Thee Glorious Revolution Essay

This essay has a total of 957 words and 6 pages.

thee Glorious Revolution



The Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, otherwise known as the Bloodless Revolution, marks the events of
1688 in England. In 1660, when Charles II was restored to the throne, many Englishmen
felt uneasy about the Stuarts and suspected them of Papal tendencies and absolutists
leanings. Charles II increased this distrust by not adhering to Parliament, by his
toleration of Catholic dissent, and by favoring alliances with Catholic powers in Europe.
The Whigs, a parliamentary group, tried within their power to ensure a Protestant
successor by excluding James, Duke of York, from the throne but were unsuccessful. James
II came to the throne in 1685 and like his brother Charles II, determined to rule without
the consent of Parliament and to reintroduce Roman Catholicism as the state religion.
James overt Catholicism followed by the birth of a son, caused the Tories, who until now
felt a strong loyalty to the king, to unite with the Whigs in common opposition to James.
The leader of the parliament then overthrew James troops, invited William of Orange and
his wife Mary to rule as a joint sovereign, while allowing James to flee the country. The
Bill of Rights, passed during Williams’s reign established the “revolution.” It was a
comprehensive piece of literature whose purpose was to make it the king’s obligation to
govern with the assistance of Parliament. It prohibited the king to levy taxes or
maintain a standing army in peacetime without the consent of parliament. The provisions of
the Bill of Rights were in effect conditions upon which the crown was offered to William
and Mary. These events were a milestone in the gradual process by which practical power
shifted from monarch to Parliament.

















The French Revolution
The Old Regime was the French political and social system before 1789. Under the Old
Regime the king was the absolute monarch. Louis XVI, the Bourbon king, had centralized
power in the royal bureaucracy and the government departments which administered his
policies. Society under the Old Regime was divided into 3 classes called estates: the
first estate was the clergy, the second estate made up the nobility and the third estate,
which by far was the largest, made up the peasants, city workers, and the middle class.

One reasons the revolution originated was because of the discontent among the lower and
middle classes. The third estate resented the privileges of the first two estates. The
clergy and nobles did not have to pay most taxes. The third estate, especially the
peasants had to provide almost all the country’s tax revenue. Many members of the middle
class were also worried about their social status. They were among the most important
people in French society but were not recognized as such since they were part of the third
estate.

Another cause for the Revolution, was the deep financial crisis that faced France. Both
Louis XIV and Louis XV left big debts when they died making France nearly bankrupt. The
clergy and nobles had plenty of money but the king couldn’t tax the wealthy. In 1789, the
country was faced with a financial crisis.

All this led Louis XVI to summon the Estates-General and this is when the revolution began
with the third estate leading the way. They declared themselves the National Assembly and
invited the other estates to join them. When Louis locked them out of their meeting place,
they made a tennis court oath that they would not leave until France gave them a
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