Both conventional and revisionist historians of the revolution have been too "insular" in their concerns; and, in their fascination with the events of 1688, they have not sufficiently pondered the first three years of the reign of James II
, especially in comparison with the deeds of his cousin Louis XIV.
The problem with 1688 is that it was almost always justified in ways that stressed religion: James II
was a Catholic and was therefore inclined to use arbitrary authority to advance his insidious goal of undermining Protestantism.
On the other hand, Charles II and James II
did issue various Declarations of Indulgence that suggested support for religious toleration, but these were probably thinly veiled attempts to legalize Catholicism, with most English and Scots at the time believing that, once implemented, they would lead to the gradual erosion of nonconformist rights.
Surely a good Northern Irishman would know that James II
of England was the brother of Charles II, not his son (Charles II having had no legitimate offspring).
Three chapters are devoted to James VI and I, and subsequent chapters to Charles I, the exile and restoration of Charles II, and the rule and exile of James II
Anyway, time there was a sequel - he was followed by James II
, followed by William of Orange.
Charles Carroll's grandfather, also named Charles Carroll, sailed to Maryland in 1688 after briefly serving the faltering court of James II
By the time of James II
in 1450 scruffs could face fines of pounds 200 - equivalent to pounds 100,000 at today's prices.
When James II
succeeded Charles II and again made gestures toward autocratic rule, he was overthrown in the bloodless "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 and William of Orange raised up in his stead.
Any list of hopeless monarchs would have to include William II, John, Edward II, Richard II, Henry VI, Edward V, Edward VI, Mary I, Charles I, James II
, George III, and Edward VIII.
Neeson says that he doesn't understand why the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, in which William III defeated the Irish-backed Catholic regime of James II
, still is celebrated.
Every summer, members of the Orange Order and the "Apprentice Boys" (another ostensibly Protestant organization) march through the Catholic ghettos of Porladown, Derry and other towns to celebrate the military victory of William of Orange (a Protestant) over James II
(a Catholic) over three centuries ago, thumbing their noses at fire descendants of the vanquished.