The Pitts of England


The Pitts of England, both father and son became Prime Ministers of a nation that created the world's largest empire in history through its technological, colonial and maritime supremacy.
The Pitts of England, both father and son, had to deal with six major events of their day:
*1. The Seven Years War
*2. India and the British East India Company
*3. The American War of Independence
*4. The French Revolution
*5. French Revolutionary Wars
*6. Napoleonic Wars
William Pitt the Elder, 1st Earl of Chatham, (15 November 1708 – 11 May 1778) was a British Whig (member of a British political group of the late 17th through early 19th centuries trying to lessen the power of the monarch and to increase the power of the parliament), wartime political leader who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1766 to 1768.
*England became Great Britain when the Acts of Union, passed by the English and Scottish Parliaments in 1707, led to the creation of a united kingdom to be called “Great Britain” on 1 May of that year.
He was known as the Great Commoner, because of his populist instincts and his long-standing refusal to accept a title until 1766.
William Pitt the Elder dominated British politics in the middle of the 18th century and transformed Great Britain into an imperial power through a policy of power by territorial acquisition and economic control.
He is credited with expanding the British Empire with overseas trading posts and colonies in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
William Pitt the Younger (28 May 1759 – 23 January 1806) the youngest and last Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1783 and then first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from the 1st of January 1801, with the Acts of Union 1800, enacted by Great Britain and Ireland, under George III, to merge with the Kingdom of Ireland.
William Pitt The Younger, son of William Pitt the Elder, was the youngest Prime Minister in history to be appointed on 19 December 1783 at the age of 24 years and 208 days.

William Pitt the Elder

The Pitts of England
William Pitt the Elder was one of the greatest wartime leaders in British history.
He was:
*A member of the British cabinet and its informal leader from 1756 to 1761.
*Secretary of State during the French and Indian War (1754-63 - known in Europe as the Seven Years' War).
*Lord Privy Seal between 1766 and 1768 and Prime Minister of Great Britain twice (1756–61 and 1766–68).
He was known and feared throughout the world for his:
Statesmanship and vigorous parliamentary skills by which he dominated the House of Commons.
An Empire builder that gave Britain a new empire while preserving the old.
Antagonistic toward Spain and France who saw Great Britain becoming too powerful and a threat to their own empire expansion.
Early Life
The Pitts of England
William Pitt, the Elder was born in London of a distinguished family.
His mother, Lady Harriet Villiers, daughter of Viscount Grandison, belonged to the Anglo-Irish nobility.
His father, Robert Pitt (1680–1727), member of Parliament and the son of Thomas Pitt (1653 – 1726) an English merchant, colonial administrator and governor of Madras (now Chennai), India who was known as "Diamond" Pitt.
*Thomas Pitt made his vast fortune from the East India trade and for having discovered an extraordinarily large diamond that he sold to the French regent, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans in 1717 for around £135,000.
Thomas Pitt returned to England and was elected six times to the Parliament of Great Britain - his descendants created a political dynasty, with his grandson and great-grandson both serving as Prime Minister of Great Britain.
William Pitt the Elder, graduated from Eton (1719-1726) with honors and attended Trinity College, Oxford (1726-1727), and the University of Utrecht (1728).
George III
The Pitts of England
George III (4 June 1738 – 29 January 1820) was the third Hanoverian monarch (royal house of German origin) to come to the throne of Great Britain in 1760 and appointed Lord Bute (John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute) as his chief advisor and immediately, disputes arose over a number of issues with William Pitt the Elder which included pursuing a policy of peace.
When Pitt failed to persuade his colleagues to declare war through a pre-emptive strike against Spain's navy and her colonies, he resigned in October 1761.
Spain was concerned that Britain's victories over France had made them too powerful and pledged that if Britain and France were still at war by 1 May 1762, Spain would enter the war on the French side.
Such a move, they believed, would make them the aggressor against Spain and potentially provoke other neutral nations to declare war on Britain.
Lord Bute then became Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1762 to 1763 under George III.

American Revolution


The Pitts of England
William Pitt the Elder gave generous support for the American colonists though he did not wish to grant them independence - he believed that they deserved to have greater control over their future.
In January, 1766, he delivered a passionate plea on behalf of the American colonists who had resisted the Stamp Act and to demand that act's repeal.
By the 1770s, the colonists resented that the British king controlled each of the 13 colonies governments.
They could not make their own laws and had to pay high taxes to the king.
Ultimately, the American Revolution (also called the American War of Independence) was fought between 1775 and 1783 through which 13 of Great Britain's North American colonies overcame British rule through war to establish the sovereign United States of America founded upon the Declaration of Independence in 1776 (a year after the American Revolutionary War began in April 1775).
A full-scale war on the other side of the Atlantic became unsustainable for the British, especially once the French, Spanish and the Netherlands sided with the colonies.

Seven Years’ War


The Pitts of England
The Seven Years’ War arose when the Austrian Hapsburgs tried to get back the province of Silesia which had been taken from them by Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–48).
The Seven Years’ War was a global conflict that involved all the Great Powers and was fought in Europe, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region.
France, Austria, Saxony, Sweden and Russia were aligned on one side against Prussia, Hanover and Great Britain on the other.
The Seven Years’ War also involved Anglo-French conflicts for colonial control of North America (the French and Indian War - 1754–63).
Pitt directed British military operations with massive resources toward the war, good generals and admirals and by uniting all parties as well as public opinion with his brilliant oratory and historical knowledge.
As a Prime Minister, scholars rank him as one of Great Britain's greatest.
His war-time efforts included:
*Sending his main expeditions to America, to ensure the conquest of Canada - starting with the 1763 Treaty of Paris, New France, of which the colony of Canada was a part, formally became a part of the British Empire.
*Supporting the East India Company and Robert Clive, in their struggle against the French East India Company.
*Subsidizing and reinforcing the armies of Frederick the Great of Prussia to engage the French on the Continent.
*Directing the British Navy to harass the French on their own coasts, in the West Indies and in Africa.
In March of 1762, French King Louis XV issued a formal call for peace talks.
By the terms of the Treaty of Paris in 1763, Great Britain remained supreme in North America and India, held Minorca as a Mediterranean base and won territory in Africa and the West Indies.
Victory over France in the Seven Years' War (1756–63) solidified Britain's dominance over world affairs.



The Pitts of England
The British East India Company was formed in 1600 and given a royal charter by Queen Elizabeth I to trade with India and expand British influence there.
The company's first ships arrived in India in 1608 and the British began to establish trading posts along the country's coast.
Then, through wars by troops of the British East India Company led by Robert Clive ((29 September 1725 – 22 November 1774), the Battles of Plassey (1757), Wandewash (1760) and Buxar (1764) against the forces of Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last Nawab of Bengal and his French allies marked the beginning of British rule in India.
*Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive, also known as Clive of India, was the first British Governor of the Bengal Presidency is credited for laying the foundation of the British East India Company (EIC) rule in Bengal.
The British were successful in India because of their superior navy, military technology and political maneuvering.


The Pitts of England
In July 1766, Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd marquess of Rockingham (13 May 1730 – 1 July 1782) was dismissed and William Pitt the Elder was asked by King George III to form a new government in October, 1766.
He served as Lord Privy Seal which required his elevation to the House of Lords.
On 4 August, 1766, he became Earl of Chatham in the county of Kent and Viscount Pitt of Burton Pynsent in the county of Somerset.
He resigned in 1768 because of ill health and died on May 11, 1778, in Hayes, Kent, England.
William Pitt the Elder and Earl of Chatham, was buried in Westminster Abbey with all the funeral pomp he could have desired.


William Pitt the Younger

The Pitts of England
William Pitt the Younger was born into a political family on 28 May, 1759 at Hayes, Kent, England to William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham (referred to as "the Elder") and his wife Countess Hester Grenville (1720 - 1803).
He was British Prime Minister (1783–1801 and 1804–06) during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and Chancellor of the Exchequer during all his time of service.
His father, William Pitt the Elder, served as Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1766-68.
His maternal uncle, George Grenville (14 October 1712 – 13 November 1770), served as Prime Minister from 1763 to 1765.
William Pitt the Younger was admitted to Pembroke College at Cambridge University aged 13 where he studied political philosophy, classics, mathematics, trigonometry, chemistry and history - he excelled in Greek and Latin.
He was a lifelong friend of William Wilberforce (24 August 1759 – 29 July 1833), a conservative politician and political ally in parliament who was also a philanthropist, leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade and believed in the importance of religion, morality and education.

The Pitts of England-Prime Minister


The Pitts of England
William Pitt the Younger was Prime Minister from 1783 to 1803 and again from 1804 to 1806 when he died, during a volatile period in Europe and the Americas known as the Age of Revolution (1775 - 1848) during which a number of significant revolutionary movements for change occurred, from absolutist monarchies to representative governments with a written constitution and the creation of nation states.
He was popular with the public and often referred to as "Honest Billy" - he was seen as a refreshing change from the dishonesty and corruption widely associated with both Charles James Fox and Lord North.
William Pitt the Younger as Prime Minister, had to steer Great Britain through:
*Restoring the nation's finances following the American War of Independence through astute financial policies.
*French Revolutionary Wars - the 1790s presented an ideological struggle between French republicanism versus British monarchism with the British government seeking to mobilise public opinion in support of the war against France.
*Forming the Third Coalition against Napoleon Bonaparte made up of Austria, Russia and Sweden after the crushing defeat of the First and Second Coalitions.
*Dealing with the mental stability of King George III.
*Placing the East India Company under government control.

The French Revolution


The Pitts of England
The French Revolution was a series of events that took place between 1789 and 1799, leading to the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte.
It was a historic event that put an end to the feudal system, disbanded a kingdom and its monarchy, brought changes in society with the rise of the middle class and established civil laws and fairer representation of all peoples.
The new age of France influenced other nations through nationalism and democracy and inspired the ideals of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
Results of the French Revolution
1. Abolition of the Ancien Régime and creation of a constitutional monarchy.
2. Proclamation of the French First Republic in September 1792.
3. Reign of Terror and Execution of Louis XVI on 21 January 1793.
4. French Revolutionary Wars from 20 April 1792 to 25 March 1802.
5. Establishment of the French Consulate in November 1799.
French Revolutionary Wars
The Pitts of England
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of military conflicts from 1792 until 1802 that pitted France against Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia and several other conservative monarchies.
The wars are divided into two periods:
*War of the First Coalition (1792–1797)
Anti-French states, consisted of Britain, Russia, Prussia, Spain, Holland, and Austria.
France won both because of skilled generals like Napoleon Bonaparte and through the use of mass conscription, called levée en masse.
*War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802)
Russia, Austria, Great Britain, Naples, Portugal, and the Ottoman Empire were defeated by the French Republic and hostilities ended with the Treaty of Amiens in 1802.
The legacy of the French Revolutionary Wars brought modern nationalism, the rise of the middle class and the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.

Napoleonic Wars


The Pitts of England
The Napoleonic Wars mark the end of the French Revolution and the start of the Napoleonic Era.
A new form of government was created in France, it reshaped European boundaries and influenced revolutionaries and nationalists worldwide.
Napoleon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known as Napoleon I, was a French Emperor and Military Commander who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and the French Revolutionary Wars.
He was the leader of the French Republic as First Consul from 1799 to 1804, then of the French Empire as Emperor from 1804 until 1814, and briefly again in 1815.
Napoleon seized power together an alliance of prominent political figures and the support of his army who collaborated in a coup d'état on November 9, 1799 (Coup of 18th Brumaire) to overthrow the Directory and establish the Consulate - in effect, he established a dictatorship.
His political and cultural legacy endures and is considered one of the greatest military commanders in history.
The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) are still studied at military schools worldwide.
They began with the War of the Third Coalition made up of the United Kingdom, the Austrian Empire, the Russian Empire, Naples, Sicily and Sweden from 1805 to 1806 which was the first of the Coalition Wars against the First French Republic after Napoleon's accession as leader of France - it ended with French victory.
*War of the Fourth Coalition - 1806 - 1807
The main coalition partners were Prussia and Russia with Saxony, Sweden and Great Britain against Napoleon's French Empire - French victory, solidified by the Treaties of Tilsit.
*War of the Fifth Coalition - 1809
Fought between the Austrian Empire and Napoleon's French Empire.
The French were supported by their client states:
The Kingdom of Italy, the Confederation of the Rhine and the Duchy of Warsaw.
Austria was supported by the Fifth Coalition which included the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain and the Kingdoms of Sardinia and Sicily, although the latter two took no part in the fighting.
*War of the Sixth Coalition - 3 March 1813 – 30 May 1814
Coalition of Austria, Prussia, Russia, Spain, Great Britain, Portugal, Sweden, Sardinia, and a number of German States defeated France and drove Napoleon into exile on the island of Elba.
*War of the Seventh Coalition - 20 March – 8 July 1815
Also known as the Hundred Days that included the Waterloo Campaign (June 15 – July 8, 1815) that was fought between the French Army of the North and two Seventh Coalition armies, an Anglo-allied army and a Prussian army, that defeated Napoleon in the decisive Battle of Waterloo.
It forced Napoleon to abdicate for the second time and ended the Napoleonic Era.
*The Peninsular War - 1807 - 1814
Military conflict fought in the Iberian Peninsula by Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom against the invading and occupying forces of the First French Empire during the Napoleonic Wars.
Aided by their Spanish and Portuguese allies, the British held off the superior French force before winning a series of victories and driving them out.
*French invasion of Russia - 1812
The French invasion of Russia by Napoleon's forces stands as a focal point in military history and recognized among the most devastating military endeavors globally claiming the lives of nearly a million soldiers and civilians in a six month period.

Later Years and Death

The Pitts of England
William Pitt the Younger resigned in March 1801 when George III refused to allow the Catholic Emancipation policy but returned as Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death on 23 January, 1806 aged 49 during his second term, probably from liver disease.
From childhood he was plagued with gout which worsened by a fondness for port wine - he became known as a "three-bottle man".
He was unmarried and left no children - he was at one time engaged to Eleanor Eden, the eldest child of William Eden, 1st Baron Auckland, and his wife, Eleanor Elliot, daughter of Sir Gilbert Elliot, 3rd Baronet, of Minto but broke the engagement off soon after its announcement in 1797.
William Pitt the Younger served as Prime Minister for a total of 18 years and 343 days, making him the second-longest-serving British Prime Minister of all time, after Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford (26 August 1676 – 18 March 1745).
He 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.


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