George II, son of George I, was born at Herrenhausen Palace in Hannover (now in lower Saxony State, Germany) on November 10, 1683, and he grew up a German Prince. In 1705 he married Caroline of Ansbach, an intelligent woman who wielded great influence over her husband and thereby on government. Like his father, George II was more interested in Hannover than in Great Britain, and during his many absences from London Caroline frequently acted as Regent.
During the war of the Austrian succession the king subordinated the interests of Great Britain to those of his German principality. This policy was unpopular in Great Britain, but the king won admiration for his courage at the battle of Dettingen in Bavaria (1743), the last engagement in which a British monarch participated in person.
George II contributed to the material progress of Great Britain, mainly because he was shrewd enough to listen to his wife and heed the advice of his ministers. He retained Sir Robert Walpole as chief minister only upon Caroline’s insistence, and he later relied on Henry Pelham, and, toward the end of his reign, William Pitt the elder, although he originally had a great dislike for him. George’s reign was marked by the suppression of the last major Jacobite Rebellion and by the successful prosecution-at Pitt’s initiative-of the Seven Years’ War.
He was succeeded by his grandson George III. George died at Kensington Palace, London, on October 25, 1760.