Guest Author - Rebecca Graf
Less than a hundred years later (after the Glorious Revolution), the American colonists also felt dissatisfied with how they were ruled. The disgruntled feelings were not based on religious beliefs this time. It was anger on acts imposed by the monarchy and the Parliament that were considered unfair by the colonists. They wanted new leadership and followed the example of the English Parliament of 1688.
The American colonists did not begin with the intention of separating from the empire. In fact, they “felt great pride in the empire, derived great economic benefits from trading within its network, and dreaded the death and destruction of a civil war.” The colonists were just protesting the taxes and treatments they looked at as being unfair. This revolution did lead to bloodshed and separation from the empire.
Parliament created a peaceful revolution with the end result in their favor. They had the new monarchs sign the Bill of Rights which limited the power of the king and protected Parliament. A new ruler and expanded rights were what Parliament obtained from the Glorious Revolution. They saw a situation where they did not receive ‘fair’ treatment and sought a way to remedy it. Everything fell into place for it to be a peaceful revolt as James cowardly fled and stayed in France.
In 1688, the English Parliament sought relief from the ‘unfair’ treatment of Anglicans in England which led to the Glorious Revolution. The American colonists of 1776 followed their example, but soon discovered that not all revolutions can avoid blood and not all monarchs are cowards. Ironically, the very Parliament that initiated the Glorious Revolution was part of the entity that the American revolted against due to unfair treatment.
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“James II.” The Official Website of the British Monarcy. http://www.royal.gov.uk/ HistoryoftheMonarchy/KingsandQueensoftheUnitedKingdom/TheStuarts/JamesII.aspx., accessed April 9, 2011.
Taylor, Alan. American Colonies: The Settling of North America. New York: Penguin, 2000.
Thackeray, Frank W. and John E. Findling. Events That Changed America Through the Seventeenth Century. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000.
“The Glorious Revolution and the English Bill of Rights.” http://www.international.ucla.edu/ media/files/The%20Glorious%20Revolution%20and%20the%20English%20Bill%20of%20Rights.pdf. accessed April 8, 2011.