Development of Common Law 1066: William the Conqueror sails across the English channel and becomes king at Battle of Hastings Centralizes power ending local rule & law Henry II: king can’t write laws, only follow customs. He begins to make customs the laws and sends judges to enforce them. These “common laws” apply to all people People preferred common law courts to local courts or church courts –Provided standardized law and punishments in all of England
Jury and Trial Henry believed that local citizens should participate in trial process When a royal judge visited an area a group of local men were brought together to be the “jure” (French word meaning “sworn to oath”) Birth of grand jury (group who decides if a case should be brought to trial) and trial jury (jury who determines guilt or innocence)
Magna Carta During a clash with his nobles, King John in 1215 was forced to sign the Magna Carta The Magna Carta protected the rights of the nobles, the common people and set the powers of the king. Most significant: due process, habeus corpus, no new taxes without consulting the Great Council (later called Parliament) Established the rights of nobles (and later everyone), and meant the king had to follow the law as well.
Parliament Kings summoned the Great Council for advice and to approve new taxes In 1295 Edward I decided that the common people should be represented as well. Each county and town had a representative Becomes a two house legislature: nobles and church officials made up the House of Lords, the others make up the House of Commons As kings needed more money for costly wars with France, the Parliament gained power.
Parliament vs Crown 1485-1603 Tudor family rules England Henry VIII –Broke from Catholic Church, established Church of England Elizabeth I –Worked with Parliament, defended England from Spanish Armada Stuarts of Scotland take over after Elizabeth’s death. Stuarts clashed with Parliament, wanted to be absolute monarchs
Charles I & Parliament Charles I claimed absolute power When he needed money he was forced to summon Parliament Parliament wouldn’t give him money unless he signed the Petition of Right. –Petition prohibited king from raising taxes without approval from Parliament –Banned imprisonment without just cause Signed it, but dissolved Parliament later 12 years later, he is forced to call Parliament again for money Parliament refused to be dismissed (the Long Parliament: lasted 13 years) Parliament tried and executed chief ministers of the king Charles sent troops into the House of Commons Leaders fled out the back and raised an army
English Civil War The supporters of the king (the Cavaliers) were generally wealthy landowners The supporters of Parliament (the Roundheads) were more middle class and Puritan church members Roundheads- led by Oliver Cromwell and after 5 years of fighting captured Charles I. Parliament put the king on trial and condemned him to death. He was executed in 1649. –The first king in Europe to be tried and executed by his people
The Commonwealth Under Cromwell, Puritans took control Abolished the monarchy, the Church of England and the House of Lords. England was declared a Republic (known as the Commonwealth) Catholics were exiled to the worst land in the western part of Ireland England became very strict under the Puritans Cromwell dies in 1658 and because people were tired of the Puritans, Charles’s son was invited back to rule
All Is Not Well Charles II got along better with Parliament than his father. His brother James II, who became king after Charles II, did not however. James was openly Catholic (England was mostly Protestant) and opposed Parliament. Parliament turned to James’s protestant daughter, Mary, and her husband, William III of Orange and asked them to become king and queen. When their army arrived, James II fled to France. Bloodless overthrow of the king= Glorious Revolution
English Bill of Rights In order to get the throne, William and Mary had to accept several acts known as the English Bill of Rights. This set up a limited monarchy –a monarchy where the power of the king or queen is limited by a constitution Rights included: 1.Parliament had to be summoned regularly 2.House of Commons controlled the purse 3.King can’t suspend laws 4.No Roman Catholic could be king 5.Right to trial by jury 6.No excessive fines or cruel/unjust punishment 7.Can’t be held in jail without being charged with a crime