William of Orange tried to be as absolute as possible. Inroads upon the power of the executive were fiercely resisted: indeed, William succeeded in keeping even the judiciary in a precarious state of independence. To maintain the prerogative and gain the needed supplies from parliament, he relied upon a mixed whig-tory ministry to direct court efforts. Following the Glorious Revolution, the whigs had divided into two principle groups. One faction led by Robert Harley and Paul Foley became the standard-bearers of the broadly based Country party, maintained the “old whig” traditions, did not seek office during William's reign, tried to hold the line on supply, and led the drive to limit the prerogative. The “junto,” “court,” or “new” whigs, on the other hand, were led by ministers who, while in opposition during the Exclusion crisis, held court office, aggressively sought greater offices, and wished to replace monarchy with oligarchy. They soon joined tory courtiers in opposing many of the Country party attempts to place additional restrictions upon the executive. To defend the prerogative and gain passage for bills of supply, William also developed techniques employed by Charles II. By expanding the concept and power of the Court party, he sought to bring together the executive and legislative branches of government through a large cadre of crown office-holders (placemen) who sat, voted, and directed the votes of others on behalf of the government when matters of importance arose in the Commons. So too, William claimed the right to dissolve parliament and call new elections not on a fixed date, as was to become the American practice, but at the time deemed most propitious over first a three-year and then (after 1716) a seven year period.