Government of the Kingdom of Great Britain

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Coat of Arms HM British Government from 1714 to 1801

The Government of the Kingdom of Great Britain formally referred to as His or Her Majesty's Government, was the central government of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801. The government was led by the Chief Minister of Great Britain from 1707 to 1721 when his title was changed to the Prime Minister of Great Britain who selected all the other ministers. The prime minister and their most senior ministers belonged to the supreme decision-making committee, known as the British Cabinet.

It was commonly referred to as simply the the British Government. In 1801 the Kingdom of Great Britain was unified with the Kingdom of Ireland to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The term British government is still applied today when speaking of the government of the United Kingdom.

History

The Government was led by the Chief Minister of Great Britain from 1707 to 1721, his title the changed to Prime Minister of Great Britain who chooses the other Ministers. The Prime Minister and the other most powerful Ministers belong to a group known as the Cabinet, who are the most important decision makers in the Government. These ministers are all members of Parliament. Laws are made by MPs voting in Parliament, which is called 'legislative authority'. These laws make what is called primary legislation. The government is chosen by the people of the United Kingdom voting in an election and, at least every five years, the people can vote again. The monarch selects the Prime Minister as the leader of the party who is likely to get the most votes in Parliament. Under the British constitution, making laws is done by Parliament, the power to "give assent" to the laws belongs to the monarch. The policy and administration of the laws is done by the direction of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. This is called executive authority. The monarch generally always does things suggested by the elected government. The Cabinet members advise the monarch as part of a group called Privy Council. They also use their power directly as leaders of the Government departments. The British kind of government is sometimes called parliamentary government.

Head of the British Government

  1. Chief Minister of Great Britain from 1707 to 1721.
  2. Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1721 to 1801.

British Cabinet

At various times included:

  1. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
  2. Chancellor of the Exchequer
  3. Lord Chancellor
  4. Lord President of the Council
  5. Lord Privy Seal – Office of the Privy Seal
  6. First Lord of the Admiralty
  7. First Lord of the Treasury
  8. Lord High Admiral of Great Britain
  9. Master-General of the Ordnance
  10. Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
  11. Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
  12. Secretary of State for War
  13. Secretary of State for the Home Department
  14. Secretary of State for the Northern Department
  15. Secretary of State for the Southern Department

Ministers not in the Cabinet

Below are various Minister's of State who attended British Cabinet meetings but were not appointed to it. However there were a few exceptions namely the Secretary at War was a member of the cabinet on occasions but not permanent as was the Treasurer of the Navy.

  1. Commander-in-Chief of the Forces - In charge of Land Forces of the British Army.
  2. Paymaster-General of the Forces - Office of HM Paymaster-General of the Forces
  3. President of the Board of Trade - Board of Trade
  4. Secretary at War - War Office
  5. Treasurer of the Navy - Navy Office as part of the Department of Admiralty.

Departments of Central Governement

At various times included:

  1. Board of Ordnance
  2. Board of Trade
  3. Colonial Office
  4. Department of Admiralty
  5. Duchy of Lancaster Estate
  6. Foreign Office
  7. HM Treasury
  8. Home Office
  9. Navy Office
  10. Navy Pay Office
  11. Northern Department
  12. Southern Department
  13. War Department
  14. War Office
  15. War and Colonial Department