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Encyclopedia > War of Jenkin's Ear

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War of Jenkins' Ear

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The War of Jenkins' Ear, also known as King George's war was a conflict between Great Britain and Spain that lasted from 1739 to 1742. Britain declared war on Spain after hearing reports of the mistreatment of English seamen by Spain (who accused the seamen of smuggling). Most notably, Robert Jenkins, captain of the ship Rebecca, exhibited his severed ear to the British House of Commons and claimed that Spanish coast guards had cut it off - hence the name of the conflict. The British Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, then reluctantly declared war on October 23, 1739.

The War of Jenkins' Ear would later merge into the War of Austrian Succession.



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