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Pitt, the Younger William

Summary Article: Pitt, William, the Younger from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide
British Tory prime minister 1783–1801 and 1804–06. He raised the importance of the House of Commons, clamped down on corruption, carried out fiscal reforms, and effected the union with Ireland. He attempted to keep Britain at peace but underestimated the importance of the French Revolution and became embroiled in wars with France from 1793; he died on hearing of Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz. The son of William Pitt the Elder, he entered Cambridge University at the age of 14 and Parliament at the age of 22. He was the Whig William Shelburne's chancellor of the Exchequer 1782–83, and with the support of the Tories and king's friends became Britain's youngest prime minister in 1783. He reorganized the country's finances and negotiated reciprocal tariff reductions with France. In 1793, however, the new French republic declared war and England fared badly. Pitt's policy in Ireland led to the 1798 revolt, and he tried to solve the Irish question by the Act of Union of 1801, but G...    Continue Reading

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