Appreciating the King the Founders hated

Thought of himself as ‘the Patriot King’

Andrew Roberts wrote what is probably the best one-volume bio of Winston Churchill; walking with destiny. His latest book rehabilitates King George III as a wise, humane and even enlightened constitutional — but hands on! — monarch. A patron of the arts, well read, abstemious, a fitness buff, and — unusual for the time — faithful to his wife.

The Last King of America; the Misunderstood Reign of George III tells the story of the wrongly vilified (in America) king.

Florid of face and bug-eyed, loved by his people (most of the time), George III reigned for 59 years, a record exceeded by his grand-daughter Victoria and gr-gr-gr-great grand daughter Elizabeth II. And ruled as a constitutional monarch, except during four (maybe five) periods of debilitating insanity — some of which confined him to a straitjacket. In one episode, he spoke non-stop for 25 hours. They were caused, not by porphyria but by manic depression, Roberts argues.

Book cover: The Last King of America, George III

This is a king who fought the American Revolution, guided Britain past the French guillotine, and battled Napoleon — several times girding for invasion of the home islands. Who purchased Buckingham House (later Palace) but was parsimonious, unlike his debt-ridden son— an alcoholic, priapic gambler.

George 3 was called, approvingly, “Farmer George” for his promotion of scientific agriculture. When told that victorious  General Washington would return to his farm, the King exclaimed that “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”

The author (somewhat laboriously) refutes as wartime propaganda all but two of the 28 “crimes” alleged against the king by the Declaration of Independence. “In breath-taking gall, Jefferson even blamed the slave trade on George.” Roberts quotes John Adams to later say “I never believed George to be a tyrant in disposition or nature.”

As for the Stamp Act, Britain had, after all, defended colonial adventurers like Dan’l Boone from France in the Seven Years’ War and thought the beneficiaries should share the cost. At one point during the subsequent war for independence, George offered the revolutionaries local self-government (including the power of taxation) and seats in Parliament, asking only control over foreign policy. By then, it was too late. America was hellbent on independence.

Magnanimous with an eye to history

Accepting defeat in 1783, George told Parliament, “We shall reap more advantages from their trade as friends than ever we could derive from them as colonies.” Vladimir Putin should read this book. George III did not thirst for blood or revenge. Roberts writes:

Benjamin Franklin was credited with making the genuinely witty remark that ‘We must all hang together or, most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” In fact, the British never had any intention of behaving in that way … Franklin and the other signatories were in little or no danger of being hanged in the event of defeat unless they had fallen into the hands of Loyalist partisans.

More than Mike Pence can say!

In announcing Britain’s capitulation, George hoped that “Religion, language, interest, affections may, and I hope will, yet prove a bond of permanent union between the two countries.”

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Any understanding of America’s independence is incomplete without understanding George III.

How are YOU observing Independence Day? 

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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14 Responses to Appreciating the King the Founders hated

  1. Vaughn Larson says:

    I haven’t read the book, but it sounds very interesting. But with regards to King George’s tyrant status, perhaps the author touches on this, the colonies were guilty of treason for declaring independence EXCEPT if the monarch was a tyrant. In truth, the colonies’ dispute was with Parliament, and they hoped the king would intervene on their behalf. When he chose to back Parliament, the colonies revolted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. brynstane says:

    And 200 years after the colonial break up, British Airways (via patrician spokes-actor Robert Morley) made conciliation official by inviting the spawn of the revolution to observe the Bicentennial in the Motherland with the “Come Home…All is Forgiven” ad campaign. One of the best ever:


  3. Jon Burack says:

    Given the antics of Harry and Meghan, I still say we made a shrewd move getting out from under the British monarchy — though the current ruling monarch is, as the song goes, “a pretty nice girl.” Anyway, “Give me liberty or give me death” — and “don’t shoot till you see the whites of their eyes.” Happy 4th!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    The Gotch’s 7th Great Grandfather served on a jury with the inimitable Dan’l Boone; its verdict stripped a pair of Loyalists of ~ 4000 acres along the Ohio River, a tract which eventually became the city of Louisville, KY.

    The Gotch (a proud Honorary Kentucky Colonel!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • brynstane says:

      Crispy or original recipe?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

        With no eye toward health concerns, crispy; you?

        It’s been a LONG TIME since we’ve visited the Colonel! Used to be one on the SW corner of N. Whitney Way (then Gilbert Road) and University Avenue in the late 60s/early to mid 70s.

        The Gotch

        Liked by 2 people

  5. BIDEN FRAUD says:

    Always Have To Get The Trump Degradation In! How’s That Biden Gas, Stock Crash, Border Shitshow And War Working For You!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • David Blaska says:

      That “Biden Gas, Stock Crash, Border Shitshow” is NOT working for me at all! Neither does Trump’s attempted insurrection. Swear to god, Donald Trump could shoot Always Trumpers like yourself right between the eyes and before he pulled the trigger you would say you must have had it coming because Trump can do no wrong.


      • One eye says:

        To take the analogy further, Trump could use a finger gun hand gesture and DB would cry attempted murder! Best get into therapy with AOC.


        • David Blaska says:

          Except that is what he did, metaphorically. Point his gun finger at the Capitol. So, Trump runs in 2024. He loses. Is the election stolen “again”? You’re a sunshine patriot — who do you hang this time?


    • richard lesiak says:

      Just keep writing checks to trump buddy. That grifter is running more scams than Madoff ever did.


  6. Kooter says:

    Blasks has proven once again: TDS is untreatable. The “insurrection conspiracy” thing is quasi-delusuonal.


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