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Sir Robert Sullivan Pearce, GCMG, QC, PC (March 13, 1835 - September 21, 1912) was the first Prime Minister of Georgeland and its second-longest serving leader. Pearce was a leading figure in the movement for greater self-government in Georgeland despite significant opposition from his party and is frequently considered as one of the country's greatest Prime Ministers. His government established a great many national institutions that survive today, but was also marked by internal dissent and diplomatic crises, especially regarding to the assertion of Georgeland's own interests, distinct from those of the United Kingdom.

Robert Sullivan Pearce

Sir Robert Pearce

Position 1st Prime Minister of Georgeland
Term in office 1 July 1891 - 16 August 1903
Preceded by New Office
Succeeded by Nicholas Turner
Political party Conservative
Total time in office 12 years 1 month 18 days (2nd)
Born March 13, 1835
Died September 21, 1912
Spouse Carmen Pearce

Early life[]

Pearce was born in Ludlow, Shropshire, England on 13 March 1835, the son of an anglican curate. Pearce's mother died when he was seven, and his father emigrated to Georgeland in 1843, settling with his five children in Fairhaven, Scoita. Young Pearce attended boarding school in Emilypolis from 1848 to 1850, before being sent overseas to England to attend Eton and Cambridge. In 1862 he returned to Georgeland and was admitted to the bar in 1866.
Pearce gained a reputation as a strong prosecutor, and in 1874 was appointed as the government attorney for the Scoitan island. In 1880, Pearce left this position to run for public office, and was elected to the Emilypolis council. He was elected to the colonial assembly in 1883.

Early political career[]

Pearce began his career as an independent but was attracted to the politics of the newly-formed Conservative Party and joined its ranks in 1885. Less than a year later, he was appointed as the colony's Attorney General by Chief Minister Alexander Newman. Pearce was a staunch advocate of free trade and of Georgeland's greater autonomy. This put him in conflict with Newman, who was both a protectionist and a colonialist. Pearce made several speeches, both in and out of parliament, on the right of Georgelanders to self-determination. Far from a republican, Pearce was a dedicated imperialist who believed in a strong, but disperate, British Empire. His speeches around the country as Attorney General met with great public support, but in November 1887 Newman dismissed him. He continued to push for Dominion status, however, and took Canada as his model for a potential independent Georgeland.

Chief Minister[]

In March 1888, Newman died and Pearce stood against John Bartlett to replace him. Pearce was elected as the colony's Chief Minister and sworn in on March 15. He immediately moved Dominion status to the top of the agenda. In July, he sailed to London to meet with a British delegation, including the Colonial Secretary, Knutsford, and later with Salisbury to discuss the issue. Salisbury was amenable to the proposal, but Knutsford and the colonial office had reservations. Finally, on August 4, Pearce met directly with Queen Victoria, who offered consent if the Parliament consented. Following a further round of discussions, Salisbury agreed to put the matter to Parliament if a written Constitution were provided. Pearce sailed to Georgeland triumphant. The actual Constitution was probably written more by Edward Hollows, John Bartlett and Samuel Horrocks than by Pearce, though it is likely Pearce had some influence. Modern constitutional experts and historians generally believe that Pearce was responsible for the clause relating to double dissolutions, as he had been frustrated in the past by the legislative council's vetoing of government legislation.
The constitution was passed as a Bill by the Weston colonial parliament in February 1891, and in March was subjected to a referendum, which passed with 63% of Georgelanders voting for it. The Constitution of Georgeland Act was passed by the British Parliament in May, with the Royal Assent recieved on June 2, 1891. By agreement between Weston and London, the date the Constitution would take effect was set as July 1.

Prime Minister[]

As Chief Minister, Pearce was the only legitimate choice to become Prime Minister (initially referred to as Premier or Chief Minister - the term 'Prime Minister' only began to be universally accepted c. 1910) and was appointed to the role on July 1. His Cabinet remained largely unchanged from its Colonial counterpart - however, Pearce quickly found the influence of the new States to be greater than he had anticipated in deciding the makeup of the ministry. On September 4, Pearce's Conservatives won 64 out of 120 seats in the new Georgeland House of Commons at the first general election held with the new national Parliament. Pearce restructured his ministry to take the influence of the states into account. Pearce himself held the position of Minister for External Affairs, and also Attorney General from 1895. Pearce himself had been elected to the constituency of Foxworth at the election.
Pearce's first government introduced a series of Bills which established the foundations of the new government. The Supreme Court was established in 1894, the Defence Force in 1896 and the Bank of Georgeland in 1897. The Bank of Georgeland issue was contentious, with several Conservatives taking the position that a central bank would be contrary to economic prosperity.
Pearce was re-elected in 1895 and 1899.

Defeat and retirement[]

Pearce's final term in office began in 1899 with the Loans and Arbitration Act establishing federal control over loans to states. This was challenged in the new Supreme Court, which ruled against the government in 1900. Pearce saw the loss as a personal affront (the Chief Justice, Horrocks, was a personal friend and a Pearce appointment). He attempted to appeal to the Privy Council but the appeal was denied. Despite this, the British government thought highly of Pearce, and he became known and respected as a legislator, orator and statesman throughout the British Empire. Samuel Griffith and other Australian figures consulted with Pearce on the makeup of the new Australian Constitution], which was modelled largely on Georgeland's. Pearce recieved the GCMG in 1901 in a special ceremony in London which co-incided with his tenth anniversary as Prime Minister.
Pearce by now had nonetheless become deeply unpopular at home, due in part to his frequent absences and his deference to Britain. The increasing tide of nationalism, given full support by the Labour Party and supported by Irish Catholics, turned against Pearce. At the 1903 election, the opposition Protectionists won 66 seats to the Conservatives' 34, a gain of thirty-six. Pearce was defeated as Prime Minister and tendered his resignation to the Governor-General, who commissioned Nicholas Turner to form a government. Pearce had not expected his defeat and took it as a bitter blow. He resigned his seat in the House of Commons and in 1904 returned to England, where he remained until his death. He wrote several treatises on government after his defeat. In 1910 he attempted to be selected as the Conservative candidate for the British seat of Berwick-upon-Tweed but was unsuccessful. On 21 September 1912, Pearce died of kidney failure in London at the age of 77. In accordance with his will, Pearce's body was returned to Georgeland and buried in Fairhaven where he had first settled.

Personal and family[]

Pearce married Carmen Latimer in 1866 while studying for the bar exam. The Pearces had three children - Richard (1867-1943), Daniel (1870-1937), later a Tory MP, and Robert Stuart Pearce (1873-1958), later Governor of Scoita. The Pearce family are still active in Scoita and Emilypolis - Professor John Pearce is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Scoita. Carmen Pearce died in 1920.


Pearce is considered in Georgeland as the undisputed "father of the nation". The constitutional and legislative framework Pearce put in place as Prime Minister continued to dominate Georgeland politics well into the twentieth century, with many of the institutions he created still existing. He is an icon of the Conservative Party but is nonetheless respected by the left of politics for his assertion of independence from Great Britain. The Sir Robert Pearce Memorial Centre at Fairhaven is a museum and monument devoted to Pearce's life, and the Pearce Scholarship at the University of Scoita offers grants to leaders in the field of constitutional studies. There are several statues and monuments to Pearce. Pearce, along with Turner, Horrocks, Bartlett and Hollows, are each memorialised in the statue garden outside the Georgeland Houses of Parliament.
Pearce's record of 12 years in power was unsurpassed until 1995, when Noel Quarton became Georgeland's longest-serving Prime Minister. Pearce continues to be its second-longest-serving and the longest-serving Conservative.

Pearce's governments[]

Preceded by
New Office
Prime Minister of Georgeland
July 1, 1891 - August 16, 1903
Succeeded by
Nicholas Turner
Preceded by
Alexander Newman
Chief Minister of the Colony of Georgeland
March 15, 1888 - July 1, 1891
Succeeded by
Office Abolished
Preceded by
New Office
Leader of the Conservative Party of Georgeland
July 1, 1891 - September 2, 1903
Succeeded by
Norman Calloway