The Glorious Revolution of England

The Glorious Revolution of England took place during the year 1688, under the rule of King James II (r. 1685-1688). King James was the successor of Charles II, who had re-established the English monarchy in 1660 after the dictatorship of the Puritan army general Oliver Cromwell.

King James II (James, Duke of York) had converted to Catholicism in 1667. When this Catholic king came into power, the Protestant majority of England became worried. They did not want the Catholic Church to overtake England. So, when in 1688 the king had a son, the next Catholic king, the Protestants rebelled.

James II

James II

William of Orange, James’ son-in-law, was called into England to restore “English liberties and Protestantism.” Amazingly this overtaking of England by William was bloodless, at least compared to previous wars. There were only fifteen deaths. When William took over the throne of England and began to rule with his wife Mary (both Protestants) James fled to France.

The English Bill of Rights, written by William of Orange, was then passed. It listed several grievances against the previous king (James II) and then gave principles by which William would rule. These principles were mainly contrary to the grievances and were based upon Protestant beliefs.

William of Orange

William of Orange

The Glorious Revolution (called glorious due to its lack of bloodshed) is important in English history because it turned England away from the ‘normal’ type of government. While the rest of Europe was ruling with absolutism, the English turned away and began anew.

One thought on “The Glorious Revolution of England

  1. Hmmm… The English Revolution is one of my weaknesses when it comes to history simply because I have never heard about it. Actually, I read about it once, but I didn’t know it was the English Revolution. From the essay it sounded more like a coup than a revolution (it was still a revolution since it wasn’t very quiet). 🙂 These essays are pretty good, short and simple. Not my style but everyone is different and I filled a gap. 🙂


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