The glorious revolution 1688/89 initiated a political change in England. It ended the reign of absolutism and, introducing the Bill of RightsThe Bill of Rights (1689) lays down limits on the powers of the crown and sets out the rights of Parliament and rules for freedom of speech in Parliament formed the basis for the establishment of a parliamentary regime. Thereafter the king could only reign depending on parliament.
Reign of the Stuarts
At the beginning of the 17th century the StuartThe House of Stewart first became monarchs of the Kingdom of Scotland during the late 14th century, and subsequently held the position of the Kings of England, Ireland, and Great Britain family reigned in England. JamesJames was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death the first was unpopular within society as he wanted to strenghten the power of the monarch an only rarely convened parliament. As the monarch only had scarce financial resources to dispose of he was dependant on parliament. The members of parliament however aimed to limit the king’s power and restricted his rights with the Petition of Righthe Petition of Right is a major English constitutional document that sets out specific liberties of the subject that the king is prohibited from infringing. It was passed in 1628. Charles the first took over the thrown in 1625 and dissolved parliament. He thus reigened 11 years by himself and followed a confrontational course concerning puritans and other protestant groups and eventually the protestants joind the political opposition. These circumstances led to the english civial war in 1642.
English civil war
As CharlesCharles I was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649 the first provoced a conflict with Scotland and had to deploy troops for resistance he convened the so called short parliamentThe Short Parliament was a Parliament of England that sat from 13 April to 5 May 1640 during the reign of King Charles I of England. It lasted only three weeks in 1640. The parliament tried to use this chance to limit the king’s power and to exclude bishops from the House of LordsThe House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The majority even aimed to overtake government. The long parliamentThe Long Parliament of England was established on 3 November 1640. It sat until 1648 banded together with Scotland and formed its own army, formed of the radical wing of protestantism. This led to the outbreak of the civil war in 1642. After the king’s troops were vanquished a political and religious conflict broke out. While a part of parliament did not want to abolish monarchy completely and prefered calvinism, the rest did not want to be reigned by a king anymore and tended to puritanism. Under the conduct over Oliver CromwellOliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader and later Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England the revolutionary army managed to beat parliament and eliminated calvinisticCalvinism is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice of John Calvin delegates from parliament. Charles the first was sentenced to death in 1649 and a republic declared.
Republic and return to monarchy
Shortly after overtaking power Lord protector Cromwell managed to pose Ireland and Scotland under english reign and made them dependant of England. He conducted a successfull foreign policy and established England as a leading marine and trade power. He was however incapable of stabilising the interior situation and establishing a constitutional basis. When he died in 1658 the return to monarchy was intended by various sides. The english army was thus rid of radical elements in 1660 and a functioning parliament was elected. Charles the second was crowned king. In the meantime a political conflict between the WhigThe Whigs were a faction and then a political party in the parliaments of England, Scotland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom between the 1680s and 1850s. They preferred constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule and the Tories established itself. After it had beome public that Charles‘ successor, Jakob the second had convertet to catholicism the Whigs aimed to prohibit his candidateship for the throne as they feared a recatholisation in England. The Tories however saw the order of the state endangered and opposed the Whigs.
As the Tories held the majority in parliament and thus helped Jakob the second to the throne in 1685 the conflict with the Whigs threatened to escalate. Jakob the second was prone to absolutism and wanted to provied mobility for catholicism in England. As his son was born in 1688 and the prospect of a protestant heir to the throne was prohibited the Whigs increased their protests. They wanted to prohibit a recatholisation. As the Tories could no longer impede the protests they summoned Jakob‘s oldest daughter and her husband Wilhelm the thirdWilliam III was a sovereign Prince of Orange and reigned as William III over England and Ireland from the Netherlands to take over reign in England. While he overtook the crown Jakob fled to France. Even though monarchy endured the basis for a parliamentary democracy were created. The revolution thus had historical meaning as the political power of parliament could be strengthened. The Bill of Rights forced the king to respect civil rights and freedoms. These ideas later changed over to western europe and gradually led to the end of absolutism.