George III became king of Great Britain and Ireland in 1760 following his grandfather George II’s death. In his accession speech to Parliament, the 22-year-old monarch played down his Hanoverian connections. “Born and educated in this country,” he said, “I glory in the name of Britain.”
A year after his coronation, George was married to Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the daughter of a German duke. It was a political union—the two met for the first time on their wedding day—but a fruitful one, producing 15 children.
George III worked for an expedited end to the Seven Years’ War (1756-63), taking a position that forced his influential war minister William Pitt the Elder (who wanted to broaden the conflict) to resign in 1761. The next year George appointed Lord Bute as his prime minister, the first in a quick succession of five ineffective ministers.
In 1764 Prime Minister George Grenville introduced the Stamp Act as a way of raising revenue in British America. The act was fervently opposed in America, especially by the pamphleteers whose paper would be taxed. Parliament would repeal the act two years later, but mistrust persisted in the colonies.