THE CHAOS RESOLVES: THE GLORIOUS REVOLUTION OF 1689.

Note: the political conflict between protestants and Catholics in England concluded in 1689, only 14 years before the birth of Wesley in 1703. Social forces from this conflict would influence the context of resistance to change which was present throughout Wesley’s life and brought against the Methodist purpose to “spread scriptural holiness across the land.”

The Glorious Revolution,[b] also called the Revolution of 1688, was the overthrow of King James II of England (James VII of Scotland and James II of Ireland) by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau(William of Orange). William’s successful invasion of England with a Dutch fleet and army led to his ascending of the English throne as William III of England jointly with his wife Mary II of England.

King James’s policies of religious tolerance after 1685 met with increasing opposition by members of leading political circles, who were troubled by the king’s Catholicism and his close ties with France. The crisis facing the king came to a head in 1688, with the birth of the King’s son, James Francis Edward Stuart, on 10 June (Julian calendar).[a] This changed the existing line of succession by displacing the heir presumptive, his daughter Mary, a Protestant and the wife of William of Orange, with young James as heir apparent. The establishment of a Roman Catholic dynasty in the kingdoms now seemed likely. Some of the most influential leaders of the Tories united with members of the opposition Whigs and set out to resolve the crisis by inviting William of Orange to England,[1]which the stadtholder, who feared an Anglo-French alliance, had indicated as a condition for a military intervention.

After consolidating political and financial support, William crossed the North Sea and English Channel with a large invasion fleet in November 1688, landing at Torbay. After only two minor clashes between the two opposing armies in England, and anti-Catholic riotsin several towns, James’s regime collapsed, largely because of a lack of resolve shown by the king…

The Revolution permanently ended any chance of Catholicism becoming re-established in England. For British Catholics its effects were disastrous both socially and politically: Catholics were denied the right to vote and sit in the Westminster Parliament for over a century; they were also denied commissions in the army, and the monarch was forbidden to be Catholic or to marry a Catholic, this latter prohibition remaining in force until the UK’s Succession to the Crown Act 2013 removes it once it comes into effect. The Revolution led to limited toleration for Nonconformist Protestants, although it would be some time before they had full political rights. It has been argued, mainly by Whig historians, that James’s overthrow began modern English parliamentary democracy: the Bill of Rights of 1689 has become one of the most important documents in the political history of Britain and never since has the monarch heldabsolute power.

Resources:

This post is provides material from Wikipedia with links to articles and information on English History which forms the background for the development of Methodism. While it is lightly edited, the source is Wikipedia unless noted below. Major articles quoted have links, but can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glorious_Revolution

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