- Paperback: 640 pages
- Publisher: Penguin UK; UK ed. edition (January 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141016523
- ISBN-13: 978-0141016528
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British Monarchy, 1685-1720 UK ed. Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
This was an important revolution but one that could have been delayed or possibly even averted had the Stuart dynastic line, one that started with the death of Elizabeth I in 1603 and the ascension of James I to the throne, not wound up late in the seventeenth century with the tragic four-year reign of the last of the Stuarts, James II. This James was a deeply flawed regent: he was inept in military matters; he attempted to supplant the ruling Protestant class with Catholics, even though Catholics represented only 1% of the population; he seemed in the pocket of Louis XIV of France, a monarch thoroughly despised by the vast majority of Englishmen; he produced no heirs other than a contested child late in his regency by his Catholic wife; he had only the faintest grasp of European power politics, then in a death struggle between the Protestant lands of northern Europe and the Catholic southern countries; he disbanded Parliament, which only met once early in his reign. Ultimately, his fate was sealed when William III of Holland landed in the West Country with a large, well-equipped army and marched, virtually unopposed, into London to displace James from the throne. James fled his country and, with the exception of a brutal military defeat in Ireland a year later, never again returned to the British Isles.
Professor Harris, now at Brown University, tells far more than the story of James' doomed monarchy. There is far more to tell and this is where his account of the Revolution reaches a higher level of understanding than either of these later books. He tells the story of the changes in the structure of British government, swinging from royal absolutism to a far more consensual government. Never again could a British monarch rule without the consent and constant presence of Parliament. The Revolution was the source of political parties in Britain, the reorganization of the economy with the establishment of the Bank of England, the formation of a cabinet of ministers who exercised increasing power, and the emergence of a prime minister, who gradually became the preeminent representative of the people's Parliament.
Britain, after the Revolution, was a different place than Britain before James. The changes in the structure of government were only part of the story. Scotland became joined to England through an Act of Union in 1709, utterly unthinkable if James had not been deposed. Ireland was subdued and ruled by British landowners for more than 200 more years. Britain was drawn into European affairs and played a crucial role in neutralizing France's hegemony over the continent. The first shoots of what became the British empire were immeasurably strengthened after James left the throne.
Harris' book is tough going in some respects. it is not only long but deals with both Scotland and Ireland, each a tough story to tell, in very complex terms. But Revolution does the job of telling what was different and important about the events that enabled Britain to pivot from an insular island regency to begin its long journey into a representative democracy, a journey that was eventually the model for the American colonial revolution a hundred years later.
This is the book to read to grasp the significance and importance of the Revolution.