Every revolution was first a thought

in one man’s mind

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Parliament offering the crown to William

and Mary Stuart


The Glorious Revolution of 1688 was a very English revolution in that it began at an Oxford college and escalated to a disagreement over an arcane procedural point, the Glorious Revolution finalised English religious identity and constitutional structure at what was comparatively a very early stage in national life. When Parliament, resentful of the religious tolerance which James II had associated himself with, invited William of Orange to take the throne with his wife Mary, it cemented the notion that survives to the current day that the monarch rules with the consent of the nation, not through divine right. Moreover, it locked in the aggressively Protestant style of national administration that built the colonial empire, and in removing James ensured the enmity of France, an enmity which lasted until the late 19th century.