chapter  1
30 Pages

The framework of the executive

During this period there were a number of crucial developments that set the context for the chapters that follow. One was the flight of James II, his deposition, and the establishment by Parliament of the monarchy of King William and Queen Mary. Here began the development of the mixed system of government that is the theme of the first three chapters. This, however, did not take place in a vacuum. It was strongly influenced by a number of other key developments, four of which are touched on here. One was the growth of England’s power within the British archipelago. A second was Britain’s growth as a world power. A third was Britain’s ability to fund long periods of warfare that was itself due, in part at least, to the rapid expansion of her trade and commerce. Finally, although the propertied elite soon acquired a strong dominance of the principal institutions of government, this was accompanied by a gradual, if uneven, growth in various forms of ‘non-elite’ or popular political activity.