Davis Simons

What was the Glorious Revolution?

The Glorious Revolution was when William of Orange took the English throne from James II in 1688.

The new co-monarchy of King William III and Queen Mary II had more limitations from Parliament than previous monarchs, and the new constitution created the expectation that future monarchs would also remain constrained by Parliament. After a civil war, Charles I was beheaded in 1649. His sons, Charles and James, fled to France

Oliver Cromwell ruled England in the 1650s. Cromwell’s death in 1659 caused many political problems, so Parliament invited Charles I’s sons back from exile, and the English monarchy was restored with the coronation of Charles II in 1660.

Charles and James returned to Britain with expectations of an absolute monarchy justified by the Divine Right of Kings

Tensions continued during the reigns of Charles II (1660-1685) and his brother James II (1685-88). The reign of Charles ended when parliament was unhappy with the way he was persecuting and ruling over the citizens. He then transferred his power to his brother, and after another civil war in which no one died because James' army abandoned him. James then fled to France, and then the English parliament brought in William and Mary to lead as joint monarchs. This co-leadership also brought in the English Constitution which was that the Parliament and Monarch had limiting power over each other so that there was never an absolute leader.

Who was involved?


What did they do?

Oliver Cromwell

Ruled England in the 1650’s, led the winning side in a civil war. His death caused political problems that eventually resulted in changes to the way kings held power.

Charles II

Reigned after the death of his father, James I, and still believed in the divine right of kings. This belief kept the tensions between parliament and the monarchs.

James II

Ruled as a monarch until he was overthrown by William and Mary and fled to France.

William and Mary

Ushered in the first joint monarchy of England, and resulted in the continued limiting power of the monarch and parliament. They overtook the throne after James II fled to France.

So what?

The Glorious Revolution had a profound impact on the rest of the world. Had Oliver Cromwell not led the revolt of the Roundheads and brought in a semi democratic government that allowed Parliament to have some influence, England would still have an absolute monarchy and the Americas would not have the democratic government that it has to this day. Because of the changes in different monarchs, when the English Constitution came in, it limited the power of every monarch to follow, which is now why England has a King/Queen and a Parliament to help limit the power.