Why was the glorious revolution bloodless

What were the causes and effects of the "Glorious Revolution" in England?

The “Glorious Revolution” preceded the “Restoration” period in England from 1660 to 1689.

Ambitions not realized

When King Charles / Karl II. (* 1630 / ° 1685) died in February 1885, stepped - for lack of his own legitimate Offspring - his Catholic brother James / Jacob II (* 1633 / ° 1701) succeeded him.
At the beginning of his rule it was accepted, but the attitude towards him was increasingly changing in broad circles of society.

Efforts to consolidate his absolutist style of rule met with well-founded skepticism. In addition, there was the justified suspicion that the monarch was striving to reintroduce Catholicism in his sphere of influence - back to the start, so to speak.

"Glorious Revolution" and the fall

Finally, in 1688/89 the so-called (bloodless) “Glorious Revolution” led to the overthrow of the last male Catholic English king from the House of Stuart.

William, Mary, Bill of Rights, and the Act of Settlement

While James II then ran away, the opposition - consisting of the nobility, army and civil society - raised William / Wilhelm III, who was born in The Hague / Netherlands. von Orange-Nassau (* 1650 / ° 1702) to the king and his wife, who - in contrast to her father James II - remained Protestant daughter Mary / Maria II. Stuart (* 1662 / ° 1694) - to the queen from England, Scotland and Ireland.

However, not without having previously committed to the (English) "Bill of Rights" (-> basis of today's "Parliamentary Monarchy").
Which of course both did.
At the same time, the Protestant succession to the throne / succession was secured with Wilhelm and Maria, which was confirmed in 1701 with the “Act of Settlement” (-> “Exclusion of Catholics from the line of succession).


James / Jacob II had, as I said, fled England and went - still a recognized king there -

  • fought, in association with French troops, the Irish Protestants,
  • but was in 1690 in the battle of the River Boyne by Wilhelm III. beaten by Orange.

James settled in France, where he died in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (-> north of Paris) in 1701 - presumably of a stroke.


Six years later, in 1707, England and Scotland were united to form Great Britain ...

Author: Manfred Zorn