How did the Glorious Revolution impact the colonists?

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In the Revolution of 1688, also called the Glorious Revolution, William III replaced James II as King of England. William of Orange invaded England from the Netherlands and ruled along with James’ daughter, who became Mary II. Because King James was Catholic, the possible return of England to Catholic control had seemed likely; William and Mary were Protestant. Violent conflicts occurred from November 1688–February 1689, until William and Mary were finally installed as joint monarchs following several parliamentary votes against them and were pursuant to the adoption of a Bill of Rights that included some limits on royal power. In addition to making England officially a Protestant country, their ascension had immediate repercussions in Scotland and the North American colonies.

One lasting legacy, through the adoption of the Bill of Rights, was that England became a constitutional monarchy. Numerous aspects of the English Bill of Rights were incorporated into the later American version. Another more immediate result in North America was the collapse of the Dominion of New England; in the 1689 Boston Revolt, Governor Andros was removed with support from a provincial militia. In New York, the acting administrator, General Nicholson, formerly Andros’ Lieutenant Governor, was removed in Leister’s Rebellion which persisted for two years. The government of Province of Maryland, then a predominantly Catholic colony, similarly was overthrown. Overall, the chaotic situation in England proved advantageous to Americans who favored self-governance and allowed them to make inroads that influenced the independence movement in the next century.

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