King George II was a Hanoverian prince who rose to the throne of Britain in 1727. His 33-year reign included wars with Spain and France and the expansion of the British empire into Canada and India. The heir to George I, he was 44 years old when he became king. His first decade on the throne was rough: another German prince (like his father), he hated the English and they hated him. George spent a lot of his time away at Hanover, leaving his wife Caroline and Prime Minister Robert Walpole in charge of things. As England was drawn into the War of Austrian Succession, George II rose to the occasion and became a war hero at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743. His popularity secure, his armies also repelled the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart (grandson of King James II with claims to the throne) in 1745, thanks in large part to his second son, William, Duke of Cumberland (who became infamous for his brutality at the Battle of Culloden). George's reign was also marked by his unconcealed hatred for his son Frederick, the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne. As it happened, Frederick died in 1751, and the throne ended up going to his son, George III, in 1760.
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