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Queen Anne of England - (1702-1714) Queen Anne was a very worthy woman, anxious to do her duty and

devoted to the Church, but she had never shown any of the qualities that make a great ruler. For many years she had been dominated by her great friend Sara Churchill, Lady Marlborough, whose husband who had already shown himself an able soldier was an intensely ambitious man. His eagerness for fame and wealth had made him act disloyally towards both King James and King William. But when William lay dying he realised that Marlborough was the one man who could take his place in the war that was just beginning. He recommended him to Anne who gave the command of her forces to the husband of her dearest friend. The War of the Spanish Succession started in 1702, where the British allied to the Dutch against France. Marlborough proved himself one of the most gifted commanders in the whole history of warfare. He was a master both of strategy, - the art of bringing troops in contact with the enemy at the best time and place -, and of tactics, - the art of handling them during the battle - . He had a bold imagination in planning operations, a sure instinct as to the moment to strike his blow and the nerve to take the risks. He was kindly and considerate to people of all ranks, and his serene and Princess Anne and her son confident manner gave courage to everybody with whom he came in contact. He defeated the French in the battle of Blenheim in August 1704 and in 1706 he won another tremendous victory at Ramillies, where he inflicted loses five times as great as he suffered. In home affairs the most important event of the reign was the joining of England and Scotland under one government when both countries signed the Union Act in 1707. But form now onwards Marlborough´s luck turned. He won another victory at Malplaquet (1709), but only at the cost of casualties even greater than the enemy´s. He lost his influence over the Queen, for she grew tired of the dominating Duchess and sent her away from the Court.

The Queen had always been a Tory at heart , she dismissed her Whig ministers and appointed Tories. The chief men in the Tory Ministry, Robert Harley and Henry St. John, now set about making peace. St. John entered into secret negotiations with France and had Marlborough dismissed from his command. The withdrawal of the English army forced the Dutch to make peace too. In 1713 the Treaty of Utrecht was signed and the grandson of Louis XIV became Philip V of Spain. The Tories had gained their object, but their triumph was short-lived. The Queen was not an old woman but her health had long been weak, and by the spring of 1714 it was obvious that she had not long to live. At her death, the Elector George Frederick of Hanover was proclaimed George I in accordance with the act of Settlement. (extracted from “Short History of Britain” by Robert M. Rayner)