In the new parliament a settlement was reached despite a heated party atmosphere. The Commons became reluctant to grant customs for life after allegations of financial mismanagement. With the exception of Charles I, William was the first king of England not to be granted customs for life. Much of William's revenue was consumed by war with France and consequentially the King's debts grew progressively worse. In effect, the war wiped away the idea that the ordinary revenue would be an independent means of income for the crown.

Parliament's 'failure' to grant William adequate revenues in 1689-90 was deliberate - there is clear evidence that the Commons wanted to ensure the crown needed parliaments. Dislike of William in the Commons encouraged willingness to deploy the financial weapon against the crown the Revolution had brought to it. However this decision was not simply based on a determination to curb royal power, it also involved a serious concern in Parliament for the misdeeds of crown officers. The deliberate destruction of hopes for an independent royal revenue led to a transformation in the relationship between the monarchy and parliament. The great constitutional change brought by the Revolution owed more to financial settlement and the strains of war than to the change in ruler of the Bill of Rights.

When the change of ruler, Bill of Rights, financial settlement and Toleration Act are considered, it seems there was little in 1688-9 to justify the cognomens 'Glorious' or 'Revolution'. It was only the Toleration Act that can plausibly be said to have marked anything near a turning point. Despite all this, in the long term the Revolution changed politics and government in England, more profoundly than the events of 1640-60. Fundamental to this was the financial settlement, a deliberate yet pragmatic tactic by Parliament to prevent the abuse of royal power which had become customary during the seventeenth century, continue into the eighteenth. The effects of the financial settlement were accentuated by wars with France in 1689-97 and 1702-13, in part themselves products of the Revolution.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark  
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.