What was glorious about the Revolution of 1688?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Of course, the Revolution was only "glorious" to the victors. The event, however, is remembered in this way for several reasons. First, it marked the permanent defeat of absolutism in Britain. The Revolution permanently established the principle of limited monarchy in the form of King and Parliament. When William III took the throne, he agreed, as a condition of his coronation, to the limits imposed by the Declaration (later the Bill) of Rights. Many of these rights, including trial by jury, habeas corpus, taxation by representation, and the right to petition, became fundamental to "English liberties." This, of course, was different than the universal liberties cited by the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, but it was still understandably remembered as a "glorious" watershed moment in English history. The Glorious Revolution is also remembered as the moment when Britain emerged as a European power, as it began a series of wars with France that culminated with ultimate victory in the Seven Years' War. Also, English Protestants remember the Revolution as "Glorious" because the abdication of James II, the accession of William, and the 1701 Act of Settlement saw the end of serious Catholic claims to the throne. Finally, and perhaps most simply, the Revolution was "Glorious" because it witnessed almost no bloodshed (though, as noted above, it played a major role in ushering in the almost ceaseless European wars of the eighteenth century.)

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