Front Page Titles (by Subject) 108.: On the Second English Revolution - Judgments on History and Historians
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108.: On the Second English Revolution - Jacob Burckhardt, Judgments on History and Historians 
Judgments on History and Historians, ed. Alberto R. Coll (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999).
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On the Second English Revolution
(I) Concerning the lofty talk about this second English Revolution: It was enough for the conspirators to know that the nation would not stir. It was indolent and preoccupied with business. Its hatred for the king was not yet great enough for it to overthrow him, but it just sufficed for it to stand by and watch others overthrow him. Afterwards it watched what the army was doing and ran or crept behind it. Since the engineers of the Revolution were clever and lucky enough to give the whole matter the appearance of a mere change within the royal family, the people let it pass.
The nation certainly had an antipathy toward Holland’s friendship, but its hatred for France was probably even greater. However, the active pursuit of those who were truly active was, for Whigs as well as Tories (to the extent that both participated), the saving of Anglicanism from the dissenters. And even so, most of them did not participate until William was there. But this reproach sticks with England, that it took a Dutch army to make England really reform herself.
In addition to the well-founded concern of the ruling Anglican caste over the rise of the dissenters due to the Toleration Acts, there probably still existed as well a vestige of fear of the vestige of Catholicism. The masses, to be sure, were averse to it and alienated from it by a hundred years of disuse; but, after all, this time the masses had no say whatever. At any rate, with real and complete freedom, Catholicism would have achieved an appreciable stature along with the dissenters, though less because of court favor than in spite of it. But the dissenters, who had become even more powerful in the meantime, would then have started a war of destruction against the “idolators.”
(II) As to the shabby course the Revolution took, the English view consoles itself with the well-known idea of how very well God finally dealt with England and how execrably with other nations.
But the real achievement of England (which, being an island, got away with many things with impunity), something that no continental country could have achieved at that time, was to produce two aristocratic parties which not only took turns governing, but were really capable of governing, i.e., possessed the necessary credit with the rest of the nation and, through the parliamentary elections, were dependent on the people. A safeguard against destructive activities was the rather restricted electorate, numbering 200,000 for England and Wales.
To be sure, in the beginning the Whigs were not yet completely separated from the Republicans, nor were the Tories from the Jacobites. At first a large Jacobite party survived, which, given the dubiousness of the new succession, could very well hope to rise once more. Here everything hinged on whether the new, anti-Jacobite England would prosper in the decisive decades. And it did produce a splendid prosperity, in its political influence on Europe, in acquisitions, in industry and commerce.
Thereupon the Jacobites withdrew into ever narrower circles, became easier and easier to count, and finally became extinguished. They had had the better right on their side, but one day they were no longer there.