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The early decade of the 18th century

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  1. Political instability
  2. Foreign policy
  3. Religion
  4. The American war of independence and the French revolution

The year 1688 introduced a long period of dynastic instability and problems of succession. This instability was aggravated by the existence of a rival claimant to the throne in the person of James II's son: James Francis Edward. He was a Roman Catholic, also known as the "Old Pretender". Queen Mary died in 1694. It was resolved that the succession would go to Anne, Mary's sister - the 2nd daughter of James II. It was of parliamentary importance to maintain a protestant succession. She remained on the throne until 1714. The parliament passed the Act of Settlement in 1701 - the year of James II's death. It gave the crown to the House of Hanover. In 1714, the elector of Hanover, that is George I, succeeded Queen Anne on the throne. He reigned until 1727.

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