Consent Withdrawn: A Novel About The Next American Revolution

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In January he had forbidden any of his subjects to serve the Dutch and had demanded that the Republic dissolve its six mercenary Scottish and English regiments. When this was refused, he asked that at least those willing would be released from their martial oath to be free to return to Britain. To this William consented as it would purify his army of Jacobite elements. The officers were enlisted within the British armies and so favoured that the established officer corps began to fear for its position. Nothing comparable happened within the Royal Navy, however; claims after the event by certain captains that they had somehow prevented the English fleet from engaging seem to have been little more than attempts at self-aggrandisement.

Although the English conspirators considered a token force sufficient, William assembled an army of 14, men, nearly half the 30, strong Dutch States Army. To cover their absence, 13, German mercenaries were hired to man Dutch border fortresses, freeing units like the Scots Brigade for use in England. To secure Dutch borders, a number of diplomatic steps were taken. In , an alliance with the Electorate of Cologne [c] enabled France to bypass Dutch border defences and nearly over-run the Republic.

As an ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire , its ruler was nominated by Pope Innocent XI , who was in dispute with both Louis and James over the right to appoint Catholic bishops and clergy. This secured William's eastern border. While no one believed this, it was a convenient fiction that allowed Leopold to remain neutral.

Belgrade surrendered to Austrian forces on 6 September; hoping to keep the Ottomans in the war and act before Leopold could respond, Louis attacked Philippsburg on 27th. With France occupied in the Rhineland , this allowed Dutch troops to begin moving towards the coast, even before the German mercenaries arrived. While William's intentions were public knowledge, using the Dutch navy and army required approval and funding by the States General. On 9 September, French envoy D'Avaux handed the States two letters, warning against attacking England or interfering with French operations in Germany.

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The confiscation of over Dutch ships in French ports on 22 September removed any remaining doubts. They accepted the argument that pre-emptive war was necessary to avoid a repeat of but were concerned by the impact on the Dutch economy and politics of William becoming ruler of England. In a secret session held on 29 September, they finally approved the operation.

A loan of four million guilders was raised on the Amsterdam financial market in only three days but their fears were arguably justified. The Revolution resulted in a permanent diminishment of Amsterdam's power within the Republic and its status as the world's leading commercial and financial centre. The loans paid for transports to carry the invasion force, organised by the Rotterdam shipping magnate Willem Schepers. Support from the States General allowed William to use the Dutch army and fleet, although officially the invasion was a private affair.

The primary concern for James was to avoid war. He and Sunderland interpreted efforts by Louis to intimidate the Dutch and provide intelligence on William's plans as attempts to drag him into an unwanted French alliance. As a former naval commander, James appreciated the difficulties of a successful invasion, even in good weather; as they neared the end of September, the likelihood seemed to diminish.

He refused to believe the States would allow William to make the attempt and even if they did, considered the English army and navy strong enough to defeat it. While each assumption was reasonable in theory, in reality they were deeply flawed, one of the most fundamental being the loyalty and efficiency of his army and navy. In July, the fleet nearly mutinied when Catholic Mass was held on one of the ships, only averted when James went in person to pacify the sailors. Despite efforts to fill the army with Catholics, it remained overwhelmingly Protestant and enthusiastically celebrated the acquittal of the bishops.

Officers in one of his most reliable units, commanded by his illegitimate son, the Duke of Berwick , refused to accept Catholic recruits. When they were dismissed, most of their colleagues resigned in sympathy and the episode further undermined the army's morale. With a paper strength of 34,, the army looked impressive but in comparison to the veterans of William's invasion force, many were untrained or lacked weapons.

It also had to fill policing roles previously delegated to the militia, which had been deliberately allowed to decay; most of the 4, regular troops brought from Scotland were stationed in London to keep order. In October, attempts were made to restore the militia but many members were reportedly so angry at the changes made to local corporations, James was advised it was better not to raise them at all.

This was particularly apparent in Yorkshire and South-West England, the two landing places identified by William. His commitment confirmed support from a powerful and well-connected bloc, allowing access to the ports of Plymouth and Torbay. In Yorkshire, Lord Danby assembled support, in preparation for securing York , the most important city in Northern England, and Hull , its largest port.

Dartmouth replaced Herbert as commander of the fleet when he defected in June but many captains owed their appointments to him and were of doubtful loyalty. Dartmouth suspected Berkeley and Grafton of plotting to overthrow him; he placed their ships next to his to monitor them, while minimising contact between the other vessels to prevent conspiracy. The Downs was the best place to intercept a cross-Channel attack but it was also vulnerable in bad weather, even for ships fully manned and adequately provisioned.

Instead, the fleet was positioned in the Medway , near Chatham Dockyard , although it risked being confined to the Thames estuary by the same easterly winds that would allow the Dutch to cross. However, James believed the Dutch might be preparing to attack France; if not, they would seek to destroy the English fleet prior to an invasion, making it advantageous to refuse battle. The English fleet was outnumbered by the Dutch, undermanned, in poor condition and the wrong location, while both army and navy were led by officers whose loyalty was questionable.

William claimed to be ensuring the rights of Parliament and James' daughter Mary; as early as July , many foreign observers doubted their reliability against a Protestant heir. The invasion remained a dangerous undertaking but less risky than it seemed. The Dutch preparations, though carried out with great speed, could not remain secret.


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The English envoy Ignatius White , the Marquess d'Albeville, warned his country: "an absolute conquest is intended under the specious and ordinary pretences of religion, liberty, property and a free Parliament Louis XIV threatened the Dutch with an immediate declaration of war, should they carry out their plans. Embarkations, started on 22 September Gregorian calendar , had been completed on 8 October, and the expedition was that day openly approved by the States of Holland; the same day James issued a proclamation to the English nation that it should prepare for a Dutch invasion to ward off conquest.

He would respect the position of James. William declared:. It is both certain and evident to all men, that the public peace and happiness of any state or kingdom cannot be preserved, where the Laws, Liberties, and Customs, established by the lawful authority in it, are openly transgressed and annulled; more especially where the alteration of Religion is endeavoured, and that a religion, which is contrary to law, is endeavoured to be introduced; upon which those who are most immediately concerned in it are indispensably bound to endeavour to preserve and maintain the established Laws, Liberties and customs, and, above all, the Religion and Worship of God, that is established among them; and to take such an effectual care, that the inhabitants of the said state or kingdom may neither be deprived of their Religion, nor of their Civil Rights.

William went on to condemn James's advisers for overturning the religion, laws, and liberties of England, Scotland, and Ireland by the use of the suspending and dispensing power; the establishment of the "manifestly illegal" commission for ecclesiastical causes and its use to suspend the Bishop of London and to remove the Fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford.

William also condemned James's attempt to repeal the Test Acts and the penal laws through pressuring individuals and waging an assault on parliamentary boroughs, as well as his purging of the judiciary. James's attempt to pack Parliament was in danger of removing "the last and great remedy for all those evils". Whether he had any at that moment is still controversial. The swiftness of the embarkations surprised all foreign observers. Louis had in fact delayed his threats against the Dutch until early September because he assumed it then would be too late in the season to set the expedition in motion anyway, if their reaction proved negative; typically such an enterprise would take at least some months.

This year they came early however. For three weeks the invasion fleet was prevented by adverse south-westerly gales from departing from the naval port of Hellevoetsluis and Catholics all over the Netherlands and the British kingdoms held prayer sessions that this "popish wind" might endure. His standard was hoisted, displaying the arms of Nassau quartered with those of England. Despite suffering from sea-sickness William refused to go ashore and the fleet reassembled, having lost only one ship that grounded, [] though about a thousand crippled horses had been thrown into the sea.

The fleet changed course to the south however when the wind turned more to the north; it has been suggested that the initial move to the north was a feint and indeed James diverted some of his forces in that direction. The troops were lined up on deck, firing musket volleys, with full colours flying and the military bands playing. Rapin de Thoyras , who was on board one of the ships, described it as the most magnificent and affecting spectacle that was ever seen by human eyes.

William intended to land at Torbay but due to fog the fleet sailed past it by mistake. The wind made a return impossible and Plymouth was unsuitable as it had a garrison. At this point, with the English fleet in pursuit, Russell told Burnet: "You may go to prayers, Doctor.

All is over".

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At that moment however the wind changed and the fog lifted, enabling the fleet to sail into Torbay, near Brixham , Devon. William regarded the interference in military matters by non-military personnel with disgust but he was in good humour at this moment and responded with a delicate reproof: "Well, Doctor, what do you think of predestination now?

William brought over 11, horse and foot. William's cavalry and dragoons amounted to 3, Many of the mercenaries were Catholic. In response to the threat James had raised five new regiments of foot and five of horse, as well as bringing in Scottish and Irish soldiers. The French fleet remained at the time concentrated in the Mediterranean, to assist a possible attack on the Papal State. The same day a second attempt by Legge to attack the landing site again failed by an adverse southwestern gale. William considered his veteran army to be sufficient in size to defeat any forces all rather inexperienced that James could throw against him, but it had been decided to avoid the hazards of battle and maintain a defensive attitude in the hope James's position might collapse by itself.

Thus he landed far away from James's army, expecting that his English allies would take the initiative in acting against James while he ensured his own protection against potential attacks. William was prepared to wait; he had paid his troops in advance for a three-month campaign. A slow advance, apart from being necessitated by heavy rainfall anyway, had the added benefit of not over-extending the supply lines; the Dutch troops were under strict orders not even to forage, for fear that this would degenerate into plundering, which would alienate the population.

On 9 November Julian calendar William took Exeter after the magistrates had fled the city, entering on a white palfrey , with the two hundred black men forming a guard of honour, dressed in white, with turbans and feathers. In general, the mood was one of confusion, mutual distrust and depression. James refused a French offer to send an expeditionary force, fearing that it would cost him domestic support. He tried to bring the Tories to his side by making concessions but failed because he still refused to endorse the Test Act.

His forward forces had gathered at Salisbury , and James went to join them on 19 November with his main force, having a total strength of about 19, Amid anti-Catholic rioting in London, it rapidly became apparent that the troops were not eager to fight, and the loyalty of many of James' commanders was doubtful; he had been informed of the conspiracy within the army as early as September, but for unknown reasons had refused to arrest the officers involved.

Some have argued, however, that if James had been more resolute, the army would have fought and fought well. The first blood was shed at about this time in a skirmish at Wincanton , Somerset, where Royalist troops under Patrick Sarsfield retreated after defeating a small party of scouts; the total body count on both sides came to about fifteen. In Salisbury, after hearing that some officers had deserted, among them Lord Cornbury , a worried James was overcome by a serious nose-bleed that he interpreted as an evil omen indicating that he should order his army to retreat, which the supreme army commander, the Earl of Feversham , also advised on 23 November.

The next day, Lord Churchill , one of James' chief commanders, deserted to William.

On the Impossibility of Limited Government and the Prospects for a Second American Revolution

Both were serious losses. James returned to London that same day. Meanwhile, on 18 November Plymouth had surrendered to William, and on 21 November he began to advance. On 4 December he was at Amesbury , and was received by the mayor of Salisbury ; [] three days later they had reached Hungerford , where the following day they met with the King's Commissioners to negotiate.

James offered free elections and a general amnesty for the rebels. In reality, by that point James was simply playing for time, having already decided to flee the country. He feared that his English enemies would insist on his execution and that William would give in to their demands. Convinced that his army was unreliable, he sent orders to disband it. On 9 December, the two sides fought a second engagement with the Battle of Reading , a defeat for the King's men.

Edmunds, Hereford, York, Cambridge, and Shropshire. On 8 December William met at last with James's representatives; he agreed to James's proposals but also demanded that all Catholics be immediately dismissed from state functions and that England pay for the Dutch military expenses. He received no reply, however. The next day saw James's attempt to escape, the King dropping the Great Seal in the Thames along the way, as no lawful Parliament could be summoned without it. The following night a mass panic gripped London during what was later termed the Irish night.

False rumours of an impending Irish army attack on London circulated in the capital, and a mob of over , assembled ready to defend the city. Upon returning to London on 16 December, James was welcomed by cheering crowds. He took heart at this and attempted to recommence government, even presiding over a meeting of the Privy Council.

Now it became evident that William had no longer any desire to keep James in power in England. He was extremely dismayed by the arrival of Lord Feversham. He refused the suggestion that he simply arrest James because this would violate his own declarations and burden his relationship with his wife. In the end it was decided that he should exploit James's fears; the three original commissioners were sent back to James with the message that William felt he could no longer guarantee the king's well-being and that James for his own safety had better leave London for Ham.

William at the same time ordered all English troops to depart from the capital, while his forces entered on 17 December; no local forces were allowed within a twenty-mile radius until the spring of Already the English navy had declared for William. James, by his own choice, went under Dutch protective guard to Rochester in Kent on 18 December, just as William entered London, cheered by crowds dressed in orange ribbons or waving, lavishly distributed, oranges.

The lax guard on James and the decision to allow him so near the coast indicate that William may have hoped that a successful flight would avoid the difficulty of deciding what to do with him, especially with the memory of the execution of Charles I still strong. By fleeing, James ultimately helped resolve the awkward question of whether he was still the legal king or not, having created according to many a situation of interregnum.

On 28 December, William took over the provisional government by appointment of the peers of the realm, as was the legal right of the latter in circumstances when the king was incapacitated, and, on the advice of his Whig allies, summoned an assembly of all the surviving members of parliament of Charles II 's reign, thus sidelining the Tories of the Loyal Parliament of William did not intervene in the election that followed.

Although James had fled the country, he still had many followers, and William feared that the king might return, relegating William to the role of a mere regent, an outcome which was unacceptable to him. On 30 December, William, speaking to the Marquess of Halifax , threatened to leave England "if King James came again" and determined to go back to the Netherlands "if they went about to make him Regent".

The English Convention Parliament was very divided on the issue. The radical Whigs in the Lower House proposed to elect William as a king meaning that his power would be derived from the people ; the moderates wanted an acclamation of William and Mary together; the Tories wanted to make him regent or only acclaim Mary as queen. On 28 January a committee of the whole House of Commons promptly decided by acclamation that James had broken "the original contract"; had "abdicated the government"; and had left the throne "vacant". The Lords rejected the proposal for a regency in James's name by 51 to 48 on 2 February.

The Lords also substituted the word "abdicated" for "deserted" and removed the "vacancy" clause. The Lords voted against proclaiming William and Mary monarchs by 52 to On 4 February the Lords reaffirmed their amendments to the Commons's resolution by 55 to 51 and 54 to The next day, the two Houses entered into a conference but failed to resolve the matter. William in private conversation with Halifax, Danby, Shrewsbury, Lord Winchester and Lord Mordaunt made it clear that they could either accept him as king or deal with the Whigs without his military presence, for then he would leave for the Republic.

But he let it be known that he was happy for Mary to be nominal monarch and preference in the succession given to Anne's children over his by a subsequent marriage. Anne declared that she would temporarily waive her right to the crown should Mary die before William, and Mary refused to be made queen without William as king. The Lords on 6 February now accepted the words "abdication" and "vacancy" and Lord Winchester's motion to appoint William and Mary monarchs.

Consent Withdrawn A Novel About The Next American Revolution

The proposal to draw up a statement of rights and liberties and James's invasion of them was first made on 29 January in the Commons, with members arguing that the House "can not answer it to the nation or Prince of Orange till we declare what are the rights invaded" and that William "cannot take it ill if we make conditions to secure ourselves for the future" to "do justice to those who sent us hither".

However, on 4 February the Commons decided to instruct the committee to differentiate between "such of the general heads, as are introductory of new laws, from those that are declaratory of ancient rights". On 7 February the Commons approved this revised Declaration of Right, and on 8 February instructed the committee to put into a single text the Declaration with the heads which were "introductory of new laws" removed , the resolution of 28 January and the Lords' proposal for a revised oath of allegiance.

It passed the Commons without division. It listed twelve of James's policies by which James designed to "endeavour to subvert and extirpate the protestant religion, and the laws and liberties of this kingdom". The Bill of Rights also vindicated and asserted the nation's "ancient rights and liberties" by declaring:. On 13 February the clerk of the House of Lords read the Declaration of Right, and Halifax, in the name of all the estates of the realm, asked William and Mary to accept the throne. William replied for his wife and himself: "We thankfully accept what you have offered us".

They then went in procession to the great gate at Whitehall. The Coronation Oath Act had provided a new coronation oath, whereby the monarchs were to "solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of this kingdom of England, and the dominions thereunto belonging, according to the statutes in parliament agreed on, and the laws and customs of the same". They were also to maintain the laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel, and the Protestant Reformed faith established by law.

While Scotland played no part in the landing and there was little enthusiasm for William and Mary, by November only a tiny minority actively supported James. News of James's flight led to celebrations and anti-Catholic riots in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Most members of the Scottish Privy Council went to London; on 7 January , they asked William to take over government. Elections were held in March for a Scottish Convention , which was also a contest between Presbyterians and Episcopalians for control of the kirk.

While only 50 of the delegates were classed as Episcopalian, they were hopeful of victory since William supported the retention of bishops. However, on 16 March a Letter from James was read out to the Convention, demanding obedience and threatening punishment for non-compliance.

Are rightwing pundits right that America is on the brink of a civil war?

Public anger at its tone meant some Episcopalians stopped attending the Convention, claiming to fear for their safety and others changed sides. Many later returned to the kirk but Non-Juring Episcopalianism was the key determinant of Jacobite support in both and The English Parliament held James 'abandoned' his throne; the Convention argued he 'forfeited' it by his actions, as listed in the Articles of Grievances. Tyrconnell had created a largely Catholic army and administration which was reinforced in March when James landed in Ireland with French military support; it took two years of fighting before the new regime controlled Ireland.

James had cultivated support on the fringes of his Three Kingdoms — in Catholic Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. Supporters of James, known as Jacobites , were prepared to resist what they saw as an illegal coup by force of arms. The first Jacobite rebellion , an uprising in support of James in Scotland, took place in In Ireland, Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell led local Catholics, who had been discriminated against by previous English monarchs, in the conquest of all the fortified places in the kingdom except Derry , and so held the Kingdom for James.

The war raged from to James fled Ireland following his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne in , but Jacobite resistance was not ended until after the battle of Aughrim in , when over half of their army was killed or taken prisoner. England stayed relatively calm throughout, although some English Jacobites fought on James's side in Ireland. Despite the Jacobite victory at the Battle of Killiecrankie , the uprising in the Scottish Highlands was quelled due to the death of its leader, Dundee, and Williamite victories at Dunkeld and Cromdale , as well as the Glencoe massacre in early Many, particularly in Ireland and Scotland, continued to see the Stuarts as the legitimate monarchs of the Three Kingdoms, and there were further Jacobite rebellions in Scotland during the years , and Though he had carefully avoided making it public, William's main motive in organising the expedition had been the opportunity to bring England into an alliance against France.

On 9 March Gregorian calendar the States General responded to Louis's earlier declaration of war by declaring war on France in return. It stipulated that the combined Anglo-Dutch fleet would always be commanded by an Englishman, even when of lower rank; also it specified that the two parties would contribute in the ratio of five English vessels against three Dutch vessels, meaning in practice that the Dutch navy in the future would be smaller than the English. The Navigation Acts were not repealed. On 18 May the new Parliament allowed William to declare war on France.

Having England as an ally meant that the military situation of the Republic was strongly improved, but this very fact induced William to be uncompromising in his position towards France. This policy led to a large number of very expensive campaigns which were largely paid for with Dutch funds. In the Republic was financially exhausted; it withdrew from international politics and was forced to let its fleet deteriorate, making what was by then the Kingdom of Great Britain the dominant maritime power of the world.

The Dutch economy, already burdened by the high national debt and concomitant high taxation, suffered from the other European states' protectionist policies, which its weakened fleet was no longer able to resist. To make matters worse, the main Dutch trading and banking houses moved much of their activity from Amsterdam to London after Between and , world trade dominance shifted from the Republic to Britain. After being revisited by historians in —the third centennial of the event—several researchers have argued that the "revolution" was actually a successful Dutch invasion of Britain.

It is difficult to classify the entire proceedings of —89 but it can be seen that the events occurred in three phases: conspiracy, invasion by Dutch forces and "Glorious Revolution". It has been argued that the invasion aspect had been downplayed as a result of a combination of British pride and successful Dutch propaganda, trying to depict the course of events as a largely internal English affair.

As the invitation was initiated by figures who had little influence themselves, the legacy of the Glorious Revolution has been described as a successful propaganda act by William to cover up and justify his successful invasion.

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The overthrow of James was hailed at the time and ever since as the "Glorious Revolution". Edmund Burke set the tone for over two centuries of historiographical analysis when he proclaimed that:. Many historians have endorsed Burke's view, including Macaulay and more recently John Morrill, who captured the consensus of contemporary historiography well when he declared that "the Sensible Revolution of —89 was a conservative Revolution".

Kenneth H. Rubin, Robert J.


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