British History 2:
From the French Revolution to World War II
Topic: "Majesties and Royal Highnesses"

by Laura Cenicola & Mareike Aumann

Glossary: Queen Anne

Political Career:


Queen Anne was the last of the Stuart monarchs. She became Queen after King William III died in 1702 and reigned for 12 years including the War of Spanish Succession, Marlborough's famous victories, Ramilies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet. Anne did not think much of standing up against Parliament, nevertheless she saw herself forced to attend most Cabinet meetings in order to keep her half-brother, James the Old Pretender, under control. She was the last sovereign to veto an act of Parliament. The Act of Union, which was passed in 1707, was the most significant constitutional act in her reign. It created Great Britain by uniting England and Scotland. Queen Anne presided over this union and created the parliament of Great Britain on May 1st 1707. Many internal conflicts in the English society arose due to the fact that the two-party government was still new and under construction. The Whig and Tory Parties were fully established within the last years of Queen Anne's reign and fought for influence over the Queen as well as the control of Parliament. Besides all negative aspects and problems believed in mixed ministries and managed to achieve her aim until 1708. She was the first monarch to govern the joined kingdoms.

Nevertheless she was still in need of a successor for herself, which could have been her half-brother, a favorite of the Tories and a Stuart, but she had already decided to side with Whigs in 1688 when Sarah Churchill had persuaded her support Sarah's brother-in-law, William of Orange, when he overthrew James II. Finally Anne agreed to the Act of Settlement, which paved the way for the Whig candidate, George of Hanover.

 

Personal Life:


Anne was born on February 6th 1665 at St James's Palace. She was the second daughter of James II and Anne Hyde. She was raised under the guidance of her uncle King Charles II. Her marriage to George (July 28th 1683), Prince of Denmark, was devoted but politically unremarkable. Between 1683 and 1700 Anne experienced 17 pregnancies. Five children were born alive, but only one son outlived infancy. He did not survive to inherit her throne. Anne was friends with Sarah Jennings Churchill, However Sarah became too confident in her position and started to become overbearing. She was replaced by Abigail Hill, who was planted in the royal household by the Tory leaders to deal with Anne's need for sympathy and affection.

Anne died on August 1st 1714 in Kensington at the age of 49.

 

 


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