- historical event: The American metropolis of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania was named after the British Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder – one of the most deserving individuals for the rise of Great Britain to the status of a world power.
The famous British Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder, one of the most deserving people for the rise of Great Britain as a superpower, was born on this day in 1708. Pitt advocated the establishment of the mighty British Empire and quite belligerently confronted the countries that were its competitors, such as France.
The way in which William Pitt was even elected to the British Parliament is of particular interest. Namely, in those days, the so-called “rotten boroughs” existed in the UK. These were the constituencies whose population was severely reduced or became completely extinct over time, so that the owners of the land on which these municipalities lay could choose their parliamentary representatives at will. Actually it was a distortion of democracy and a mockery of the electoral process, because the owner of the land was often the only voter in the constituency!
Family of William Pitt was extremely rich. His grandfather was a colonial governor in distant India, and he was called “Diamond” Pitt because he made his fortune, among other things, by finding a huge diamond that he sold for a large sum of money. Using this money, the Pitts bought numerous estates in England. Some of these estates were the above-mentioned “rotten boroughs”, so that the Pitts were able to appoint a few of their representatives in the British Parliament at will. William Pitt was a representative of “rotten borough” named Old Sarum.
In Parliament, Pitt became known for his oratorical skill and ability of persuasion (he was educated at the prestigious Eton and Oxford). He played a significant role during the Seven Years’ War (it was actually the first “world war” in history, because it was waged in Europe, America, and India simultaneously). In fact, with its victory in the Seven Years’ War, the United Kingdom became the world’s most powerful force, because it defeated its main rival – France of Louis XV.
William Pitt became the British Prime Minister in the year 1766, during the reign of King George III. The great American city of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania was named after him. That name was given to the town by the British General John Forbes, after the British managed to conquer that territory from the French in the mentioned Seven Years’ War.
Interestingly, the son of William Pitt became even more famous than his father. His name was also William, but he is most often remembered as William Pitt the Younger in history. He became the youngest British Prime Minister in history, at only 24 years of age.