By Brendan Simms, Torsten Riotte

For greater than a hundred and twenty years (1714-1837) nice Britain was once associated with the German voters, later country, of Hanover via own Union. This made Britain a continental eu kingdom in lots of respects, and diluted her experience of insular apartness. The geopolitical concentration of england used to be now as a lot on Germany, at the Elbe and the Weser because it was once at the Channel or out of the country. whilst, the Hanoverian connection used to be a tremendous and hugely arguable consider British excessive politics and renowned political debate. This quantity was once the 1st systematically to discover the topic via a group of specialists drawn from the united kingdom, US and Germany. They combine the burgeoning professional literature on features of the non-public Union into the wider background of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain. by no means earlier than had the impression of the Hanoverian connection on British politics, monarchy and the general public sphere, been so completely investigated.

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54 Behind the rhetoric, however, lay a more-thoughtful and betterinformed Pitt. 55 Even as he expectorated in parliament on the Hanoverian connection, Pitt was corresponding civilly with his nephew Thomas Pitt in Cambridge on the subject of the Imperial Constitution. ’56 He also seems to have recommended the classic works by Pufendorf on the Holy Roman Empire. In any case, Pitt’s attempts to revive the anti-Hanoverian fervour of the mid-1740s and turn it to his immediate advantage, failed. As was to be expected in a House of Commons dominated by royal and governmental patronage, the treaties were passed by massive majorities.

These, especially the latter, posed greater challenges to Hanover than the earlier ‘great powers’ that had intervened in north Germany: Austria, France, Denmark and Sweden. The rise of Prussia more than anything else defined Hanover’s international situation; and that is why attempts to blame the Electorate’s 11 12 U. Dann, Hannover und England, 1740–1760 (Hildesheim, 1986). J. M. Black, The Hanoverians (London, 2004), pp. 28–30. Hanoverian nexus: Walpole and the Electorate 19 difficulties on the dynastic link with Britain, and therefore to argue that Britain owed support, are unconvincing.

The Elder Pitt is famously an elusive subject. Unlike many other eighteenth-century political figures, such as the earl of Chesterfield or the Elder Horace Walpole, he was not a pamphleteer. 6 The surviving record is particularly disappointing for the crucial period of the Seven Years War, much better for the early stages of the War of the Austrian Succession. ‘New’ speeches, or fuller and alternative accounts of known speeches, are still cropping up. 7 The study of Pitt and Hanover is further complicated by the fact that Pitt never served in a capacity which brought him formally into contact with the management of the German war and British-Hanoverian relations at the highest level.

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