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When Queen Anne died (1714), Gorge of Hanover became king under the name of George I (1714-1727), and the Stuart dynasty ended. This event marked the beginning of the Augustan Age, also known as a golden age: in this period there was a political stability and a flourishing of the arts, just like the period of Roman history! Moreover, it was a materialistic, pragmatic and reactive society and it was the cradle of individualism and opportunism.
Enlightened thinkers (starting from John Locke) rejected the strict values of Puritanism and they trusted in progress.In Augustan society, “virtue” meant a disposition of benevolence, but also a growing emphasis on sensibility! In this period, the Whigs and the Tories were the first political parties in Britain; we can summarily say that the Tories were the “Conservative Party” and the Whigs the “Liberal Party”. The first Prime Minister was Robert Walpole a Whig in power from 1721 to 1742 and, in this period England didn’t make war, so trade flourished and taxes didn’t increase. He was the first tenant in Westminster, 10 Downing Street. In 1766 another Whig, William Pitt became Prime Minister and started a mercantilist policy, to make England a world power and he especially helped the middle-class, so merchants controlled many trades…while craftsmen worked long hours and they often fell ill. In London many coffee-houses developed and their role was like the theatre in the Elizabethan age. These coffee-houses usually were attended by men but women sometimes went there to show theiremancipation.
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