Glorious Revolution

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William of Orange ascended after the Glorious Revolution as William III. the English throne.

In the Glorious Revolution - the glorious revolution - of 1688/1689, the opponents of royal absolutism in England decided the power struggle with the Stuart kingdom that had been waged since the beginning of the 17th century finally in their favor. With the enforcement of the Bill of Rights, you laid the foundation for today's parliamentary system of government in the United Kingdom . Since the revolution, the king is no longer alone there, but only in connection with the parliament ( king-in-parliament ) bearer of state sovereignty .

The revolution ended the policy of religious tolerance that King James II of England, who had converted to Catholicism himself , had pursued towards Catholics . While the Protestant dissenters were assured of freedom of belief in the act of tolerance , the Catholics were subject to discriminatory regulations for over a century after the revolution. After the fall of the Catholic monarch, Wilhelm III. von Orange , Jacob's nephew and son-in-law, took the throne together with Jacob's Protestant daughter Maria II .

Even contemporaries used the term Glorious Revolution in deliberate contrast to the turmoil of the English Civil War , which ended with the execution of King Charles I and the establishment of a republic under Oliver Cromwell . It was believed that the comparatively bloodless coup of 1688/1689 was crowned with success because it was surrounded by the “ halo ” of a new kingdom.


Jacob's brother Charles II , who ruled England from 1660 to 1685, was close to Catholicism in his personal beliefs . In order not to endanger his rule, which was only restored in 1660 , he protected the constitutional rights of the Anglican state church and passed laws against Catholics and nonconformists . This policy was supported by large parts of the population, the gentry and the nobility, as well as parliament and the church . Charles II only converted to Catholicism on his deathbed.

Francisco Lopes Suasso, Baron d'Avernas le Gras, around 1700 ( Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam )

Jakob had already taken this step at the end of the 1660s. So in 1685 the situation arose that a Catholic became King of England and head of the Anglican Church. He was also a proponent of an absolutist monarchy based on the French and Spanish models. Soon after his accession to the throne on April 23, 1685, Jacob went on a course of confrontation with the Whigs . Jacob also entrusted Catholics with offices at court, in administration and in the army, which he disregarded laws such as the test act . He believed that he was entitled to do so because of his absolutist understanding of rule. At the same time, however, he also exercised tolerance towards Protestant nonconformists such as the Quakers .

Since Jacob had no male heir and his two daughters, Maria and Anne , who were entitled to inherit from their first marriage, had a Protestant upbringing, large parts of the English population and parts of the Anglican Church initially accepted his policy. There was a reasonable prospect that the policy of the king, who was already over 50 years old, could be quickly revised after his death. In particular the Anglican high church, which had always defended the divine right of kings ( Divine Right ), argued that one should not refuse to obey a Catholic authority or even oppose it. This only changed when Jacob wanted to force the Anglican bishops to read a declaration of tolerance towards Catholicism from the pulpits. With the refusal of the bishops, they gave up the principle of non resistance , which had always made them the strongest pillar of royalty.

The final impetus for the unification of all political and religious opponents of the king from parliament, the nobility and the church came for dynastic reasons: When the king and his second wife, the strictly Catholic Maria Beatrix of Modena , were born in the summer of 1688, a son was threatened permanent establishment of a Catholic dynasty. The majority of the Anglican bishops also agreed to call the King's Protestant daughter, Maria, and her Calvinist husband, William of Orange , governor- general of the Netherlands , into the country and offer them the crown together. This followed the call mainly for reasons of alliance policy. William saw the chance of winning England over to the opponents of King Louis XIV of France.

After being invited by a group of nobles, the Immortal Seven , William of Orange crossed over to England with a strong mercenary army in the autumn of 1688 in order to rush to the aid of the "besieged English people". Francisco Lopes Suasso , one of the most ardent supporters of the House of Orange and one of the most powerful bankers in the Republic of the Seven United Provinces , financed the expedition to England with 2 million guilders .

Wilhelm's landing was the only successful invasion of England since 1066. Because of the overflow of numerous nobles to Wilhelm, Jacob II found himself unable to face him militarily and fled to France. He threw the state seal on his escape into the Thames . This was interpreted by his opponents as an abdication, so that his daughter and his son-in-law as Maria II. And Wilhelm III. were able to ascend the vacant throne.

Despite several attempts at forcible recapture, James II and his heirs did not succeed in reasserting their claims to the crown. Jacob died in French exile on September 16, 1701. Up until the middle of the 18th century there were some revolts of their followers, the Jacobites . But Wilhelm managed to stabilize his rule in England. Through his legislation he significantly strengthened English parliamentarism , exercised religious tolerance only towards Protestant dissenters and was able to ensure that even after his death in 1702 and the accession of Anne , another daughter of Jacob II, there was no rapprochement between England and France.


The Glorious Revolution was a process based primarily on religious motives, which was exacerbated by the political considerations of all those involved. The Church of England , which was split off from Rome by Henry VIII, played an important role here . In the years that followed its formation, Anglicanism , although it was written as “ Catholic ” ( episcopal ), but predominantly Calvinist in teaching , stabilized , and Maria Tudor's attempts to catholicize England again were unsuccessful.

Through the Elizabethan Settlement of 1559, the King of England was also appointed "Supreme Governor of the Church" and thus underpinned the separation from Rome. The introduction of the Book of Common Prayer, in turn, split the Reformation movement and led to the foundation of the Puritan movement , which gained increasing popularity in the following years and, in addition to strict moral doctrine, demanded the independence of the church from royalty. At the same time, the population and the clergy radicalized into strict anti-Catholicism , reinforced by the excommunication of Queen Elizabeth in 1570, the action of the Spanish Armada against England in 1588, the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 (a Catholic conspiracy against James I and the Parliament), fear in front of a Catholic invasion in the 1620s and the outbreak of the Irish rebellion of 1641. anti Popery (anti-Popery) thus became an indispensable basic factor of English society of the 17th century, not only in and national level but also at the local level .

In stark contrast to this stood the policy of the Crown, which, with its rapprochement first with Catholic Spain and later with Catholic France, acted in diametrical opposition to the expectations of the people and a large part of the nobility. The Arminian church policy , which was significantly promoted by Charles I , which provided for a stronger formalization of the church liturgy and sought to reverse central elements of the Calvinist church reforms (e.g. in the dress code, the role of the presbytery and the communion liturgy ), stirred up mistrust the crown. The conviction that a "king involved in Catholic conspiracies had forfeited the right to obedience" began to prevail. In 1637 this conflict led to organized resistance in Scotland, which Charles responded to in 1640 with an invasion of his troops ( episcopal wars ). A parliament that he had convened for this purpose, but which did not support his financial demands, was dismissed by him after just three weeks ( short parliament ). However, after the English army was defeated by Scottish troops at the end of August and they established themselves in northern England, the king was forced to convene a new parliament ( Long Parliament ) and sign a ceasefire agreement .

The Long Parliament was able to usurp part of the royal sovereignty from the start by demanding that the peace negotiations with Scotland and the payment of the army be handled. At the same time, his actions were directed against the immediate vicinity of the king, especially against the royal advisor and Catholic Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford , against whom impeachment proceedings were initiated. Archbishop Laud was also charged , which resulted in the factual disempowerment of the church courts and thus the collapse of state-church censorship.

The conflict between Parliament and the King intensified in May 1641 when it became known that Karl was seriously considering using the remnants of his army to liberate Strafford from the Tower ( Army Plot ). The House of Commons passed a death sentence on Strafford. Public protests and demonstrations in front of the House of Lords and the royal palace eventually resulted in the king dropping his former close adviser. As a result, parliament tightened its course against the king, curtailed his right to dissolve parliament, abolished essential taxes and duties introduced by the king and dissolved special government organs (courts of law) that were directly subordinate to the king. The Grand Remonstrance was also to be understood as an attack on the king, as it listed all the mistakes and legal violations of royal policy since the 1620s and demanded that those responsible be punished and removed from the king's circle.

The uprising of the Irish, which Charles's opponents condemned as a renewed conspiracy of the king against parliament, escalated the situation completely: After parliament, in view of the precarious situation, demanded control over the army needed to suppress the uprising ( Militia Ordinance ), the responded King with a high treason suit against several members of the House of Commons and tried a day later to have the accused arrested in violation of their immunity . This failed, however, and Charles I was executed on January 30, 1649.

The English Civil War

The English Civil War began on October 23, 1642 and lasted, with a few interruptions, until 1649. At first the troops loyal to the king succeeded in pushing back the army of Parliament; From 1645 on, however, this was able to reorganize and, with the support of the Scottish Army, which reoccupied the north of England through religious concessions, achieved a change in the conflict. In 1646, Charles I surrendered to the Scottish army, which, however, handed him over to the parliamentary army within a year . In June 1646 the fighting ceased, and a strong grouping in parliament ( peace party ) tried, driven by fear of too strong an influence of radical forces in parliament and army, to dissolve the standing force as quickly as possible. These in turn saw this as an attempt to sacrifice the interests of the people to a cheap compromise with the king, and mutinies against parliament broke out in late May and early June 1647 . On June 3, the religiously radicalized army, which had come into opposition to the Peace Party, finally took over the guarding of the imprisoned king and thus became the politically dominant power in the state.

The peace negotiations came to an abrupt end with Charles I's flight on Christmas 1647 and his military alliance with the Scottish armed forces (in return for the introduction of a presbyterial church constitution in England for an initial period of three years); in April the Second Civil War broke out. Apart from the invasion of a Scottish royalist army in the north-west, it was above all an uprising of individual counties and regions (especially Wales , Kent , Essex ) against the hated revolutionary government. Militarily, however, the parliamentary army dominated the action and set the king prisoner again in autumn 1648 with the conquest of Scotland . Negotiations were resumed with Karl, and an agreement and the reinstatement of the king seemed conceivable in the following months, because a not inconsiderable number of the MPs seemed to regard a restoration of the monarch as a lesser evil compared to continued military rule . The army, fearful of a sell-off of its interests, refused entry to the lower house for the moderate MPs and forced the so-called rump parliament . Further negotiations with the king were thus prevented, and on January 30, 1649, Charles was executed after a short process, according to the will of the leading officers: England became a republic .

The reign of Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England

The following decade brought England a basic republican order: in February the remaining rump parliament decided to dissolve the House of Lords and only a short time later to abolish the monarchy . The English people waited in vain for peace. After the death of Charles I, he was succeeded by his son Charles II on the Scottish throne. With the recognition of the Scottish church constitution, he secured the loyalty of the population and advanced with an army to England. However, Oliver Cromwell managed to defeat the king's troops, so that he had to flee into French exile (Scotland was forced into a union with England as a result ). In Ireland, too, Cromwell enforced British interests by force and subjugated the country with great brutality. This was immediately followed by the Anglo-Dutch naval war (1652-1654), with which the Netherlands reacted to the attempts of the Hull Parliament to expel them from the English sea ​​trade .

In 1653 the rump parliament itself was dissolved and Cromwell offered the quasi-monarchical office of lord protector, which the latter reluctantly accepted. The religious freedom granted under him in turn proved to be a new stumbling block in English history. With the emergence and growth of new religious tendencies, fear in English society of sects and of church and social disintegration grew . The death of Cromwell on September 3, 1658 soon led to the king's return on May 25, 1660.

Restoration and reign of Charles II

Charles's reign turned out to be very changeable. On the one hand, he attempted an alliance with the French crown, culminating in the secret Treaty of Dover in 1670 (in which the king even promised to convert to the Catholic faith in return for French payments if he could do so domestically), on the other hand Charles had to take into account the anti-French mood in his own country and let the marriage of Maria Stuart , the eldest daughter of his brother Jakob, Duke of York , with Wilhelm III. of Orange and thus an enemy of France. However, Karl managed to avoid a renewed division of the population and political actors by guaranteeing republicans and supporters of Cromwell's impunity and royal mercy with the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion in 1660 . A promised (but never redeemed) religious freedom for "tender consciences" also did its part to facilitate the transition to the restored system. Nevertheless, conflicts with former Republicans and religious minorities (especially the Quakers ( Quaker Act ) and the Presbyterians ( Act of Uniformity )) did arise in practice, and finally the king's generous approach to religious issues led to renewed fear of sects and papists , which in 1673 also led to the adoption of the test act , which excluded Catholics from all civil and military state offices.

The anti-Catholic mood was nourished in 1678 by the uncovering of an alleged " papist conspiracy ", which was planning to introduce Catholicism in England in order to subsequently assassinate the king and burn London down. Although fictitious, this story by Titus Oates caused hysteria among the population and contributed to the outbreak of the so-called exclusion crisis. In it, the political opposition of the Whigs tried to exclude Jacob, who openly professed Catholicism, from the line of succession by law ( Exclusion Bill ). He had already become the most prominent victim of the test files, when he passed the test files he had to give up the office of Lord High Admiral .

The king's reaction came in the form of the dissolution of Parliament and severe persecution of the nonconformists , compounded by the exposure of the Rye House Plots , a conspiracy seeking the lives of the King and Duke of York. The relationship between court / government and the Dissenters remained tense even after the death of Charles II, and as the Duke of Monmouth , an illegitimate but popular son of Charles II, James II with an invasion and a military uprising Wanted to contest the throne in 1685, the rebels included many Whigs. Charles II died on February 6, 1685 after converting to Catholicism on his deathbed.

The fight for the crown

The reign of Jacob II

James II, here as Duke of York

Unlike his brother, James II did not believe in restraint in the denominational controversy. From the beginning of his term in office, the staunch Catholic advocated extensive tolerance towards Catholicism in England. He was dominated by the idea that with such a tolerance, the Catholic Church would naturally prevail against the Anglican Church and the numerous sectarian splits and that a complete restoration in the country could be achieved in this way . Jacob's policy of tolerance also extended to radical Protestant denominations such as the Quakers.

First of all, however, the Monmouth Rebellion had to be put down. This was not difficult for the monarch, supported by the nobility and parliament, at this time, and although Monmouth was popular and his invading troops were reinforced by numerous dissenters from the people, Jakob was able to defeat him on July 5, 1685 at Sedgemoor . Monmouth and several of his followers were executed ( Bloody Assizes ).

Jacob then turned back to trying to weaken the Whigs he hated while strengthening the rights of the Catholic minority. A reform of the electoral districts ( Chartered Boroughs ) brought the Tories a strong majority in the parliamentary elections of the same year (1685) and Jacob thus a parliament according to his wishes. After a general royal amnesty for prisoners issued in January 1685 had favored Catholics in particular, Jakob turned from the summer of 1686 to the task of opening the civil service to Catholic subjects, bypassing the test acts ( oath of supremacy and test oath ) introduced in 1673 . Both in the Privy Council and in the army and rural administration (that is, in the ranks of the justices of the peace ) the king positioned fellow believers; when the Bishop of London, Henry Compton , protested against this, the Court of Ecclesiastical Commission was established in the summer of 1686 , a prerogative to control the Church. This legally very controversial construct (King and Parliament had refused a corresponding institution in 1641 and 1660), Jakob used not least to force the two universities of the country ( Oxford and Cambridge ) to accept Catholics into the teaching body.

Even among the Tories, the royal course caused suspicion, which was reinforced by Jacob's attempts to maintain a standing army beyond the suppression of the uprising directed against him . The MPs therefore showed little willingness to compromise when it came to Jacob's request to have the test files revoked and thus to legitimize the opening of the civil service and church institutions to Catholics. When the king failed so he decided between November 1686 and March 1687 for a radical change in its policy in which he dismissed a number of influential Tories out of office and his previous opponents, the Whigs and with them the Dissenters turn began . Jacob's new goal was now to win over the Whigs for his policy of tolerance in order to then achieve appropriate legislative changes with them in a newly elected parliament.

In order to secure the political support of both the Whigs and the Dissenters, the king issued a Declaration of Indulgence on April 4, 1687 , which gave the previously oppressed sects and Catholics a number of freedoms (e.g. the right to assembly , End of the 3-mile ban, etc.) and dismissed parliament three months later. Jacob's hope of further fragmentation of the Reformed Church, which was linked to the declaration of tolerance, was not fulfilled: Instead, the king's move sparked a lively discussion about whether the crown could unilaterally override a law passed jointly with parliament.

After Jakob had already filled numerous magistrate positions with Catholic supporters, another wave of dismissals followed in October 1687 for all the “Justices of Peace” who, upon request , had flatly refused to repeal the Clarendon Code and the test file. Despite this approach, Jacob II's goals at that time were still limited to improving the position of the Catholic population and enabling long-term tolerance for his religion. This was due not least to the knowledge that, because of his childlessness, the crown would fall to his daughter Maria , who was married to William of Orange , after his death , and that excessive rights of Catholics would probably be revoked after the change of the throne. This changed suddenly when it became clear in November 1687 that Jacob would become a father again and that there was therefore the possibility of a Catholic heir to the throne. From then on the king pursued his policy of tolerance towards the Dissenters and his attempts to obtain support for his religious-political course through a parliament dominated by the Whigs, with much more force.

However, the more the king pursued this course, the closer the earlier enemies, Dissenters and the Anglican Church , drew together, as they were equally interested in a Protestant heir to the throne. The birth of the Crown Prince on June 10, 1688, which was dismissed as a fraud by large parts of the population, brought these groups closer together.

The revolution of 1688/1689

The revolution of 1688/1689 was by no means an inevitable consequence of the actions of Jacob II, but required various impulses also at the European level. Despite the strong resistance to his policy of tolerance in 1688, it was by no means certain that there would be a strong reaction against the royal family among the population, the church and the nobility. The memories of Cromwell's reign and the horrors of the Civil War were still too fresh . It was not until Jacob's catastrophic actions after the birth of his son that the situation finally escalated.

In May 1688, the king issued a second declaration of tolerance which, although it showed little innovation compared to the declaration announced a year earlier, this time was to be proclaimed in two readings in church services throughout the country. The Anglican clergy was put under enormous pressure of conscience, since a refusal would result in an impeachment by the Court of Ecclesiastical Commission , but on the other hand the declaration was directed against the rights of the Anglican Church. In this situation, in May 1688, shortly before the first scheduled date of the proclamation, seven bishops took heart and refused to read the declaration from the pulpit in a petition to the king. Jakob then decided to bring the resistance to trial before the ecclesiastical court, and had them locked in the tower . However, this process of the seven bishops turned out to be fatal. The Seven were celebrated like martyrs in the population and in the church , large crowds made a pilgrimage to the Tower to support them, security guards were blessed by them and the reading of the royal edict failed disastrously. Even the trial itself was lost for the crown, because the court dared to acquit the bishops of the charge of "seditious defamation".

The proceedings also caused an extraordinarily significant change in mood among the Tories and the supporters of the state church: the non-resistance idea (the rejection of any resistance to the king), which was made law in 1662 and so far accepted without contradiction by the supporters of the crown , no longer appeared undisputed, because it is not sacrosanct even in the high clergy. The process thus ensured a final gathering of the opposing forces of both the Whigs and Dissenters as well as the Tories and Anglicans.

From then on, there were increasing signs that the government was beginning to lose political control over local affairs in various places. Catholic lord lieutenants and justices of the peace complained that the Protestant subjects refused to obey them. In other places, trials were carried out against Catholics who held government offices in contravention of existing laws. At the same time, the number of political pamphlets directed against the royal family rose sharply, while calls for support from the king's son-in-law, William of Orange, became increasingly loud.

After Jacob's friend and ally Louis XIV triggered a wave of refugees of around a quarter of a million Huguenots to the Protestant countries of Europe through his Edict of Fontainebleau from 1685 , but two years later prohibited mass emigration and sought a violent solution, the anti-Catholic mood rose to the Panic. Wilhelm himself had been planning to intervene in England for a long time, as he feared that the Catholic forces in Europe would gain further strength as a result of Jacob's pro-French policy and saw the establishment of a standing army forced by the English king as an imminent threat to his interests. It was important to him not to give the impression of an enemy invasion.

In April 1688 he asked a group of influential members of the House of Lords and Commons, including Compton, to send him a formal invitation. At the same time, he ensured the support of Emperor Leopold I and the German princes for his company. After the healthy heir to the throne was born in June, the last doubts fell and the so-called Immortal Seven finally complied with Wilhelm's request. Wilhelm could now prepare for the invasion by convincing the Dutch Estates General to provide him with money and troops. The war of the Palatinate Succession that broke out in September played into his hands, making the planned company appear as a preventive measure against a renewal of the Anglo-French alliance, which in 1672 almost led to the fall of the Dutch Republic. Many English nobles and military men, including the future Duke of Marlborough , pledged their support to Wilhelm in advance.

In November 1688, Wilhelm's troops landed at Torbay in south-west England and were enthusiastically received by the population there. The troops of Jacob II sent against him, reinforced by Irish fighters, offered little resistance to the invaders; Wilhelm's clever approach and a friendly attitude towards the civilian population ensured that numerous English officers and soldiers overflowed. In addition, Jacob weakened himself by having the queen and his son brought to France and trying to escape himself. Only after the second attempt did he succeed in doing so in late December 1688, not without sinking the Great State Seal in the Thames and threatening retribution against the insurgents. The way for Wilhelm to ascend to the throne was paved.

Accession to the throne of Wilhelm III.

In January 1689, the hastily elected Convention Parliament met and put Wilhelm III. of Orange and Mary II entered the line of succession with the argument that the throne had become vacant. This bypassed another dispute over the right of resistance , the proponents of which did not want to get involved in a conflict with the re-strengthened Tories, and the blame for the break in the line of succession was attributed to the last Stuart king. The constitutional regulation of the succession to the throne, according to which Maria's younger sister Anne Wilhelm and Maria should succeed to the throne, was made in the spring of 1689 in the Declaration of Rights . In addition, Parliament reserved for all future the right to determine, together with the royal courts of law, the content and, in particular, the limits of royal prerogatives . The crown was also denied the right to simply remove unpopular judges from office in the future, to unilaterally override joint resolutions of parliament and the crown and finally to take a position outside the law. With the approval of the crown, the Declaration of Rights in December 1689 became the Bill of Rights in a defused form and thus completed the principle of the rule of law at the constitutional level . However, it would be wrong to see this as the foundation of a constitutional monarchy in England. Rather, this was based on concessions that were not won in 1689, but only in the course of the next twelve years.

At the end of 1689, Parliament also took up a second concern, which had become inevitable due to the events of the previous years: With the act of tolerance , the religious question was settled, which finally granted the dissenters certain rights and freedoms to practice their religion, these but linked to both the oath of homage and the supremacy oath. Catholics, Jews and anti-Trinitarians were still excluded from the regulation.

While Wilhelm's accession to the throne was largely positively received in England, he encountered massive resistance from supporters of Jacob ( Jacobites ) in the Scottish Highlands . A first survey led by " Bonnie Dundee " took place during the session of the Convention Parliament and could not be put down until May 1690. The hard and uncompromising actions of his Scottish representatives (e.g. during the massacre of Glencoe (1692)) and his anti-French policy also gave the king a great deal of suspicion among his northern subjects.

The situation in Ireland , where Jakob and a French army landed at Kinsale on March 12, 1689, proved even more problematic . Supported by the Catholic population, he first moved to Dublin and then to the City of Londonderry , a Protestant stronghold, which he besieged unsuccessfully. On July 12 of the following year, Wilhelm was able to decisively defeat Jacob in the Battle of the Boyne and subsequently to recapture the entire island by 1691. Jakob withdrew again into his French exile , from which he never returned. The movement of the Jacobites, who wanted to appoint Jakob, then his son James ( the Old Pretender ) and finally his son Charles ( Bonnie Prince Charlie ) as heir to the throne, remained a threat to Wilhelm's successors until 1746.

Coronation ceremony

William of Orange and Mary were crowned together on April 11, 1689 in London in the first and to this day only double coronation. It was hoped that this double coronation would increase the legitimacy of William of Orange, since in the strict sense his wife was the heir to the throne. A few major changes were made to the coronation ceremony. The House of Commons attended the ceremony. They could, as it were, monitor the action from their raised platform. The coronation oath was modified to bind the monarchs to parliament. With the new oath they promised ... to govern the people of this kingdom of England ... according to the statutes in parliament agreed on, and the laws and customs of the same . After all, the coronation was not performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury - who refused because he still considered James II the legitimate king - but by the Bishop of London.

Settlement and Politics after 1689

William III. pulled England into the warfare of continental Europe and with its politics laid the foundation for the development of the state into a major European power and later a world power. With his coup, Wilhelm also rose to become one of the leaders of the Protestant resistance against the hegemonic aspirations of the French king and inflicted a serious defeat in the Peace of Rijswijk . In the War of the Spanish Succession, too, England proved to be a driving force that knew how to push back the French coalition.

The military undertakings of Wilhelm III. also had a significant side effect: the high costs of waging war made good cooperation with parliament, which was responsible for approving taxes and revenues, imperative. In return, Parliament had numerous concessions granted by the Crown . The beginning was made in 1694 with the renewal of the Triennial Act , which stipulated that parliament convened every three years and a maximum duration of the respective parliament of three years. On the eve of the War of the Spanish Succession, the Act of Settlement was followed by the establishment of a Protestant succession, with which Parliament for the first time won the right to regulate the succession (this right was confirmed with the Regency Act in 1707 ). In addition, the Act of Settlement re-established the independence of the country's courts from the government, thus helping to establish a constitutional monarchy. At the same time, Parliament encouraged the creation of a broad political public by not renewing the existing system of press censorship in 1695. The number of people entitled to vote rose despite the Tories increasing qualifications for eligibility to vote.

Long-term importance

In the long run, the overthrow turned out to be important not only for the history of England , but also for the development of parliamentarism around the world. Since more and more states have taken the English system of government as their model since the 18th century , the constitutional questions raised in the Glorious Revolution and those raised in the English Civil War shaped political theory far beyond Great Britain. The effects of the Glorious Revolution on the British financial system were similarly long-term. The British crown owned significantly less land compared to other European monarchies. With the Glorious Revolution, Parliament increased its direct control over the spending of the British royal family. It ultimately led to the introduction of the gold standard in 1717 , which deprived the Lord Treasurer of the opportunity to carry out a hidden devaluation of the British currency by reducing the precious metal content of the coins. There was also increased professionalism in the filling of public offices. Offices such as that of tax collector were awarded on a salary basis and not auctioned off as in France, which led to greater tax justice. In the middle of the 18th century, London had a functioning stock exchange due to this solid form of state economy, on which mainly bonds of the British government were traded. Securities trading also attracted foreign investors. The Dutch in particular invested in British government bonds. Great Britain thus differed from European monarchies in its economic system and thus laid the basis for an economic and political development that was much quieter than on the European mainland.

Some of the discriminatory regulations against British Catholics ended with Catholic emancipation . To this day, the consequences of the "Glorious Revolution" are also noticeable in the Northern Ireland conflict between Catholics and Protestants.

supporting documents


  • Günter Barudio : The Age of Absolutism and the Enlightenment 1648–1779. 11th edition. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt / M. 1981, ISBN 3-596-60025-1 (Fischer-Weltgeschichte; Volume 25).
  • Kaspar von Greyerz: England in the century of the revolution 1603-1714 . Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-8252-1791-4 .
  • Eckhart Hellmuth: The glorious revolution 1688/89 . In: Peter Wende (Ed.): Great Revolutions. From early modern times to the present . Beck, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-406-46703-2 .
  • Thomas Babington Macaulay : The Glorious Revolution. History of England 1688/89 . Manesse Verlag, Zurich 1998, ISBN 3-7175-8240-2 (19th century classic from England)
  • Hans-Christoph Schröder : The revolutions of England in the 17th century. 3rd edition, Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt / M. 1994, ISBN 3-518-11279-1 (edition suhrkamp 1279).
  • Daniël Swetschinski, Loeki Schönduve: De familie Lopes Suasso, financiers van Willem III. Zwolle, 1988.

Individual evidence

  1. For more details see Wikipedia
  2. Hendrik Jacob Koenen: Geschiedenis der Joden in Nederland , p. 208 ff. The donor did not even ask for a receipt and no interest, he just said: “If you are successful, you can repay me. If you are unsuccessful, it will be my loss. ”Prince Wilhelm's connection with Sephardic Jewish financiers continued after he became King of England.
  3. Jonathan I. Israel: The Anglo-Dutch Moment. Essays on the Glorious Revolution and Its World Impact. Cambridge University Press 2003, p. 440 The suitcase with which Wilhelm paid off his debts is today in the exhibition of the Willet Holthuisen Museum in Amsterdam.
  4. ^ Niall Ferguson : The Ascent of Money - A Financial History of the World , Penguin Books Ltd, London 2009, ISBN 978-0-14-103548-2 , pp. 76 f.

Web links

This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on August 20, 2006 .