Author Topic: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?  (Read 6183 times)

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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« on: December 09, 2005, 10:35:05 AM »
Hi guys.  ;) I thought - and hope - this thread will provoke an interesting discussion.

This is a poll thread. The question is:

In the Glorious Revoltuion of 1688, who do you think was in the right? James II, Mary Beatrice and the Old Pretender, or William III, Mary II and Queen Anne?

Please post first your answer to the question, and then your reasons for saying so.

I'll go first.  ;) I found it more difficult to decide than I had thought it would be - on the one hand, James was the legitimate, anointed King of Great Britain, and it was surely unfair - and religiously discriminative - to rob James Francis Edward of the throne because of things his father had done. That said, few people have played a strong hand as badly as James did. He flaunted his Catholocism rather than sensibly playing it down, and attemped to cram absolutism down England's throat.

On the other side of the equation, William can scarcely be blamed for acting as he did, with the throne of GB handed to him on a plate. Mary, of course, acted as a dutiful wife rather than the dutiful daughter, which opens up a whole new can of worms - was her first duty to her husband, or her father? Anne's conduct is difficult to defend. She may well have seen herself as the defender of the Anglican faith in England, with Mary away, and perhaps feared for her fellow Anglicans under the James II, and later James III. Of course, she may well have acted purely out of ambition.

I'll cast my vote - I think that James II, Mary Beatrice and their son were in the right. James was the legitimate king, and cannot be blamed for expecting obediance from his daughters, to whom he and his wife had never been anything but kind. William, Mary and Anne's actions were understandable, but I can't say they were right.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

ilyala

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2005, 04:03:48 PM »
i don't believe in such a thing as 'the rightful king'. a king is right if he's doing right to his country. if not, he can be replaced.

i believe james didn't act right. he may have thought he was right, he may have had the best intentions, but i think he would have been bad for his country. idealists don't make the best politicians and a monarch has to be a politician.

i vote for william and mary for the simple reasons that they were better rulers. that's good enough reason for me

bell_the_cat

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2005, 07:36:24 AM »
Quote
i don't believe in such a thing as 'the rightful king'. a king is right if he's doing right to his country. if not, he can be replaced.

i believe james didn't act right. he may have thought he was right, he may have had the best intentions, but i think he would have been bad for his country. idealists don't make the best politicians and a monarch has to be a politician.

i vote for william and mary for the simple reasons that they were better rulers. that's good enough reason for me


I agree with Ilyala, though maybe James could have taken Mary, William and Anne with him - the later Stuarts were a rubbish lot on the whole ( though interesting! ;D). They could have asked the Electress Sophia to take over the show. this would have had the nice side effect that George I and George II would have been able to speak English!

Hang on, maybe that's not a good idea! :-/

I (like the Vicar of Bray) would probably have supported the winners i.e. W+M, though I do feel for MB and her poor little baby!


elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2005, 06:25:54 PM »
My papist ancestors were all Jacobites which is how we ended up in North America. Now, even with the hindsight of centuries, I would still side with James.

palatine

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2005, 10:08:34 AM »
I think William, Mary and Anne did the right thing, not only for the future of Great Britain but also for the long term survival of the monarchy.  

The threat of French conquest and domination on the Continent was a very real one, and would have had serious implications for England if successful.  English help was needed to defeat Louis XIV, help that would not have come from James II.  

By agreeing to the Bill of Rights, William and Mary significantly weakened the monarchy by putting key powers in Parliament's hands.  This may well have helped save the monarchy generations later, when so many absolutist regimes fell.

The methods William, Mary and Anne used to dethrone James II are not altogether admirable.  The warming-pan slander was both vicious and unnecessary.

For what it's worth, George II did speak English, albeit with a strong German accent.

elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2005, 01:14:50 PM »
I fail to see how betraying their father and condemning him and his family to perpetual exile was the right thing for Mary and Anne to do.

The  brutal Penal Laws inflicted upon the Irish people by William of Orange in the 1690's (I have plenty of links and a whole stack of books if you want proof of the inhumanity) and the "colonization" of lands already inhabited by the Irish people is reason enough to protest the illegal and ignoble usurpation of the British throne by James' daughters. Being a Jacobite was a matter of principle and honor for many.

ilyala

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2005, 01:19:30 PM »
this policy has been going on in ireland since ireland was 'conquered' (it was never completely conquered) by the english. i would hardly blame william and mary for it. i don't want to dismiss its cruelty. i just want to point out that it was more of a national policy than a william and mary policy. if you want to blame someone, blame the whole of the english people :)

elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2005, 01:43:09 PM »
Excuse me, but the policy worsened drastically under William and Mary. Here is a link describing the Penal Laws inacted in 1695. (Please do read it.)

http://www.rootsweb.com/~irlket/penallaws.html

By 1778, the native Irish Catholics owned only 5% of the land in Ireland.  They were systematically disenfranchised, disinherited, enslaved and starved by the Orange men and the House of Hanover.  You CANNOT compare it to ANYTHING that happened under the Stuarts - the real Stuarts. Why else would so many of the Irish have become Jacobites?? Before 1695, it was not as bad. (I know, because my family had a castle which was confiscated. They had fought with the Normans over it and defeated them so often.... the AngloIrish just gave up and left them alone....Until the Orange Men came....)

Please see also Moody and Martin's "The Course of Irish History," Robert Kee's "The Most Distressful Country, Vol I" and "A History of Ireland" by Edmund Curtis. In the early 1820's when the potato famines became increasingly worse and the Irish people, though they had won many rights had been paupered by the policy of William of Orange and his Hanoverian successors, really began to starve began to emigrate in great numbers of their own accord. This is not taking into account the thousands who were sent to America and Australia as slave laborers.

ilyala

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2005, 01:47:30 PM »
cromwell had a simmilar policy. he slaughtered thousands of irish people. no-one said a thing about it. irish were regarded as peasants and almost as animals.  had the english people not agreed to this, it wouldn't have happened. the irish persecution was national policy, even if the degree of it varied from king to king. but they were always persecuted. and you can't pick one particular king and say 'it's his fault'.

elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2005, 02:05:59 PM »
Yes, Cromwell was awful, too.

palatine

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2005, 04:17:57 PM »
The penal laws were not dreamed up by William.  They were thought up and enacted by the Irish Parliament, which was packed with Protestant "settlers" who had gained land there under the Stuarts.  William allowed the laws to stand because he was more interested in the war against Louis XIV than in the fate of Irish Catholics.  Anne let them stand because she was a bigoted Anglican.  George I let them stand because he did not want to risk offending the protestant power players in his new kingdom by being merciful to Catholics.  George II cursed the penal laws that deprived him of Irish troops, but recognized that changing the laws would only lead to an uproar, since the vast majority of his people were protestants, a large number of whom were making a comfortable profit from Irish misery.  

It is true that many Irish lost their lands under William, but it is also true (per biographies of Cromwell and books about the Civil War) that the bulk of the Irish who lost property in the seventeenth century did so under Cromwell, an injustice that Charles II and James II did little to address.  When land in Ireland was confiscated from various regicides after the Restoration, Charles II handed it out to his friends rather than return the land to the rightful owners.

William deposed James because the threat posed by Louis XIV outweighed any loyalty he might have felt to him as his uncle and father-in-law.  At the time of the Glorious Revolution, Louis XIV was planning to make himself (or his son) Holy Roman Emperor thanks to bribery and/or intimidation of five of the eight electors.  Louis had gobbled up a great deal of German territory already, including the duchy of Lorraine, through conquest and (illegal) chambers of reunion.  Louis also had hopes of conquering the Dutch.  Keep in mind that his son had a strong claim on the Spanish throne and empire, and you see what a recipe for disaster was brewing vis-a-vis the balance of power in Europe and in the colonies.

William and the Allies could not risk allowing James to sit on the sidelines; by and large, many of the Allied powers were poor, particularly the Austrian Habsburgs, who were simultaneously at war with the Turks at that time.  The Allies needed the resources England could provide in money and in troops, as well as its navy.  

William also could not risk the possibility that James might use his fleet against the Dutch in conjunction with Louis XIV, something the Stuarts had done before.  

If James had remained on his throne and if the Allies had been defeated, James might have held on to his kingdoms, though there is some evidence that Louis had designs on Ireland.  James almost certainly would have lost his colonies, which, in the long term, would have made Great Britain a third-rate power.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by palatine »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2005, 05:52:13 PM »
Can we try to stay on topic please?  :)
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

Emperor_Nikolai_I

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2005, 05:57:17 PM »
I am absolutely for King James II/VII and his son James (III/VIII). ;D

There is no cause why William of Orange should be the rightful king.

Duke_of_Lynnwood

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2005, 01:42:23 AM »
On the subject of duty, the duty for people like Mary, was to her husband and more importantly the country. When you are a leader you have to think of what is best for the whole and not the individual. There were constant wars over Catholicism and Anglicanism in England and Anglicanism won. Was the Monarch head of the of the church back then? If so then how can the monarch be head of the Church of England when they are subservient to the Church of Rome, which is VERY VERY different than protestantism.

In the bible, when someone gets married they cleave to their husband or wife and become one flesh. They loose themselves from their parent and cling to their husband/wife. They no longer have to submit to their parents' especially when they are causing problems for the entire country. What kind of sense would it make to split with your husband so you can do what your dad or mom says?

Speaking of atrocities, that is deplorable what William and Mary oversaw in Ireland, there's no excuse but don't act like James and Catholicism has a spotless history with those who don't subscribe to their faith.

I cast my vote in the hat for William, Mary, and Anne, they were rightful because they were Protestant and they knew that if they had a Catholic monarch there would be and for a time there was unrest.

p.s. they wouldn't have lasted as it is. The last direct dynast was the Cardinal Duke of York. no heirs. The people that the Jacobites put the claim on would have probably declined or would have come to England and been hated for being foreigners AND catholics. No good would have come of it.

ilyala

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Re: Poll - Who's side are you on in 1688?
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2005, 06:01:51 AM »
i have already cast my vote on william and mary. but i have to say that maybe if james would have stayed king, there would have been a different matrimonial policy and the dinasty wouldn't have ended there :)