Who were the real winners of the Glorious Revolution?

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The most obvious winners of the Glorious Revolution would be William of Orange and his wife Mary, who came to England to take the throne vacated by James II amid the revolution. The real winners, however, were the men who controlled Parliament--mostly landed gentry, wealthy merchants, and aristocrats. These men imposed serious limitations on the powers of the King in the form of a Bill of Rights that William had to sign as a condition of assuming power. The King was forced to regularly convene Parliament, to pass no taxes without its consent, and to respect other fundamental civil liberties. Parliament duly placed England on a path toward developing a modern commercial economy that benefited many of the promoters of the Revolution. Historian Steve Pincus writes in his book 1688 that the Glorious Revolution "created a new kind of modern state," one which, unlike the French-style kingdom envisioned by James II, "encouraged political participation rather than absolutism", featured "religious tolerance rather than Catholicizing," and "was devoted to promoting English manufactures rather than landed empires" (7). At least this was what the revolutionaries envisioned.

If the people who promoted these things were the "winners," the "losers," along with James II and his followers, were most emphatically British Catholics, who suffered a great deal of discrimination in the aftermath of the Revolution. But most modern historians would argue that the leaders of Parliament were the winners of the Glorious Revolution. 

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