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Democratic Developments in England

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1 Democratic Developments in England
Prologue 3 Democratic Developments in England I) Medieval Reforms II) Parliament Grows Stronger III) Establishment of a Constitutional Monarchy

2 I) Medieval Reforms The economic and political system of the Middle Ages was feudalism, where nobles are granted the use of lands that belong to the king in exchange for their loyalty, military service and protection of the people who live on the land. Henry II develops a single legal system England that includes juries and the beginnings of common law, which reflects the customs and principles established over time, not just the will of a ruler. At the demand of English nobles in 1215, King John signs the Magna Carta (Great Charter), which limited the power of the king. It implied that the monarch had no right to rule in any way they pleased, but had to govern according to the law.

3 I) Medieval Reforms Clause 39 of the Magna Carta gave people the right to due process of law, which meant that the king could not arbitrarily punish his subjects but had to follow the law of the land. Clause 12 said the King could not levy taxes without the consent of Parliament, England’s national legislature Under King Edward I, the first English Parliament convenes in 1295 which became known as the model parliament because it set the standard for future parliaments by voting on taxes and helping make reforms and laws.

4 II) Parliament Grows Stronger
Over the next few centuries, Parliament’s “power of the purse” or right to approve expenses gave it growing influence in governing. The idea of the divine right of kings, popular with rulers in Europe during the 1600’s, is also advocated by Stuart monarchy. Charles I is forced to sign the Petition of Rights in return for granting revenue from taxes.

5 II) Parliament Grows Stronger
The Petition of rights went against the idea of divine right and absolute monarchy by demanding an end to: Taxing without Parliament's consent Imprisoning citizens illegally Housing troops in citizens’ homes Military government in peacetime

6 II) Parliament Grows Stronger
When Charles I later ignored the document, the English Civil War broke out. Clashes between the monarchy and the parliament lead to Charles I being overthrown and executed by Oliver Cromwell.

7 III) Establishment of Constitutional Monarchy
After Oliver Cromwell executed Charles I, he establishes an unpopular military dictatorship. When Cromwell’s son Richard resigned in 1659, a period called the restoration began where the parliament invites Charles II to restore the monarchy.

8 III) Establishment of Constitutional Monarchy
Parliament continued limiting the power of the monarchy by passing the Habeas Corpus Amendment Act, which means the police must produce the person in court if arrested and they must be informed of what they are accused of and face a judge.

9 III) Establishment of Constitutional Monarchy
Parliament maintains power and eventually offers the throne to Prince William of Orange and his wife Mary, daughter of Charles I to prevent James II from making Catholicism the official religion of England.

10 III) Establishment of Constitutional Monarchy
The Glorious Revolution, as it came to be called, established Parliament's right to limit the power of the English king and control succession to the throne. England was now a constitutional monarchy, where the powers of a ruler are restricted by constitution and the laws of the country.

11 III) Establishment of Constitutional Monarchy
In 1689 William and Mary accepted the English Bill of Rights, a formal written summary of rights and liberties considered essential to the people. The document further limited the power of the monarch and protected free speech in Parliament. The monarch was forbidden to suspend laws, tax or raise an army during peacetime without the consent of Parliament, and people were protected against excessive bail, cruel or unusual punishment, and had the right to petition the government to seek remedies for their grievances.

12 III) Establishment of Constitutional Monarchy
England’s Glorious Revolution and Bill of Rights, along with the ideas of the Enlightenment, would give rise to democratic revolutions in America and France in the late 18th century

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