Second Newcastle Ministry
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The Second Newcastle Ministry (sometimes known as the Newcastle/Pitt Ministry) was a British government which served between 1757 and 1762, at the height of the Seven Years War. It was headed by the Duke of Newcastle, who was serving in his second term as Prime Minister. The most influential and famous figure in the government was William Pitt, who served as Secretary of State.
The Ministry ended a period of political instability, when Britain had struggled in the war. Pitt was a strong war leader, but lacked the support in parliament necessary to provide effective leader. Newcastle provided this, as he has a strong base of support in the House of Commons. They divided duties between them - with Pitt directing defence and foreign policy, while Newcastle controlled the nation's finances and patronage.
The Ministry was very successful leading Britain to many victories in the war, particularly in the Annus Mirablis of 1759, which put the country in an immensely strong position by 1761. That year Pitt resigned over a dispute concerning the entry of Spain into the war. The Ministry had been under pressure since the death of the old King, and accession of George III who disliked both Pitt and Newcastle and favoured the Earl of Bute.
In 1762 Newcastle was forced to resign and was replaced by Bute, this is traditionally considered the moment the Ministry collapsed.1
- Middleton p.209
- Middleton, Richard. The Bells of Victory: The Pitt-Newcastle Ministry and the Conduct of the Seven Years' War, 1757-1762. Cambridge University Press, 1985.
1757 Caretaker Ministry
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