William and Mary of England

William of Orange, William III; Mary II

Basic Facts


Born: April 30, 1662

Died: December 28, 1694

Reign: 1688 - 1694


Born: November 4, 1650

Died: March 8, 1702

Reign: 1688 - 1702

Approach To Government

William and Mary's approach to government was different than the rest before them. They set up the constitutional monarchy system, which gave more power to parliament instead of the monarch. The monarch would still retain some power, but the power will eventually decline over time.
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Their policies basically involved limiting the Monarch's power. One policy stated that the Monarch could not declare war without backing from Parliament. You could even say the Bill of Rights was a policy.


William and Mary essentially ended the age of absolutism by starting the Constitutional Monarchy. They created the English Bill of Rights and gave parliament more power. William also set up the Bank of England in 1694 to fund war debts.

James II

James II preceded William and Mary and was an absolutist monarch. Even though he was Mary's father, William and Mary drove him out to France and took power. James II later died in exile in 1701.