The Glorious Revolution turned England into a limited monarchy, a type of government in which a constitution or legislative body limits the monarch's powers. English rulers still had much power, but they had to obey the law and govern in partnership with Parliament. In an age of absolute monarchy elsewhere in Europe, the limited monarchy in England was quite radical.
Among the people who lived at the time of the Glorious Revolution was the political thinker, John Locke. Events in England helped shape his philosophy. Much later, Locke's ideas about government and natural rights would influence the Americans who drew up the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
What was the Glorious Revolution?
In the century following the Glorious Revolution, three new political institutions arose in Britain: political parties, the cabinet, and the office of prime minister. The appearance of these institutions was part of the evolution of Britain's constitutional government—that is, a government whose power is defined and limited by law.
In the late 1600s, political parties emerged in England as a powerful force in politics. At first, there were just two political parties—Tories and Whigs.
Tories were generally aristocrats who sought to preserve older traditions. They supported broad royal powers and a dominant Anglican Church.
Whigs backed the ideas embodied in the Glorious Revolution. They were more likely to reflect urban business interests, support religious toleration, and favor Parliament over the crown. For much of the 1700s Whigs dominated Parliament.
The cabinet, another new feature of government, evolved in the 1700s after the British throne passed to a German prince. George I spoke no English and relied on the leaders in Parliament to help him rule. Under George I and his German-born son George II, a handful of parliamentary advisors set policy. They came to be referred to as the cabinet because of the small room, or “cabinet,” where they met.
In time, the cabinet gained official status. It was made up of leaders of the majority party in the House of Commons. The cabinet remained in power so long as it enjoyed the support of the Commons.
If the Commons voted against a cabinet decision, the cabinet resigned.
|English Bill of Rights||Writings of John Locke||Constitutional Government|
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A common protest during the American Revolution was “no taxation without representation.” Which outcome in England influenced that idea?