The Magna Carta King John of England put his seal to the Magna Carta, the fundamental English charter that limited the power of the king. It guarantees English political liberties and contains clauses that provide for a church free from domination by the monarchy. It also reformed law and justice system of the time and restricted the behavior of royal officials. Many constitutional forms of government, including the U.S. Constitution, trace their lineage back to the Magna Carta.
King John of England bound not only himself but his "heirs, for ever" to grant "to all freemen of our kingdom" the rights and liberties the great charter described. With the Magna Carta, King John placed himself and England's future sovereigns and magistrates within the rule of law.
When representatives of the young republic of the United States gathered to draft a constitution, they turned to the legal system they knew and admired-- English common law as evolved from Magna Carta. The American Constitution is "the Supreme Law of the Land," just as the rights granted by Magna Carta. This heritage is most clearly apparent in our Bill of Rights.
what it is Magna Carta what it’s not So what? context
Monarchies vs Parliament James I succeeded Elizabeth I on the throne of England. Many monarchs in Europe at that time believed in divine right to rule – but not the English – not until James I. The belief in divine right to rule was the belief that the king’s power to rule came from God and therefore, was ABSOLUTE!
Parliament... Used to exercising its rights as representatives for the English people Clashed with the king once he stated he had ABSOLUTE power
James I lived life of luxury & wanted to go to war so wanted to raise taxes – Parliament refused to form new tax laws unless James agreed that a monarch couldn’t make laws without Parliament’s approval When James’ son Charles I came to throne Parliament forced him to agree to the Petition of Right before they would agree to new taxes
Petition of Right Added to basic rights of English people Parliament alone had the right to impose taxes Once Charles got the $$$$ he dismissed Parliament!!! UH-OH!
what it is parliament what it’s not So what? context
Enemies of the Kings Charles I & James I didn’t just have economic issues Puritans didn’t like that the Church of England was too much like the Roman Catholic Church – they had $$$$ and land & were elected to the House of Commons Both kings were Protestant but supported Church of England
Charles wanted $$ to fight Scotland... Scotts rebelled against Charles b/c he wanted them to follow the Anglican prayer book Parliament said WOO HOO no $$$ for you Charles! Charles tried to arrest Parliament leaders but they were too slick for him – instead a mob went after him! He raised an army in northern England with his loyalists
The English Civil War 1642 – 1649 Royalists / Cavaliers = loyal to King Charles Roundheads = Puritan supporters of Parliament Stalemate until Puritans discovered Oliver Cromwell! Tried King Charles for treason & publicly executed him! REVOLUTIONARY!
1649 – abolished monarchy & established COMMONWEALTH = republican form of gov’t Wrote 1 st modern English constitution BUT then destroyed it & became military dictator POWER HUNGRY!
Restoration & Revolution!! New Parliament Charles II reigns Celebration! Monarchy restored!
Reign of Charles II Period of his rule = RESTORATION Habeas corpus Parliamentary debate over Charles II’s successor (no sons – brother, James, was Catholic!) Beginning of political parties (WHIGS = opposed James / TORIES = supported James) Charles died – James did indeed become king in 1685
what it is Habeas Corpus what it’s not So what? context
Do this homework or you’ll be SLIME! Reflect on habeas corpus – do we need it? – write one page response!
Ohhh James – What were you thinking???? Offended subjects by displaying Catholicism Appointed Catholics to high office which broke the law Dissolved Parliament when it disagreed with him Had son & England feared a succession of Catholic kings! EEE – gads! Sooooo...
Parliament asked James II’s daughter, Mary (a Protestant), & her hubby, William (a Netherland prince), to overthrow James for the sake of Protestantism
William led army to London in 1688 – woosy James fled to France! GLORIOUS REVOLUTION! (bloodless overthrow of King James II)
After the Glorious Revolution... Several measures were taken in England that would be classified as actions promoting a limited government. These measures included a continuing move toward Parliamentary supremacy and the protection of individual rights with the establishment of the English Bill of Rights.
After the Glorious Revolution... France and Russia are two nations that continued to operate under and develop an unlimited government during this time. Both created an absolutist system that concentrated power in the hands of the monarch. Rights and freedoms were severely limited and the few which did exist could be cast aside through the actions of the monarch.
After the Glorious Revolution... Three common ways that France and Russia displayed unlimited authority were in raising taxes, in dissolving the legislative body, and in using the military to enforce its policies.
In a limited government there are restraints placed upon the power and authority of government In an unlimited government, individual rights and freedoms are curbed and citizens are expected to display total obedience to the government.
Authoritarian and totalitarian systems would be classified as unlimited governments since both have no real restrictions to control their actions against citizens and citizens have no recourse against the government.
There are many ways to restrain the power of government and create a structure that is limited in nature. constitutionalism (incorporating the principle of rule of law) democracy (granting people authority in the functioning of government) separation of powers (distributing the legislative, executive judicial powers to several government bodies rather than allowing the concentration of these powers into one body or person).
Do this homework or you’ll be SLIME! Reflect on this quote – write one page response!