pitt had to deal was that of the future of Canada. [9] At Cambridge, Pitt was tutored by George Pretyman, who became a close personal friend. "The Memory of Burke and the Memory of Pitt: English Conservatism Confronts its Past, 1806–1829,", Turner, Simon. The historian Asa Briggs argues that his personality did not endear itself to the British mind, for Pitt was too solitary and too colourless, and too often exuded an attitude of superiority. The reformers, however, were quickly labelled as radicals and associates of the French revolutionaries. [83][84][85], The setbacks took a toll on Pitt's health. [citation needed], Some of Pitt's domestic plans were not successful; he failed to secure parliamentary reform, emancipation, or the abolition of the slave trade although this last took place with the Slave Trade Act 1807, the year after his death. Corrections? An electoral defeat for the government was out of the question because Pitt enjoyed the support of King George III. By 1803, war had broken out again with France under Emperor Napoleon. 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. In terms of soldiers, however, the French numerical advantage was offset by British subsidies that paid for a large proportion of the Austrian and Russian soldiers, peaking at about 450,000 in 1813.[80]. William Pitt the Elder, British prime minister (1766–1768); William Pitt the Younger (1759–1806), son of the above and British prime minister (1783–1801, 1804–1806); William Pitt may also refer to: . Addington’s majority fell steadily, and he decided to resign. 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. Despite a series of defeats in the House of Commons, Pitt defiantly remained in office, watching the Coalition's majority shrink as some Members of Parliament left the Opposition to abstain. Lord Rockingham died only three months after coming to power; he was succeeded by another Whig, William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne. Pitt, born in 1759 was born the second son to William Pitt, the First Earl of Chatham. [29], Pitt gained great popularity with the public at large as "Honest Billy" who was seen as a refreshing change from the dishonesty, corruption and lack of principles widely associated with both Fox and North. An intelligent child, Pitt quickly became proficient in Latin and Greek. [18], After Lord North's ministry collapsed in 1782, the Whig Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, was appointed prime minister. [91], Pitt was succeeded as Prime Minister by his first cousin William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, who headed the Ministry of All the Talents, a coalition which included Charles James Fox. Pitt, therefore, introduced his own East India bill (1784). 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. But Fox would not consent to join a government from which his ally Lord North would have been excluded. He suggested no extension of the franchise but recommended measures to prevent bribery and to make the representation more realistic. [35] Pitt's government took the decision to settle what is now Australia and found the penal colony in August 1786. [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. [47], The general elections of 1790 resulted in a majority for the government, and Pitt continued as prime minister. His mother was sister to former British Prime Minister, George Grenville. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. for Sarum. 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 : biography 28 May 1759 – 16 January 1806 Pitt sought European alliances to restrict French influence, forming the Triple Alliance with Prussia and the United Provinces in 1788. The defeat heightened dissension and escalated political antagonism to the King's ministers. He understood the new Britain. In 1798, he passed the Defence of the Realm act, which further restricted civil liberties. There is more to Pitt the Younger than his caricature, from Gillray to Blackadder, but … William Pitt the Younger was born on May 28, 1759, at Hayes Place in the village of Hayes, Kent, England, to William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, and his wife, Hester Grenville. [21] Britain turned towards Asia, the Pacific, and later Africa with subsequent exploration leading to the rise of the Second British Empire. The king was strongly opposed to Catholic Emancipation; he argued that to grant additional liberty would violate his coronation oath, in which he had promised to protect the established Church of England. Fox’s East India Bill had been defeated, but the problems it was designed to solve remained. He was admitted to Pembroke College, Cambridge, on 26 April 1773,[8] a month before turning fourteen. If the sovereign was incapable of fulfilling his constitutional duties, Parliament would need to appoint a regent to rule in his place. In domestic politics, Pitt concerned himself with the cause of parliamentary reform. [6] According to biographer John Ehrman, Pitt inherited brilliance and dynamism from his father's line, and a determined, methodical nature from the Grenvilles. King George III, unwilling to accept the coalition that would give office to Fox, whom he hated, invited Pitt to form a government; but Pitt declined, knowing he would not have a majority in the House of Commons, and the King had to commission Fox and North. Pitt, born in 1759 was born the second son to William Pitt, the First Earl of Chatham. Pitt was alarmed at Russian expansion in the 1780s at the expense of the Ottoman Empire. In 1791, he proceeded to address one of the problems facing the growing British Empire: the future of British Canada. [13], During the general elections of September 1780, at the age of 21, Pitt contested the University of Cambridge seat, but lost. [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. The French, confident of victory after their successes against the Austro-Prussian forces and believing that England was ripe for revolution, declared war on England and Holland on February 1, 1793. Biography. [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. Large-scale corruption carried the measure through the Irish Parliament, but opposition from Pitt’s Cabinet and particularly from the King prevented him from carrying his supplementary proposals—Catholic emancipation and state provision for Catholic and Dissenting clergy. In 1786 a supplementary act increased the authority of the governor general over his own council. Instead he proposed that the prime minister, Lord North, make peace with the rebellious American colonies. After hearing the news of Austerlitz Pitt referred to a map of Europe, "Roll up that map; it will not be wanted these ten years."[78]. [71] The French expeditions to Ireland in 1796 and 1798 (to support the United Irishmen) were regarded by Pitt as near-misses that might have provided an Irish base for French attacks on Britain, thus making the "Irish Question" a national security matter. Domingue. Pitt replied that a nonparty government was desirable but fell in with the King’s determination that Fox be excluded. Pitt also supported parliamentary reform measures, including a proposal that would have checked electoral corruption. The Treaty of Amiens in 1802 between France and Britain marked the end of the French Revolutionary Wars. 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. He had no social ambitions, and it was rare for him to set out to make a friend. Pitt responded that: "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. 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. Pages in category "William Pitt the Younger" This category contains only the following page. 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. He renewed his friendship with William Wilberforce, now MP for Hull, with whom he frequently met in the gallery of the House of Commons. William (1759–1806), of Holwood and Walmer Castle, Kent", Stanhope, Philip Henry Stanhope, 5th Earl, Member of Parliament for Cambridge University, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Pitt_the_Younger&oldid=1001761340, 19th-century Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Chancellors of the Exchequer of Great Britain, Children of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Leaders of the House of Commons of Great Britain, Leaders of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, Members of the Parliament of Great Britain for Cambridge University, Members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for the University of Cambridge, Tory Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2015, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from October 2015, Articles needing additional references from January 2018, All articles needing additional references, Pages using Sister project links with wikidata mismatch, Pages using Sister project links with default search, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Pitt's attempts during his tenure as Prime Minister to cope with the dementia of King George III are portrayed by, Pitt is caricatured as a boy-prime minister in the, In the series of prime ministerial biographies, Pitt Water, a body of water in South East. From the middle of the 18th century until the beginning of … He had considerable influence in strengthening the office of the prime minister. [66], In April 1797, the mutiny of the entire Spithead fleet shook the government (sailors demanded a pay increase to match inflation). Author of. The system worked reasonably well in peacetime because there was an annual surplus of revenue, but, after the outbreak of war in 1793, the government redeemed debt bearing a low interest by fresh borrowing at a higher rate of interest. Many saw the dragging out of the result as being unduly vindictive on the part of Pitt and eventually the examinations were abandoned with Fox declared elected. [24], A constitutional crisis arose when the King dismissed the Fox-North coalition government and named Pitt to replace it. Mori, Jennifer. [68] Pitt's efforts to soften the anti-Catholic laws failed in the face of determined resistance from the families of the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland, who forced Pitt to recall Earl Fitzwilliam as Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1795, when the latter had indicated he would support a bill for Catholic relief. [14] Still intent on entering Parliament, Pitt secured the patronage of James Lowther with the help of his university comrade, Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland. 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. He had long suffered from poor health, beginning in childhood, and was plagued with gout and "biliousness", which was worsened by a fondness for port that began when he was advised to consume it to deal with his chronic ill-health. Pitt was from a political family on both sides. [22], The Fox-North Coalition fell in December 1783, after Fox had introduced Edmund Burke's bill to reform the East India Company to gain the patronage he so greatly lacked while the King refused to support him. "William Pitt the Younger" in R. Eccleshall and G. Walker, eds., Cooper, William. By March 8 the majority against him was one vote, and on March 25 Parliament was dissolved. Pitt later appointed Pretyman Bishop of Lincoln, then Winchester, and drew upon his advice throughout his political career. He was also Chancellor of the Exchequer for all of his time as prime minister. [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. William Pitt the Younger (28 May 1759 – 23 January 1806) was a British politician of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Professor of Modern History, University of Reading, England, 1947–65. [41] During the Nootka Sound Controversy in 1790, Pitt took advantage of the alliance to force Spain to give up its claim to exclusive control over the western coast of North and South America. [25], Pitt, at the age of 24, became Great Britain's youngest Prime Minister ever. William Pitt the Younger was a Prime Minister in the late eighteenth century and the youngest ever. He is known as "the Younger" to distinguish him from his father, William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, who is customarily referred to as "William Pitt the Elder" (or less commonly, simply "Chatham") and had previously served as prime minister. He had originally planned to form a broad coalition government, but faced the opposition of George III to the inclusion of Fox. [75], Pitt returned to the premiership on 10 May 1804. "British Politics, 1783-4: The Emergence and Triumph of the Younger Pitt's Administration,", Ledger-Lomas, Michael. The younger William Pitt lived a life that is not widely known or appreciated in the USA and this well-written and entertaining biography should help to remedy that. [19], Fox, who became Pitt's lifelong political rival, then joined a coalition with Lord North, with whom he collaborated to bring about the defeat of the Shelburne administration. He was the son of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, a former M.P. Biography British politician who became the bridge between the 18th and 19th century. William Pitt the younger is one of the successful Politician. William Pitt the younger is best known as a Politician. Britannica now has a site just for parents! Pitt refused to intervene to restore the French monarchy. The French financial system was inadequate and Napoleon's forces had to rely in part on requisitions from conquered lands. From late 1784, a series of satirical verses appeared in The Morning Herald drawing attention to Pitt's lack of knowledge of women: "Tis true, indeed, we oft abuse him,/Because he bends to no man;/But slander's self dares not accuse him/Of stiffness to a woman." 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. Historian Marie Peters has compared his strengths and weaknesses with his father: William Pitt is depicted in several films and television programs. Thus, the Spanish claim to a monopoly of trade and settlement on the western seaboard of North America was finally destroyed. [37][b], Pitt always paid careful attention to financial issues. [38][39][c], In 1797, Pitt was forced to protect the kingdom's gold reserves by preventing individuals from exchanging banknotes for gold. With the Whigs, Pitt denounced the continuation of the American War of Independence, as his father strongly had. [15] Pitt's entry into parliament is somewhat ironic as he later railed against the very same pocket and rotten boroughs that had given him his seat. His administration secure, Pitt could begin to enact his agenda. [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. Pittsylvania County, Virginia, was formed in 1767, eight years after Pitt the Younger was born. 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. [51] However, the spy network maintained by the government was efficient. He was able to mobilize the nation's industrial and financial resources and apply them to defeating France. 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. Following the bill's failure in the Upper House, George III dismissed the coalition government and finally entrusted the premiership to William Pitt, after having offered the position to him three times previously. 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). 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 (. Pitt clearly did not take the premiership as the King’s tool, for his first step was to try, on his own terms, to include Fox and his friends in the new ministry. 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. Reformers sought to destroy what they saw as widespread institutional corruption. [34] The bill of 1785 was the last parliamentary reform proposal introduced by Pitt to British legislators. He had no social ambitions, and it was rare for him to set out to make a friend. 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. Fox stated the bill was necessary to save the company from bankruptcy. War broke out again in May 1803, and by 1804 Pitt was increasingly critical of the government’s financial polity and its measures to meet the growing danger of invasion. [a] Every year, a third of the budget of £24 million went to pay interest. Pitt's father, who had by then been raised to the peerage as Earl of Chatham, died in 1778. O'Brien, Patrick; "Political Biography and Pitt the Younger as Chancellor of the Exchequer"; Cambridge Portraits from Lely to Hockney, Cambridge University Press, 1978, No. From 1783 to 1792, he faced each fresh challenge with brilliance; from 1793 he showed determination but sometimes faltered; and from 1804 he was worn down by ... the combination of a narrow majority and war".[96]. In December 1783, after the defeat in the House of Lords of Fox’s East India Bill, George III at once took the opportunity to dismiss the coalition and asked Pitt to form a government. 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. His mother was Lady Hester Grenville, sister of George Grenville (who headed the government from 1763 to 1765). Pitt won the vote so narrowly that he gave up. [71] As the Dublin parliament did not wish to disband, Pitt made generous use of what would now be called "pork barrel politics" to bribe Irish MPs to vote for the Act of Union.[72]. The French Revolution had disastrous repercussions in Ireland, too, creating new hatreds to exacerbate the old religious feuds and a rebellion in 1798. Studies of aspects of Pitt's career include the works of J. Holland Rose, William Pitt and National Revival (1911) and William … In 1776, Pitt, plagued by poor health, took advantage of a little-used privilege available only to the sons of noblemen, and chose to graduate without having to pass examinations. William Pitt the Younger : biography 28 May 1759 – 16 January 1806 Resignation The French Revolution revived religious and political problems in Ireland, a realm under the rule of the King of Great Britain. The debt was about £250,000,000, a staggering amount for those days. [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 himself was returned for the University of Cambridge; only once again (1790), at subsequent elections, did he have to stand a contest. [citation needed] Pitt helped manage[how?] In peace talks with the Ottomans, Russia refused to return the key Ochakov fortress. The Fox–North coalition rose to power in a government nominally headed by William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland.[20]. "The Character of Pitt the Younger and Party Politics, 1830–1860. 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. He retained the support of the King, who would not entrust the reins of power to the Fox–North Coalition. [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. It is so unusual for a super-genius to have the opportunity, interest and special aptitude for politics Pitt had that the example deserves much study. Pitt, who was in office when men were first transported to Australia, never regarded that country as anything more than a convict settlement. During the Nootka Sound Controversy in 1790, Pitt took advantage of the alliance to force Spain to give up its claim to […] He increased taxes to pay for the great war against France and cracked down on radicalism. [70] The revolt of 1798 destroyed Pitt's faith in the governing competence of the Dublin parliament (dominated by Protestant Ascendancy families). Biography of William Pitt the Younger. Pitt originally aligned himself … The author, a British politician, has written a book on William Wilberforce, and this book on William Pitt the Younger. The Younger Pitt (Profiles In Power). Meanwhile, Fox sat for the pocket borough of Tain Burghs. His niece Lady Hester Stanhope designed and managed the gardens and acted as his hostess. He was the second son in the family and belonged to a political background from both his parents. Leonard, Dick. Patronage and corruption gave Pitt a majority, and secret service money paid election bills. 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. The British national output remained strong, and the well-organized business sector channelled products into what the military needed. ISBN 978-0-582-05279-6. He fought to protect Britain’s vital commercial and colonial interests. 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. 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. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Though faced with a hostile majority in Parliament, Pitt was able to solidify his position within a few months. Pitt’s foreign policy was only moderately successful. The peace in 1783 left France financially prostrate, while the British economy boomed due to the return of American business.

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