The Glorious Revolution

Luke Yelton

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What was the Glorious Revolution?

The Glorious Revolution was a series of changes that took place over the course of 7 monarchs, and 1 Lord Protector. It resulted in the increase of power in Parliament, and a decrease in the power of the sitting monarch, and all future monarchs. The Glorious Revolution marked several "firsts" in English history, including the first pair of monarchs, and the first period of history when England possessed no official monarch.

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Oliver Cromwell

Cromwell was a leader in Parliament. He took the throne from Charles I after Parliament rose up against his persecution of Protestants. Cromwell refused to take the title of King however, preferring to be referred to as "Lord Protector." Overtime, Cromwell became power hungry, almost to the point of his predecessor, and lost his job after Parliament offered the throne to Charles II.
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Charles II

After Cromwell became too powerful, Parliament offered the throne to Charles I's son, Charles II. He returned as King, marking a time known as the "Restoration," in which England had a blood-connected Monarch. Charles II persecuted Protestants like his father, in order to avenge his Father's death. Charles II was succeeded by James II.
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James II

James II succeeded Charles II to the throne. James, much like his successor, favored Catholics and persecuted Protestants. Parliament began looking for replacements, and sent a letter to William and Mary after it was announced that his wife was pregnant.
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William and Mary

Hailing from the Netherlands, William's army defeated James' quickly, and he became King immediately. These two were contacted by Parliament because Mary was the daughter of Charles I, and having her as Queen would keep the Monarchy in the same blood line. After taking throne, their were some arguments, and it came to pass that the two served as co-monarchs. They were Protestants, and this began the tradition that the Monarch was a Protestant. This continues even to today. From their reign, the English Bill of Rights was created, limiting the power of monarchs, and influencing other nations.
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Effect on History

The most profound effect of the Glorious Revolution was its effect of democracy, and more specifically in the development of the United States government. When the newly formed country decided to replace the Articles of Confederation, many of the freedoms guaranteed to English subjects were included in the US Bill of Rights, and some of the roles of Parliament were rewritten to serve as roles of the US Congress. An example would be that both nations' Bill of RIghts include a section on the right to protest and petition the government, and the right to bear arms.