The “Glorious Revolution” (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The “Glorious Revolution” heralds the triumph of parliamentary government and the further limitation of royal authority within the bounds of English constitutional law.
Summary of Event
A watershed event in modern English constitutional history, the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688 completed the changes occurring in England during the mid-seventeenth century. The Puritan Revolution had begun in 1642 as part of a long dispute between the Stuart kings and Parliament concerning their respective roles in government. In 1649, Oliver Cromwell abolished both kingship and Parliament. This transformation of the English constitution did not long survive Cromwell’s death in 1658, but it did bequeath to the monarchical Restoration of 1660 the idea that the Crown no longer had absolute power and that it must rule through Parliament. During his long reign, Charles II conceded this arrangement, while consolidating his royal authority. His brother James, who succeeded him in 1685, quickly alienated Parliament, precipitating a crisis that led to the Glorious Revolution.
James II came to the throne a devout Roman Catholic and upholder of the divine right of kings. There was at first, however, no fervor to depose him for such shortcomings, particularly as he seemed unlikely to leave a male heir who would perpetuate Catholic rule. James had two Protestant daughters, Mary and Anne, by his first wife,...
(The entire section is 1490 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!