Post by The Horny Goat
On Fri, 28 Jul 2017 06:18:12 -0700 (PDT), jerry kraus
Again, an excellent point, Don. Charles II, unlike Bonnie Prince Charlie,=
did not invade or conquer England, but was actually invited by the People =
and the Commons to return as Sovereign, because they were very tired indeed=
of the mess they were making of ruling themselves. So, in many ways, thi=
s whole situation is an excellent illustration of the limitations and pitfa=
lls of the concept of Democracy.
Post by The Horny Goat
So how is this fundamentally different when nearly 30 years later a
similar invitation was extended to William of Orange? (Who while not
the legitimate heir was married to the legitimate heir)
Well, when Charles II was invited, Horny, England really didn't have a King, at all, and hadn't really had one for many years. Cromwell quite deliberately refrained from having himself declared King, preferring the highly ambiguous title of "Lord Protector", and referring to himself publicly as the "Good Constable". A kind of guardian of the nation's security, but, not its ruler. He certainly was not attempting to establish an hereditary monarchy with himself as the founder of the dynasty. So, when he died, although some attempt was made to set up one of his sons as his successor, there really was no alternative to either recalling Charles II, or having a comparatively true democracy based on the Commons and the People alone. Obviously, the Commons and the People didn't think they were up to the job, at the time.
In contrast, when William of Orange was "invited" to England, it was with the backing and accompaniment of a rather large invading Dutch Army -- another one of those rather numerous exceptions to the rule that England has never been successfully invaded since 1066 -- with the quite specific purpose of displacing the existing King, James II, and willing to fight it out with him, if absolutely necessary. James II, no doubt bearing in mind the fate of Charles I, saw the writing on the wall, gave up without a fight, thus the "glorious", bloodless revolution of 1688. Since the Revolution of 1688 involved the formal displacement of the existing sovereign by popular will, and the extinction of his entire dynasty, it had the effect of significantly undermining the "royal prerogative". Hence, Samuel Johnson's observation that England hadn't had a Great Prince as ruler since Charles II.
So, effectively, while the invitation extended to Charles II temporarily reinforced the power of the Lords in England, the invitation extended to William III had the opposite effect, reinforcing the power of the Commons and People, and undermining the power of the Sovereign. Charles II made England less democratic, while William III made England more democratic.