Glorious Revolution Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

Using this lesson plan and materials from, you'll have all the tools you need to show your students just what made the Revolution of 1688 so glorious in the minds of Parliament.

Lesson Objectives

After this lesson, students should be able to:

  • analyze the causes for the Glorious Revolution
  • identify the reasons that James II had to be dethroned


About an hour

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

Key Terms

  • James II
  • William of Orange
  • Declaration of Rights


  • Before starting this lesson, you may find it beneficial to review with students the reason that a Protestant monarch was so important to the English. How did this further create rivalries with Continental powers?


  • Watch the video The Glorious Revolution of 1688: Events and Significance with your class, pausing for key terms and the following points of discussion:
    • 1:12 - What did James II do to upset Parliament so badly?
    • 2:07 - The Dutch were one of the only other major Protestant powers around, with the Spanish, Portuguese, and French being Catholic. Why do you think that Parliament called on William of Orange?
    • 3:12 - What might have motivated James's army to desert?
    • 4:56 - Discuss how this idea of a Constitutional Monarchy was so different than anything seen before. Who won? Who lost?


  • Break your class into small groups and have them debate the following topics amongst themselves:
    • Was Protestantism or Parliamentary power more important?
    • How might things have gone differently had James' army supported him instead of William?
    • Why do you think the whole thing has the name 'Glorious' Revolution?
  • Have the groups share their conclusions with the class.


  • Ask students to compare how the Glorious Revolution compares to other revolutions in European history?
  • The UK doesn't have a single written Constitution, but instead a tradition of events such as the Glorious Revolution. What other events qualify as Constitutional game-changers?

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