• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did James II lose his throne?

Extracts from this document...


Why did James II lose his throne? James II started his reign in probably the strongest position of any Stuart monarch, yet in a few years he had abdicated and his son-in-law William of Orange had assumed the throne. There are many factors to consider when looking at James' reign, not all problems were down to the incompetence of the last Stuart King, William contributed greatly to James' downfall, but there were also other forces outside either of their control. James' position in 1685 was excellent, Parliament had let him collect taxes without any sanctions, and none of the gentry had joined Monmouth's revolt against him. However, he obviously must have done something wrong to end up losing his throne, the English people did not want to have to get rid of another king, the civil war was still fresh in their minds. James had two major flaws; he was a catholic and he was incompetent. Maybe with only one of these aspects he would have lasted to carry the crown on to his children and history would be a lot different, but that is something we shall never know. ...read more.


There were pro-catholic policies in Ireland; this caused uproar, as people still hated the Irish after the stories published back during James' father's reign. James even put Catholic officers in the Army, something previously illegal. If this wasn't bad enough his excuse was that it would make the army more loyal to him, this denounced the army's previous victories for James against Monmouth, the army's loyalty had never faltered from James. His corruption of the courts was also unpopular as he used his suspending powers to place more Catholics in places of authority. In many ways James was viewed with even more distaste than his father, politicians started looking back on his brother's reign as 'the golden years of King Charlie' even though we know that Charles II frequently had run-ins with parliament. As I said earlier it was not just James fault that he was ousted from his position. Things were going on abroad; Louis XIV of France was a strong catholic and had been persecuting the Huguenots (French protestants), he was also tempting a European war by invading the Rhineland. ...read more.


William at no point challenged James' power, James could have kept his crown by doing nothing, but he panicked. Legally William had no right to challenge James, but James had lost so much support due to his pro catholic policies and his incompetence. James was sailing down the Thames away from England as William was marching into London. In conclusion James lost his throne due to his own faults, his religion and his political disabilities. His shaky political position coinciding with continental politics in my opinion just acted as a catalyst speeding up the process of the Stuarts downfall, though there is no doubt that William was an exceedingly successful and clever politician. James' Catholicism would probably have led to him being removed from power somehow. If he had just been catholic he could have sat back and ruled the country without attempting to challenge the country's protestant faith. On the other hand if he had just been politically inept his protestant advisors could have manipulated him or run the country for him. The combination of these two aspects of his character however would mean that he would have eventually lost his throne no matter what happened in the rest of Europe. 4th November 2001 RTC J.Leggett 13J ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. Does Alexander II deserve the title of 'Tsar liberator'?

    the ?breeding ground? for intellectuals and revolutionaries, the government tried to limit the influence or growth of it by limiting their influence and ensuring they had insufficient finance. Overall, despite the fact that the middle classes grew and that everyone could vote for the zemstva members, zemstvos? were heavily weighted

  2. Henry II (1154 - 1189) is generally seen as the main catalyst in the ...

    Although, Mooney36 addresses the matter of growing conflict over the purposed and implementation of a 'code' housed within the 'Constitution of Clarendon' as being a primary extension of the 'code' based upon the practices endorsed during Henry I's era, to have originally focused upon the relations and power of both the church and state'.

  1. The Portrait of a Lady. Discuss James representations of 'places' for women in this ...

    In Daisy Miller, the fictional presentation of Daisy is as 'one of them'. Daisy's existence within the text is limited to her feminine status as an American girl. With Isabel Archer, James attempted to go beyond this and present an American girl who is a person.

  2. How was Isabella able to secure her succession to the Castilian throne in 1469-1479?

    Vassals on land owned by enemies of the Queen were subjected to royal propaganda informing people of Isabella's right to the thrown. Those who agreed to rise up in rebellion against their owners and at the same time support Isabella were rewarded with privileges and royal protection, offering them peace of mind they had not previously lived with.

  1. Henry James started life in a wealthy family. His grandfather was one of the ...

    James has created a tense novel; he builds huge suspense by not immediately saying what is happening. He presents the story as a journal: the perceptions of the governess. This is slightly similar to 'The Catcher In The Rye' by J.D.

  2. The Golden Bird

    Then the fox stretched out his tail, the king's son seated himself upon it, and away he went over stock and stone until his hair whistled in the wind. Everything happened just as the fox had said, the prince came to the stable in which the golden horse was standing,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work