I am writing this post about the Georgian era which is a period of history which I feel is very under appreciated in comparison to periods such as the Tudors which are widely studied. I feel like this is such a shame considering so much of our modern world was constructed in the Georgian times. I studied the making of Georgian Britain as part of my OCR History A level and I really enjoyed it so I thought I would do a post dedicated to the Georgians today! It is a period which is so modern in many ways and yet still has many areas of life which were very set in their time too
The Bank of England. The creation of the Bank of England in the 1690’s was revolutionary in changing the way money was lended not just to the monarch (by safeguarding people who lent money to the monarch because parliament safeguarded the loans) but normal people too. The Bank of England also stimulated business by lending money to differing businesses allowing for growth including trade to areas such as North America. It also saw the creation of cheques which allowed money to be transported over larger distances which further stimulated internal trade.
Modern politics. In many ways the modern political state originated in the Georgian era. The development of the two main parties (the Whigs and the stories) largely originated from the Exclusion crisis; with the Whigs wanting to bar the future James II from the throne due to his Catholicism and absolutist type views. The Tories wanting to safeguard James succession because of their strong believes in the divine right of kings or in other words them being divinely appointed by God.
The first proper prime minister Robert Walpole was also a key political player in the Georgian times. He was prime minister from 1721-1742 and had a very influential position in the country. An example of this is when he managed to lessen the outcome of the South Sea crisis (which in essence was a company which never did any trading but people bought shares due to loose promises, when people realised the company was doing very little they shared to sell their shares which led to the price of shares plummeting and some people lost everything). Walpole dealt with the situation in some ways by exchanging the worthless south sea stock for stock in the profitable East India Company which provided assistance to people who lost everything in the south sea scandal.
The establishment of London as the seat of power encouraged the existence of ‘the season’ as seen in books of the period (commonly in Jane Austen books). The social ‘season’ coincided with the parliamentary season from November to May; if led to an abundance of balls in which people tried to find a husband.
Consumerism. The establishment of the season in London also expanded the consumerism in England due to people wanting to find various new goods in new shops which were also advertised in new weekly newspapers. This established cities as places to ‘see and be seen’ with people parading around in their new wares in parks such as St James.
I hope you enjoyed this history type post and it has encouraged you to do more research on the Georgian period!
p.s. The photos are from google images and so all credits go to them!