The Stuart king James II (1685-88) attempted a Catholic restoration which
brought a severe resistance from the Anglican Church. The unexpected
birth of an heir to the throne brought about the threat
of a permanent Catholic dynasty for England.
In 1688 Whig & Tories summoned William of Orange,
James II's son-in-law, from Holland.
In panic James II fled to France. William III was declared King of
England, which he ruled, not by hereditary rights, but by the grace
England came to be governed by a Parliament organized into
In passing the Bill of Rights Parliament assumed the authority to define by what right any future king might
To secure the personal liberty and property John Locke
provided the theoretical justification for the division
of powers of the state into legislative and executive branches.