Nayu public support of the Glorious Revolution most definitely

Nayu LeeAP European History Period 4Mrs. Goodman22 December 2017 With the reign of the Stuart monarchs in the 18th Century, England experienced a series of bitter power struggles between the monarch and the parliament. Both James I and Charles I ruled by the idea of divine right and absolute rule of a monarch, creating tension with parliament that mounted to the English Civil War where Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan republic took control only to again be met with religious, social, and economic issues. Later, James II then more stirred religious conflict which led to a call for change by parliament allied with William and Mary of Orange once more resulting in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. In some aspects, the revolution resembled a continuing religiously motivated power struggle between Protestants and Catholics. However, along with the introduction of the Bill of Rights in 1689, the focus on individual rights, government reform, and public support of the Glorious Revolution most definitely supported and reflected Enlightenment ideals.To a certain extent, the Glorious Revolution resembles more so of prior struggles of the role religion in power. Since the beginning of the Stuart monarchs, divine right and the prevalence of Catholicism in the Stuart monarchs such as James I and Charles I have been seen unfavourably by a Protestant England. ┬áThe dominance for religion and it as a motive can be seen in Gilbert Burnet’s coronation sermon of 1689 where he asserts that William III should rule in line with the “true religion” and gives divine blessing to his rule (Doc 4). It is important to note that the source is biased as Bishop Burnset is an Anglican Bishop and therefore maintaining Protestantism is his main source of justifying putting a friend on the throne. However, his sermon is reflective of the religious motivation of the Glorious Revolution. This same idea can be seen in objects of daily life even during the 18th century such as a “William and Mary” woodcut in an English children’s book which depicts the two rulers as the savior of the Protestant Church (Doc 7). Its intention to justify the English principle in which only a Protestant can rule can be seen almost propaganda like and is a biased depiction coming from a Protestant point of view. The dominance of religion in power struggle is not unique and some aspects of Glorious Revolution as exemplified added to the continuation of its prevalence in justification for power. Yet at the same time, the Glorious Revolution much to an extent reflected Enlightenment ideals. Being a Catholic ruler, James II was far from desirable in the eyes of the people of a majority Protestant England. This view is reflected in diaries of those such as John Evelyn, a member of the Royal Society of London who in his diary in 1688 wrote about the mass discontent of king’s attempt to remove Protestants and the simultaneous mass favor towards William of Orange’s arrival (Doc 1). Although this expresses religious conflict as a motivation, the document also highlights the lead up to an Enlightenment ideal that a leader should do what is best for its people with public support. This same ideal is again manifested in King William III’s declaration in 1688 where he promises to uphold both Parliament and Protestant religion, as well as the rights and liberties of the people in a justified, rational manner (Doc 2). William III’s point of view as king is especially important as it shows his justifying his actions as a ruler to garner the public support of common people and breakaway from past rulers who worked to gain support of those who could contribute to the consolidation of their power.


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