Some Background on Politics of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century
After the restoration and reign of Charles II, his brother James II ascended to the English throne. During his time as King, James would attempt to move the monarchy back towards Catholicism. As a result, Parliament arranged for James’ son-in-law William of Orange and his wife Mary to take over the monarchy in 1688 when James fled to France. The succeeding rule of King William and Queen Mary would create a more Protestant monarchy. Known as the Glorious Revolution, this event solidified the power of Parliament, ensuring that the monarch would govern with the consent of Parliament and that the monarchy would remain Protestant.
In 1689, the Bill of Rights was established. It was an act that stated the rights of the people, the limitations to the power of the crown and the supremacy of the Parliament. In the same year, the Toleration Act was also established. This act gave religious freedom to “dissenting Protestants, such as Baptists and Congregationalists. It allowed [them ]their own places of worship as well as religious teachers and leaders.” However, this act did not extend to Catholics and still barred dissenting Protestants from holding political positions (Toleration Act). In 1707, the Act of Union resulted in the union of the England and Scotland under one name–Great Britain. The English wanted political support in case of a Jacobite uprising or French attacks and Scotland wanted economic security. After the Act, the English and Scottish Parliaments were joined together. England gave freedom of trade to Scotland and Scotland accepted the Hanoverian succession. This act led to two major Jacobite uprisings in 1715 and 1745 in the attempts to reinstall the Stuart monarchy of James the II and his son Charles. All chances of a Stuart restoration to the throne ended in 1746 at the Battle of Culloden (Britannica).
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