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The Twelfth - A Glorious Day to Celebrate Freedom

The Glorious Revolution is arguably the most significant single advance in the provision of good government that the world has ever seen. This has been overshadowed by concentrating on its quite peripheral impact on the divisions among Christians. But the Calvinist Prince of Orange who became William III was driven by his fear of absolutist French hegemony over Europe, not by worries about Catholicism whose leader, the Pope, was his temporal ally.

The point is that the freedoms ensured and the benefits gained from the Glorious Revolution far exceed anything gained from any other single event , including the mistakenly more celebrated French Revolution.

The Reign of Terror in the French Revolution was bad enough; but the loss of life from the resulting years of war which ended only in 1815 compares with the First World War, and that with a smaller population. The other great so called Revolution, the Russian, was more a coup d’état by the Bolsheviks, with equally disastrous imitations in Europe and Asia which led to the death of about 100 million.

The American Revolution was derivative and confirmatory of the Glorious Revolution.

The Glorious Revolution was in many ways England’s great gift to the world. It established those fundamental principles of good governance which best allow man to achieve and to exercise his fundamental rights.

It is of particular significance not only in the constitutional development of Britain and the Commonwealth, but also the United States.....

...since the Glorious Revolution, the Anglo-Americans have been on the winning side in every major international conflict. .

This indicates some advantage in the Anglo-Saxon system of governance. There is no evidence that this has anything to with race but rather, it is to do with the endorsement of what we may call political culture. Mead makes the point that not only is the United States a nation of immigrants, but so was England even at the time of the Glorious Revolution. This augurs well for the current massive immigration into the Anglo-Saxon countries. Good sense will make most realise that the system they have come to works and works well – the great majority will have little inclination to change it.

It is important to stress that the great advantages of the Glorious Revolution were not the result of some philosopher sitting down and designing them. That was what directed the French and Bolshevik Revolutions, near crazed men designing schemes to save the world that came close to ruining it. The style of the Anglo-Saxon is pragmatic; the style of the major continental powers has hitherto been more theoretical.

The wisdom of the Anglo Saxons has been in allowing institutions to evolve gradually over time and through trial and error. By way of contrast to continental thought, I would refer to the story of the French énarque who when the benefits of something we are familiar with were shown to him said: “Yes, it may well work in practice, but does it work in theory?” .....

Click here for more to digest over your bacon and eggs - The Glorious Revolution: Three Centuries of Freedom David Flint

(Now there's some music to whistle along to that you won't hear on the BBC)

Comments

Good piece indeed.

"The ideals of freedom and individual rights that inspired America’s Founding Fathers did not spring from a vacuum. Along with many other defining principles of our national character, they can be traced directly back to one of the most pivotal events in British history—the late-seventeenth-century uprising known as the Glorious Revolution.

In a work of popular history that stands with recent favorites such as David McCullough’s 1776 and Joseph J. Ellis’s Founding Brothers, Michael Barone brings the story of this unlikely and largely bloodless revolt to American readers and reveals that, without the Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution may never have happened.

Unfolding in 1688–1689, Britain’s Glorious Revolution resulted in the hallmarks of representative government, guaranteed liberties, the foundations of global capitalism, and a foreign policy of opposing aggressive foreign powers. But as Barone shows, there was nothing inevitable about the Glorious Revolution. It sprang from the character of the English people and depended on the talents, audacity, and good luck of two men: William of Orange (later William III of England), who launched history’s last successful cross-channel inva sion, and John Churchill, an ancestor of Winston, who commanded the forces of the deposed James II but crossed over to support William one fateful November night".

Good stuff, thank you! I've been reading old Macaulay once again during the long twilight evenings, more good stuff....

Simplistic I know, but that which was done against one Scotsman, James II, seems to be being UNdone by our two most recent Scotsmen, Blair and Brown. Coincidence ?

Alan Douglas

What Alan D said.

Three centuries of freedom, now snuffed out by Bliar/Broon, "for our own good".

Bastards.

King 'Billy' William was also a notorious homosexual. That's cool but a bit strange for a religous zealot and tyrant who gives the current Islamic militants a run for their money.

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