Britain, which was a competing ground for monarchies, would have chosen a path of inclusivity and prosperity at the time of the Industrial Revolution. The change occurred when a new kind of society based on principles of innovations and technologies had already emerged, and the obsolete feudal system had been banished. Although it is depicted that the turning point in the history of Britain was the mid-18th century, many factors and incidents in the past were responsible for the abrupt and massive transformation.
The first stone of change was placed in 1252 in the reign of King John. Barons, businessmen, and traders forced the King to sign the first charter of Human Rights of Europe “Magna Carta.” The agreement was made amid the long struggle between barons and the monarch. The King continually levied heavy taxes on people to collect money so the British Empire could strengthen its military. Resultantly, the merchants were disaffected by the aggressive decision of the King, hindering their profits. However, they succeeded in persuading the King with their influence. They affirmed as per the clause written in the charter that if the King transcends its limitation and levies taxes without barons’ consent, they would have the right to seize the castle and monarchy and throw out the King from authority. Moreover, the first time parliament in Britain was elected was in 1265; this was the first step toward political decentralization and the empowerment of the new players. Nevertheless, achieving liberation was not a piece of cake because King, esp. At that time, enjoyed the moral right to exercise his authority over people (thanks to the so-called Roman Empire model.)
As said earlier, the British throne swayed between the two contending families: the House of Lancaster and the House of York. In 1485, the House of Lancaster succeeded in snatching the throne of Britain after fighting a fierce war with the House of York. Thus, Henry Tudor, also known as Henry VII, becomes the new British emperor. However, the monarchy had not remained in the hand of the House of Lancaster for long, for Elizabeth I, the granddaughter of Tudor, died without any heir. Later, the Stuart dynasty took advantage and gained control of England, and James VI held the throne.
Because of his absolutist nature, King James I wanted autocratic rule in England and was in serious conflict with the Parliament. Despite the anger unleashing in the people, he was able to exercise his authority without much restraint. After the death of James I, King Charles I ascended to the throne, and finally, the last emperor of the Stuart Dynasty in England was James II, who took control in 1985 but could retain the throne for only three years.
At the time, when James II became the King and had monarchy in hands, the discontent had already grown massively among parliamentarians. This was because of the King’s involvement in almost all affairs. James II was granting the monopolies to only a few near ones. For example, his brother Charles II enjoyed exclusive trade rights without fearing competition. Clearly, the Parliament had been turned against the King and all royal elites. The stage was already set up for upheaval, and thus the Glorious Revolution in 1688 occurred. The Parliament supported James II’s protestant daughter “Mary” and her Dutch husband “Williams,” and thus, a bloodless battle changed the fortune of England forever.
The victory of Parliament over James II was a deciding factor that filled the notions of strength and power among parliamentarians. Of course, they had never united like this before against the throne.
Soon after the ascendance of William to kingdoms, a declaration known as the “Bill of Rights” was passed in the Parliament and signed by the King. The bill significantly impacted Britain because it was the first time the non-royal people were seen as more empowered than the King. The Bill of Rights stated that the levying of taxes and raising of the army cannot be done without the approval of the Parliament: Moreover, the election would be held and the elected people would be part of the Parliament. Although the voting right was restricted in the hands of a few, we can argue that the Horizon of democracy had been somewhat visible.
Still, common people were not granted the right to vote and be elected, but petitioning had been introduced, and people could petition their concerns. Without any discrimination, the proceeding would be held. Those changing dynamics proved impactful in the later history of Britain. For example, before the Glorious Revolution, the King used to levy taxes, which the people mostly opposed. The Parliament held the responsibility and power to collect taxes and then spend. Moreover, the Bank of England was formed in 1694 to grant loans to people. Also, the Bureaucracy was extended and made effective to functionalize the orders and rules.
Resultantly, a technological boom was witnessed, and innovations took their place. Government-sponsored modernization and advancement. Transportation, metallurgy, trade, and textile all started improving throughout England. People developed a keen interest in joining a new emerging mercantilist society. Entrepreneurship took birth, and innovation changed the landscape forever.
The Manchester Act 1736 is one of the prime examples of that change. The Parliament passed the act to expand the cotton industry and textile exports. Later, the invention of the Steam Engine by James Watt was another milestone that obviously happened due to the fact of parliamentary supremacy. But why did the inventions start happening after the glorious revolution, not before?
In 1583, a priest named William Lee introduced a machine making the manufacturing of garments easy. But, his idea was rejected by then Queen Elizabeth, fearing that the innovation would lead to making people jobless, and her rule would have been threatened. However, it was not the case after the Glorious Revolution because the King was not the one who was fundamentally in charge of affairs. Parliament wanted innovation to galvanize growth; therefore, it welcomed creativity in every domain.
After James Watt, a series of inventions were started. For example, in 1780, Henry Cort invented a technique to remove impurities from Iron. Abraham Darby introduced a method to utilize the water power to operate a bowling cylinder. Moreover, the first flying shuttle was made by John Kay in 1733. There were enormous innovations and inventions that emerged in Britain. In short, Britain has railed on the path of Industrialization, which was the outcome of the massive political change after the Glorious Revolution.