After the loss of the thirteen American colonies the Prime Minister was William Pitt the Younger, who reorganized the administration and finance of Great Britain and of colonies.
In this period a British explorer, Captain James Cook had discovered a new continent, Oceania, and its biggest island Australia became an important colony. Pitt also divided Canada into two provinces: one was French-speaking and Catholic and the other mainly English-speaking and Protestant.
The French Revolution broke out in 1789 and Britain became the leader of the six European coalitions formed against France and Napoleon. Although coalitions were regularly defeated by the French armies Britain managed to keep resistance alive thanks its navy, which obtained significant victories at the command of Horatio Nelson. Napoleon was finally defeated at Waterloo by the Duke of Wellington. After there was the re-establishment of the monarchies of Europe.
The French Revolution had frightened the British aristocracy who suspected any social reforms. To prevent public disorders, meetings of worker were made illegal.
At St Peter’s Fields, in Manchester, the army was called in to disperse a meeting of workers calling. Some people were killed and injured. This episode became known as the Peterloo Massacre. After this event George IV became the king.