What Divided Whigs and Tories in the Reigns of William Iii and Queen Anne (1688-1714)?

2934 Words Dec 27th, 2012 12 Pages
Jack Wilson

What divided Whigs and Tories in the reigns of William III and Queen Anne (1688-1714)?

The early days of the new reign of King William III of Orange and his wife Queen Mary II were overshadowed by uncertainty. Could James II hasty departure be treated as abdication? If so by which means- mere physical absence or a violation of fundamental laws? And what kind of steps should be made to ensure such monarchic contractual failures didn’t occur again?
Such questions were a true cause of glory in the “Glorious revolution”. People with incompatible views, despite the passion of beliefs and the heat of the moment, where driven together in pursuit of a compromise through diplomacy. This uncertainty, arising as a result of
…show more content…
So, whilst the invasion and subsequent succession of Protestant William was welcomed by the Whig contingent, the conflicting ideals arising from the issue caused a crippling split within the Tories.
Some chose religion, reluctantly pledging their support to the William regime. Others became Jacobites- dedicating themselves to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the throne. This issue waned in significance after Anne, who was James II’s daughter, took the throne.[13]

Divisions along religious lines between the parties were not just confined to the matter of the protestant succession. In fact other than their shared sentiments in anti-Catholicism very little united the parties on a religious front. Broadly speaking, the Tories stood for the Church of England, as established in Acts of Parliament following the restoration of Charles II — both as a body governed by bishops, using the Book of Common Prayer, and subscribing to a specific doctrine, and also as an exclusive body established by law, from which both Roman Catholics and Nonconformists were excluded[14]. This “high church” sentiment, committed to the privileges of the Church of England was not adopted by the Whigs, who realised that such a stance was likely to damage relations with William- a strong believer in religious tolerance. Relations with Presbyterian Scotland were also likely

Related Documents