The Glorious Revolution
ended the rule of King James II of England


Glorious Revolution of 1688 ended the rule of King James II of England and brought William III and Mary II to the throne. It established Parliament's right to control succession to the throne and to limit the monarch's power. In 1689, Parliament passed the Bill of Rights, which banned Roman Catholics from the throne and made it illegal for a monarch to suspend laws, keep an army in peacetime, or levy taxes without Parliament's consent.

James, a Roman Catholic, became king in 1685. He favored Catholics in his appointments and policies. Many people in England disliked his policies. But they put up with James because they expected Mary, his Protestant daughter, to succeed him. However, the birth of a son to James's wife in June 1688 raised the prospect of continued Catholic rule. Leading politicians then invited William of Orange, Mary's husband and ruler of the Netherlands, to invade England with Dutch forces. The English wanted William to help restore their liberties. William invaded England in November, and James fled to France. William and Mary were crowned co-rulers of England in February 1689. William and Mary accepted the crown of Scotland several months later. The revolution met with little resistance in England. However, William had to put down resistance in Scotland and Ireland.

Contributor: Roger Howell, Jr., D.Phil., Former Prof. of History, Bowdoin College.


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