Glorious Revolution

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 of Parliament.

England came to be governed by a Parliament organized into competing parties.
In passing the Bill of Rights Parliament assumed the authority to define by what right any future king might constitutionally act.
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.