Glorious Revolution in England and North America

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The Bonds of Empire: Overview

The Bonds of Empire was a historic event that took place in Europe for about a century, i.e. from 1660 to 1750. The historic era was characterized by consistent rebellion and war as a result of the growing colonization activities of some European countries. Some of the countries to be colonized which were not ready for the Glorious Revolution and therefore, they rebelled. Conflicts arose between some European countries such as England and North America. However, the Glorious Revolution was meant to shape and strengthen the relationship between England and some of its colonies in North America. The efforts of the revolution led to several consequences in the mainland colonies. European countries that had succeeded in establishing colonial empires in North America include the French, Spanish, and British. The aim of this research paper is to give an outline of how the outcome of the Glorious Revolution in the period between 1660 and 1750 shaped the relationship between England and its colonies in North American colonies.

The Rebellion and War (1660-1713)

England made several efforts to weld or unite her colonies into one strong coherent empire before the restoration in 1660 ("Chapter 04 - The Bonds Of Empire, 1660-1750 | Coursenotes"). Later, the English authorities decided in undertaking a plan of expanding the trade in the overseas countries despite the constant rivals in the destination countries. They had plans to subordinate its colonies in North America to the English political authorities and for commercial interests. The efforts of England continued after being modified and after the fall of the Stuarts in 1689. This led to the emergence of international wars between the English colonies in North America and England. The rebellion and constant wars lasted for a long period of time, i.e. for 53 years, from 1660 to 1713.

Royal Centralization (1660 to 1688)

The royal monarchs in the European colonizing countries were meant to achieve their aim goal of royal centralization which they did between 1660 to 1688. The monarchs who were playing the role of restoration disliked the representative government. Charles II rarely called sessions into the parliament after 1674 so that they can draw strategic plans and as well discuss important matters concerning their mission of royal centralization of building a great empire between England and its colonies in America. After 1681, Charles II didn’t call even one parliamentary meeting. James II wanted to rule the empire at that time as an absolute monarch, which meant that it would never be possible for him to face an elected legislation. The two kings, Charles II, and James II had no sympathy for the Colonial assemblies and they rarely paid them respect as they are mandated to. James, the brother of Charles II, also called Duke of York, in his opinion, regarded the elected assemblies as of “dangerous consequence”. He, therefore, forbade them from meeting in New York. New England tried to rebel the crown policies and defend the self-government.

In 1661, citizens were freed from the laws and decrees from England except for war. On top of that, the colonies ignored the Navigation Acts from the English men. In 1679, Charles II punished Massachusetts by carving NH out of the colony. However, in 1684, Charles II made Massachusetts a royal colony. He as well revoked the charter of the colony (the foundation of the Puritan city on a hill). Regardless of the tough resistance from the English colonies in North America, royal centralization increased exponentially after King James II. By 1688, they achieved to consolidate Massachusetts, Plymouth, New York, and the Jerseys into the Dominion of New England. Later on, Sir Edmund assumed the governor position of the Dominion of New England.

The Glorious Revolution in England and America (1688-1689)

There was freedom and peace during the Bloodless Revolution in 1688 which was also called the Glorious Revolution. The revolution led to the creation of a limited monarchy in England. Those in authority promised to call parliamentary meetings once a year whereby they will sign all the bills and promise to respect all the traditional civil liberties. After William and Mary becoming the king and queen of England, they overthrew James II and dismantled the Dominion of England as well. New York rebelled together with Leisler’s Rebellion. They seized the main fort on the 31st of May 1689. Captain Jacob Leisler respected and exploited of New York. He was later charged with treason because of firing troops then went to the gallows. In 1692, Maryland made Protestant their religion. Consequently, the Catholics were made to worship in private places and lost their right of voting. The revolutionary events that happened from 1688 to 1689 changed the political situation of the colonist countries and led to the re-establishment of a legislative government. The revolutionary also established a nation whereby the Protestants had their religious freedom. Mary and Williams conquered the Dominion of New England ordered the governors to call for parliament assemblies. This made it possible for the colonial masters and elites to control the local affairs. The foundation led to the formation of an empire that was based on voluntary allegiance.

A Generation of War (1689 to 1713)

The Bloodless Revolution led to 25 years of warfare, convulsing with North America and Europe (Phillipson). The war led by King Williams (War of the League of Augsburg) was the first struggle to embroil the colonialists and the Native Americans in the European rivalries. In 1690, citizens of New York and New England started a two-prong war in New France, one at Montreal and another in Quebec. However, all the invasions made failed and raiding of borders took place. In 1696, French armies destroyed all villages and the Five Nations Iroquois Confederacy. The war of King Williams ended in 1697, but the war persisted in Five Nations until 1700. In 1702, the European war erupted again. England fought France and Spain in the War of Spanish Succession (Queen Anne’s War). The consequences of the imperial wars for Anglo-America were political, not military.

Colonial Economics and Societies (1660 to 1750)

Between 1660 and 1750, there were Mercantilist Empires in America. The mercantilism approach was meant to form policies that were to be used in guaranteeing prosperity to a nation by making it economically-sufficient by removing foreign competitors and dependence on foreign suppliers. The mercantilist policies of Britain were in the Navigation Acts. Colonial trade was carried out according to the Navigation Act of 1651. Between 1660 and 1663, colonial merchants were barred from exporting commodities such as tobacco and sugar to any country except England. In 1672, administrative powers were given to enforce the plan. Molasses from foreign countries entering the mainland colonies were taxed according to the Molasses Act of 1733. The Navigation Acts impacted Britain in several ways, i.e. they limited imperial trade with ships of the British; barred some goods such as rice, fur, tobacco, and indigo) to foreign countries unless they passed through Scotland or England; led to encouragement of economic diversification and protected the market of the colonies from low-priced goods from Britain. The Britain colonies prospered economically over the France and Spain colonies.

The activities before led to high immigration, diversity, and hence population growth. The economic advantage of Britain was reinforced by the high demography since it had more colonists than Indians. The immigrants include English Welsh, Africans, Irish, German, Scottish, and Dutch. Britain also had masses of slaves whereby slaves from various regions were mixed and worked in the plantations. The conditions of slave ships were really appalling. Slavery was mainly in the southern colonies. 15% of the slaves lived in the north, i.e. New Jersey and New York. The taking of lands by the colonialists made families unable to provide land their children and made farming only seasonal. The cities played a great role in the prosperity of the colonies because of their high population density. However, there was poor sanitation in the cities which led to the rampant spread of contagious diseases. Wealth was unequally distributed with only a few people having lots of wealth and several people were poor. The slaves, for example, the blacks, were given demeaning wages and lived in poor conditions and worked for long hours without compensation. The economic growth in the cities of the colonies led to the rise of the colonial elites.

The British colonial expansion was possible dislocation and fall in population of the Native Americans. Social problems that faced the Indians such as wars, environmental changes, epidemic diseases, and political situation made a lot of lands available for the white immigrants.

The Return of the War (1639 to 1748)

The British launched a war against Spain in 1739 claiming that the reason was the act of Spain cutting the ear Jenkins, a British smuggle (Phillipson). In 1740, Oglethorpe led a massive British assault and 650 men in waging war against the 3000 Spanish troops and the refugee SC slaves, who however counterattacked in 1742. King George’s War lasted between 1740 and 1748 in British America colonies. The war came as a result of earlier imperial conflicts.

Public Life in British America (1689 to 1750)

After the end of the rebellion war, the colonial politics in British America changed. Assemblies and colonial legislature are the political factors that led to the emergence of the Glorious Revolution. A political body that was subject to control by colonialists was the assembly. The Enlightenment and Great Awakening Movement led to the re-establishment of peace and liberty between the Europeans and its colonies in North America (the Bond of the Empire). The Great Awakening was influential among the Protestants and the Presbyterians. This was a time of increased religious activity. The revival was established by Jonathan Edwards, a theologian who moved through the colonies giving sermons which attracted huge masses who were accepted.


The Bonds of Empire was a great historic event that had both positive and negative consequence for the Europeans, e.g. the British, Spanish, and English and their North American colonies. The colonization created connections between America and Europe. This led to the establishment of a wide market for the exchange of commodities. The North Americans were able to export their goods easily to some European countries. For peace and liberty to reign in any nation, the political system and the legislature must be organized and stable for them to deliver. Though the colonization system at the beginning erupted strong rebellion and wars, it later led to the formation of a larger and strong empire between Europe and North America.

Works Cited

2018, Accessed 11 Nov 2018.

"Chapter 04 - The Bonds Of Empire, 1660-1750 | Coursenotes". Course-Notes.Org, 2018, Accessed 11 Nov 2018.

, Robert. "English: From British Empire To Corporate Empire". Sociolinguistic Studies, vol 5, no. 3, 2012. Equinox Publishing, doi:10.1558/sols.v5i3.441.

November 24, 2023

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