Hist1020KentPaper - 1 History 1020 Professor Kent History...

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History 1020 Professor Kent History of Western Civilization II Path to Supremacy From the middle of the 17 th century to the outbreak of World War I, Western Europe underwent massive changes from type of government to new inventions that simplified life. By the outbreak of World War I, Europe and more specifically the powerhouse countries of Britain, France and Germany had established themselves as dominant world powers. Not only were these countries enabled to dominate the world scene the way they did, but they were also compelled for several reasons. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 in England set the stage for European dominance by indirectly leading to a series of events including the economic revolution, the French Revolution of 1789 and finally the 1 st and 2 nd Industrial Revolution. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 played a crucial role in European dominance and an even more significant role in Britain’s early dominance in Western Europe. The two political parties known as the Whigs and Tories did not approve of the current king James II and encouraged William of Orange, the Dutch King to invade England and take over the thrown. It worked perfectly, or “gloriously” and England came to be ruled by William and Mary with a fair share of power going to parliament. England was now a constitutional monarchy in which the King could not levy taxes or raise a standing army without the consent of parliament (Hunt 644). This was the beginning of a new England where there was no longer a monarch ruling with divine right and the people actually had rights and made decisions. Protection was provided by the Bill of Rights as well as it 1
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states, “That the pretended power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority without consent of parliament is illegal.” (Lualdi 49) By breaking away from absolutism in this revolution, the English people were provided with a little more security with parliament there to check the power of the monarch. Once the Glorious Revolution had taken place, the writings of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke grew in popularity and what is known as the social contract became a common idea among the people. Hobbes believed in absolute authority and Locke believed in constitutionalism. Locke believed that “government’s only purpose was to protect life, liberty, and property, a notion that linked economic and political freedom.” (Hunt 650) It was ideas like these that helped form new ideologies in the minds of the people. Locke’s writings along with the Bill of Rights also gave protection to landowners in England making the monarch unable to seize their lands for no reason. These events worked to put some of the old issues like religious tension in the past and began to allow England to start making the advances that led to its dominance over the world. Life in England and the rest of Europe really started to improve by leaps and
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2008 for the course HIST 1020 taught by Professor Vavara during the Spring '07 term at Colorado.

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Hist1020KentPaper - 1 History 1020 Professor Kent History...

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