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James used this power especially to re-establish the Roman Catholic religion; and as the Protestant dissenters lay under penalties similar to those that weighed on the Catholics, James tried to win the favour of both by dispensing with the laws that oppressed them. But he did
not succeed as he hoped. The dissenters remembered how cruelly James had treated the covenanters in Scotland during his brother's reign, and thought he only wished to use them now to further his designs for the establishment of Catholicism. So that they were supporters of the opponents of James, preferring the lasting welfare of the country to their immediate advantage.
At length, in 1688, James ordered the clergy to read a “Declaration of Indulgence" in their churches, allowing the Catholics and Dissenters to celebrate their worship openly. Scarcely any of the clergy obeyed, and seven of the bishops presented a petition, begging to be excused from publishing the Declaration. James was very angry, and had the bishops brought to trial, for what he called sedition aud libel. All the nation awaited the issue with the utmost anxiety, and when, after a long trial, the bishops were acquitted, the joy of the people was unbounded.
Just at this time a son was born to James, the people believed this child would be brought up in the doctrines of his father, in which case neither their liberties nor their religion would be safe, some noblemen invited William, Prince of Orange, the son-in-law of James, to come over and liberate the kingdom. The prince agreed, and James, distrusting his army and his friends, abdicated the throne, and made his escape to France.
Parliament met soon after to deliberate on the state of the nation, and came to the resolution “ That King James II., having endeavoured to subvert the constitution of the kingdom by breaking the original contract between king and people, and by the advice of Jesuits and other
wicked persons, having violated the fundamental laws, and having withdrawn himself out of this kingdom, has abdicated the government, and that the throne is thereby become vacant.” Then they made a further resolution, “ That it hath been found by experience to be inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this protestant kingdom, to be gorerned by a popish prince.” The crown was then offered to William and his wife Mary, who were to be jointly king and queen.
Then in 1689 the celebrated “ Bill of Rights” was passed. This finally settled the points in dispute between the Stuarts and the people, and established the supremacy of the law, expressly declaring that it was illegal for the king to suspend or to dispense with laws. Other clauses secured advantages for parliament and people, and from this time, there has been no important change in the relation between the sovereigns of England and their subjects. The laws are supreme, and monarch and people are alike amenable to them.
The protestant succession was secured by the “ Act of Settlement,” passed in 1701, which set aside the claims of the son of James, and gave the crown to the descendants of Sophia, granddaughter of James I., the nearest protestant heirs.
Attempts were made to restore James and his descendants, by some gentlemen in Scotland, in 1689,
and by the Irish at the same time. These attempts were suppressed, but there were numerous friends of the Stuarts throughout the three kingdoms, who were known as
the "Jacobites," the friends of James, "Jacobus” being the Latin form for James. The most formidable Jacobite risings were in 1715, when George I. was king, and in 1745, during the reign of George II. Both were put down, and with their failure, the hopes of the Stuarts were extinguished.
LESSON 16.-ENGLAND SINCE 1688.
(N.B.-Learn dates of given epochs.) 1704 A.D.
Union of English and Scottish Parliaments. 1713.
Peace of Utrecht. 1715.
Old Pretender's rebellion in Scotland. 1720.
South Sea Bubble. 1743,
Battle of Dettingen. 1745.
Young Pretender's Rebellion. 1756—1763. Seven Years' War. 1775—1782. American War. 1789.
French Revolution. 1797.
St. Vincent and Camperdown. 1798.
Battle of Nile. 1801,
Battle of Copenhagen. Union of Great Britain and Ireland. 1805,
Battle of Trafalgar, death of Nelson. 1808—1813. Peninsular War. 1815.
Reform Bill. Exiled-driven out of one's country. Regent—one who rules in place of anoIntrigues—secret, underhand schemes. ther (Lat. rex, a king, rego, I Mania-madness (a Latin word).
rule). Sympathy-fellow-feeling (Greek syn, Patriotism-love for country (Lat. pawith, pathos, feeling.
tria, fatherland). Consummate-complete, perfect.
Equably-fairly, equally (Lat. æquus,
The history of our country since 1688, has been marked by many events of high importance, some of the chief of which we will briefly notice under the reign of each monarch.
William III., at the beginning of his reign, had to contend with the Irish supporters of the exiled James II. He defeated them at the battle of the Boyne, 1690, and Ireland was pacified next year. Throughout his reign there was much ill-feeling on the part of many of his
subjects, who were partial to the exiled Stuarts. He is also noted for his policy of resistance to the king of France, who was at this time the most powerful monarch in Europe, and whose power William wished to curtail.
Anne succeeded William in 1702. Her reign is celebrated for the splendid victories of Marlborough over the French; Blenheim, gained in 1704, being the first and most renowned. The parliaments of England and Scotland were united in her reign, and the members met together for the first time in 1707. (The crowns of England and Scotland had been united in 1603, at the accession of James I.) Queen Anne's reign is also noted for the intrigues of the Whig and Tory leaders.
George I., the first of the Hanoverian line, began to reign in 1714. In the following year, there was a rebellion in Scotland, in favour of the old Pretender, but it was suppressed without much difficulty. A bill was passed which extended the duration of parliaments to seven years. His reign is also noted for the mania for speculation that pervaded the nation, and for the « South Sea Bubble.'
George II. succeeded his father in 1727, and reigned till 1760. His reign was largely taken up with wars with Spain and France. In 1743 he defeated the French at Dettingen, a battle important only as the last at which an English king was present. There was a formidable rising on behalf of the young Pretender in 1745, and his adherents gained several successes, but were ať length decisively defeated at Culloden, 1746. This was the last attempt of the Stuarts for the crown. The end of the reign is noted for the breaking out of the “Seven Years' War," in which the English were successful all over the world. In India, the natives and the French were defeated at Plassey, 1757, by Lord Clive. In North America, Quebec was taken by General Wolfe, and Canada reduced, 1759; and in Europe, victories were obtained over the French both
by land and sea. George died, in the midst of these successes, in 1760, and was succeeded by his grandson,
George III., whose long reign of 60 years, was most eventful. The “ Seven Years War was ended by the “Peace of Paris," 1763, after many other brilliant successes. Then followed a period of gloom and misfortune, arising from the revolt of the colonies in North America, and their establishing themselves as an independent nation. Their revolt arose from the attempts of the English Government to tax them, although they were not represented in parliament, and they were aided in their rising by France and Spain. Washington was the American leader, and he at length succeeded in capturing the English general and his army. England was then obliged to consent to the independence of the United States, 1782. Meantime, the English were extending their empire in Hindostan, where they established their supremacy. In 1789, the French Revolution broke out, and, at first, many Englishmen sympathised with the French in their attempt to gain their liberty ; and there was much disaffection in England on this account, and because of the loss of the American Colonies. But when the French proceeded to behead their king and queen, and to put hundreds of persons to death without any just cause,—when their new government became a "Reign of Terror,” the sympathies of the English nation changed, and they rallied round their institutions at home. Then began a war with France, afterwards aided by Spain and Holland. This lasted till 1802, and the English gained the great naval victories of Camperdown over the Dutch, of St. Vincent over the Spanish and French, of the Nile over the French, and of Copenhagen over the Danes; Duncan being the English admiral in the first-named of these engagements, and Nelson distinguishing himself in the others. The war broke out again in 1803, and continued till 1815. Napoleon became Emperor of France in