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Glorious Revolution And America

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In England's bloodless Glorious Revolution of 1688, James II was overthrown, and Parliament replaced him with his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband, William of Orange. American colonists greeted the news with enthusiasm because James II had sought to ends the growing American trend toward self-governance. With the rise of William and Mary, the Americans believed that England would reverse this policy of reducing local authority. However, Parliament's displeasure with James II had caused them to fear that he sought absolute power in England and not from his colonial policies. Under William and Mary the restrictions on the colonies continued. Uprisings in the colonies followed. These uprising were harshly repressed. Most Americans remained loyal to England but as a result of the Glorious Revolution the idea that the American colonies had more in common with one another than with England grew stronger.

The colonists had suffered under James II just as much the English. James had refused to recognized colonial charters, did not allow colonists any say over laws and taxes, and seemed to rule subjectively. James was a Catholic and the colonists were primarily Protestant, most of them radical Protestants. When James issued the Declarations of Indulgence, which granted freedom of worship to Catholics, this pleased Marylanders, but it deeply troubled the rest of the colonies. In the colonists mind, Catholicism equaled absolutism. They did not want it to become like the catholic France who had an absolute monarchy under King Louis.

When James was overthrown, the Dominion of New England fell. The charters were thrown out and voting right became available to all qualified male property holders and not just church members. It was their opportunity to strike back royal authority and unrest grew.

The most important political theories in the American Enlightenment were from John Locke's Two Treatises on Government and the work of other English radical political theorists, particularly a radical republican group called the "commonwealthmen." During the Enlightenment, they got most of their political ideas mainly from John Locke. Like Locke , they argued that when the British government took away their liberties, then the British had effectively disbanded the political bonds that tied the American and British people together. They also

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