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The Glorious Revolution

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  • The Glorious Revolution

    The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, was the overthrow of King James II of England (VII of Scotland) in 1688 by a union of Parliamentarians and the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau (William of Orange), who as a result ascended the English throne as William III of England.

    William and Mary laid careful plans over a number of months for an invasion, which they hoped to execute in September. Their first concern was to avoid any impression of foreign conquest and they asked already in April for a formal invitation to be issued by a group of worthies. Only after the Prince of Wales had been born however the Immortal Seven, consisting of one bishop and six nobles, decided to comply, the letter reaching William on June 30. It should be emphasized that this was not an invitation to become king but to "save the Protestant religion" and that the "seven" were not fully aware this would probably lead to a war with France. Also William's confidant Hans Willem Bentinck launched a propaganda campaign in England, presenting William as really a true Stuart but one blessedly free from the, according to the pamphlets, usual Stuart vices of cryptocatholicism, absolutism and debauchery. Much of the later "spontaneous" support for William had been carefully organised by him and his agents.

    William considered his veteran army to be sufficient in size to defeat any forces (all rather inexperienced) James could throw against him, but it had been decided to avoid the hazards of battle and maintain a defensive attitude in the hope James's position might collapse by itself; thus he landed far away from James's army, expecting that his English allies would take the initiative in acting against James while he ensured his own protection against potential attacks. William was prepared to wait; he had paid his troops in advance for a three-month campaign. A slow advance had the added benefit of not over-extending the supply lines; the Dutch troops were under strict orders not even to forage, for fear that this would degenerate into plundering which would alienate the population. On November 9 William took Exeter after the magistrates had fled the city. From November 12, in the North, many nobles began to declare for William, as they had promised. However in the first weeks most people carefully avoided taking sides; as a whole the nation neither rallied behind its king, nor welcomed William, but passively awaited the outcome of events.

    The Revolution of 1688 is considered by some as being one of the most important events in the long evolution of the respective powers of Parliament and the Crown in England. With the passage of the Bill of Rights, it stamped out once and for all any possibility of a Catholic monarchy, and ended moves towards monarchical absolutism in the British Isles by circumscribing the monarch's powers. These powers were greatly restricted; he could no longer suspend laws, levy taxes, or maintain a standing army during peacetime without Parliament's permission. Since 1689, government under a system of constitutional monarchy in England, and later the United Kingdom, has been uninterrupted. Since then, Parliament's power has steadily increased while the Crown's has steadily declined. Unlike in the civil war of the mid-seventeenth century, the "Glorious Revolution" did not involve the masses of ordinary people in England (the majority of the bloodshed occurred in Ireland). This fact has led many historians to suggest that in England at least the events more closely resemble a coup d'état than a social revolution.

    Shamelessly lifted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glorious_Revolution
    Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
    Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


    "Never pet a burning dog."

    RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
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  • #2
    Hmm, interesting. I consider Stuart Britain to be my favorite period in British history, and this is a nice summary of the end of that era.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jelay14 View Post
      Hmm, interesting. I consider Stuart Britain to be my favorite period in British history, and this is a nice summary of the end of that era.
      Yeah, it's less biased that many I have read.
      Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
      Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


      "Never pet a burning dog."

      RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
      http://www.mormon.org
      http://www.sca.org
      http://www.scv.org/
      http://www.scouting.org/

      Comment


      • #4
        Not to mention it starts the Jacobite movement; battle o' Killiecrankie and all that.

        Anyone else noticed how Grahams seem to get the short stick of it during this period?

        Montrose in 1650; Bonnie Dundee killed at Killiecrankie...
        And it's over the mountain and over the Main,
        Through Gibralter, to France and Spain.
        Pit a feather tae your bonnet, and a kilt aboon your knee,
        Enlist my bonnie laddie and come awa with me.

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