The Bill of Rights was the last event in English history which was to have a direct influence upon the form of government to be adopted in the United States. The important later changes in the workings of the English government did not extend to the government of the American colonies and were very imperfectly understood by the Americans at the time of the Declaration of Independence, or of the Constitution. The constitutional history of England, from the adoption of the Bill of Rights to the accession of George III, can therefore be passed over with a brief mention.

The most important innovation of this period was the development of the English Ministry system. The union of all the different political and religious factors of the English people, which had called William and Mary to the throne of England, was the mere laying aside, instead of the burying of differences, and these differences broke out again as soon as the common danger had been removed. Willaim of Orange, a Hollander by birth, and concerned rather with the larger politics of Europe than with the insular politics of England, could neither fully understand nor sympathize with the aims and prejudices of the individual Englishman. He desired to consider all the previous difficulties as settled and determined by the Bill of Rights, and to unite England in the support of those objects which he considered necessary for the preservation of the liberties of all Europe. For this reason he chose his ministers at the start from the leaders of all political shades. The condition of English politics was such, however, as to render the permanency of such an arrangement impossible. Although the King, after the passage of the Bill of Rights, still retained, for a time, some actual share of the government of England, still the change was rapidly developing by which the power of the executive department passed from the King to that of the Ministry, consisting of the highest offices of the various administrative departments. This English ministry system stands today as one of the so-called conventions of the English Constitution.

One effect of the introduction of the Ministry was to aid in that course of events which were taking away from the King the ruling power and giving it to the House of Commons, to whom the ministry were responsible ; it tended to reverse the positions of the executive and legislative departments and to make the latter entirely dependent upon the former. The Americans at the time of the revolution did not clearly understand the exact relation of the various departments of the English government to each other, nor appreciate this supremacy which the legislative department had acquired over the executive. The English Ministry system was not even considered during the sessions of the Federal Constitutional Convention.