The Term Glorious Revolution refers to the generally popular overthrow of James II of England in 1688 by a conspiracy between some parliamentarians and the Dutch stadtholder, William III of Orange-Nassau. The event is sometimes referred to as the Bloodless Revolution, but this name is not accurate, nor were its consequences bloodless in Scotland and Ireland; some modern historians prefer the more neutral Revolution of 1688. During his three year reign, King James II fell victim to the political battles in the British Isles between Catholicism and Protestantism on the one hand, and on the other, between the divine right of the Crown and the political rights of Parliament. James's greatest political problem was his Catholicism, which left him alienated from both parties in Parliament. Any attempts at reform by James were thus viewed with great suspicion. James also pursued a number of untenable policies, such as a desire for a standing army and a pursuit of religious toleration.While his brother and predecessor, Charles II, had done the same, he had not been an overt Catholic like James. Matters came to a head in 1688 when James fathered a son; until then, the throne would have passed to his Protestant daughter, Mary. The prospect of a Catholic dynasty in Britain was now likely. Some leaders of the hitherto loyal Tory Party united with members of the opposition Whigs and set out to solve the crisis. A conspiracy was launched to depose James and replace him with his daughter Mary and her husband, William of Orange both Protestants. William was stadtholder of the Netherlands, then in the early stages of a war with the French: the War of the Grand Alliance. Jumping at the chance to add England to his alliance, William and Mary laid careful plans over a number of months for an invasion. Landing with a large Dutch army at Brixham, Devon on November 5, 1688, William was greeted with much popular support, and local men joined his army. Meanwhile, in... [continues]
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