Religious divide and antagonism, and not interdenominational reconciliation or peace, has been the outstanding characteristic of modern Irish history. The unsuccessful religious Reformation in the sixteenth century created a complex religious structure that consisted of an established Protestant church made up of a minority of the population (chiefly Anglican settlers from England) that had dominance over the majority population, belonging to the Catholic Church. While the seventeenth-century influx of Presbyterians from Scotland, adding a third religious group, was chiefly confined to the north of the country, that century saw two national revolutions, both in which religion was the central issue. With the defeat of James II in Ireland by William III in 1690–1691, which effectively consolidated the “Glorious Revolution” in the British Isles, the Protestants secured their dominant status in Ireland. Hence, the eighteenth century became the golden age of Protestants, when Catholics were largely excluded from state (public office) and landownership by the so-called penal laws, and a confessional state in Ireland was established.