George I

Previous queen: Anne       Reigned: 1714-1727       Next king: George II (son)

George I George I became king as he was the most senior Protestant descedant from James I. George was also Elector of Hanover, where he was born. He spoke German, and only poor English, although he mostly lived in England once he was king. He started a new dynasty of Hanover.

There were Catholics with a better claim to the throne. One of these was James, son of James II, known in England as the Old Pretender. In 1715, a Jacobite rebellion in Scotland tried to make James king, but failed.

Hogarth picture about the South Sea Bubble The South Sea Company traded government stock for shares in the company. This proved very popular, and the price of shares rose from 100 to 1000 each. In 1719, the price peaked, then crashed. This was called the South Sea Bubble, and ruined many people. The picture on the right is by Hogarth. It shows the South Sea Bubble as a merry-go-round, with people going round and round and not getting anywhere.

In 1719, Daniel Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe, about a man shipwrecked on a desert island. In 1726, Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels about strange races of tiny people or giants. People think this is a children's book now, but it was written as a satire.

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