How Did the Glorious Revolution Affect the Colonies?

The Glorious Revolution affected the colonies by resulting in the dissolution of the Dominion of New England and caused a rebellion against the Catholic leaders of Maryland. Furthermore, the new regime in England began to treat the colonies with “salutary neglect.” Instead of micromanaging colonial affairs, the crown and Parliament allowed the colonies to do more or less as they wished.

The Glorious Revolution, also known as the Revolution of 1688, occurred when Parliament joined with William III of Orange-Nassau and his wife Mary to depose James II of England because of their fear of his Catholicism. This move freed the northern colonies from the control of the Dominion of New England, an administrative merger between those colonies mandated by James II in 1686. The colonists chafed under the centralized control, the new restrictions and the changes to their legal system, and soon after William and Mary came to power, the colonists rebelled. The Dominion soon evaporated, never to return.

Another rebellion took place in the Province of Maryland. This colony, originally intended for Catholics, had a large majority of Protestants by 1688. Led by Colonel John Coode, an army of 700 Puritans defeated the army of the government in 1689, leading to the collapse of the pro-Catholic government and a wave of anti-Catholic legislation. After these events, the British government had no particular policy for the colonies. This salutary neglect allowed the colonies to evolve native institutions, separating them from Great Britain and paving the way for the American Revolution.