William Pitt the Younger

British Prime Minister,

Napoleon BonaparteThe man who led the Britain politically during the French Revolution and much of the Napoleonic Wars, William Pitt was an extremely talented man who aroused both semi-adoration and hatred in large amounts.

He was a lawyer and the second son of the highly regarded Prime Minister William Pitt the elder. Younger Pitt made a spectacular entry into politics at 21 and was Prime Minister by the age of 25.

He was blamed by Napoleon Bonaparte for the unceasing nature of the wars and the French leader labelled him a "genius of evil" and thought of him as his most dangerous opponent.

Despite being an able administrator and the devotion of a lot of time on reoganising British finances, Pitt's first of two periods as Prime Minister (1784 to 1801 and 1804 to 1806) was plagued by national monetry difficulties.

His policy of financing coalitions against France cost Britain heavily and he introduced income tax to help pay for the military effort of constraining Revolutionary and Napoleonic France.

He had liberal ideas, but many of his domestic reforms were shelved during the wars largely due to the fear of sparking unrest similar to that in France.

In 1801 he successfully joined Ireland to Britain with the Act of Union, but resigned as PM when King George III refused to emancipate Irish Catholics.

Three years later he returned to the premiership and despite ill health helped forge the Third Coalition against France.

1805 saw the glory of Royal Navy supremacy at Trafalgar, but Pitt's hopes were crushed on land by the Austrian capitulation at Ulm and the destruction of his continental allies' armies at Austerlitz.

Exhausted and shattered, Pitt died in 1806.

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