Period 4 British Constitutionalism

Period 4
The political
influence that
society had
during the 17th
Question One
Kali Hoying
An Overview of Social Classes
in England
 Nobility
 Gentry
 Yeomen
 Craftsmen,
tenant farmers,
and laborers
An Overview of Political
Structure in England
 King/Queen
 Parliament
House of Lords
House of Commons
House of Lords
 Made
up of nobility and superior clergy
 Appointed
 Usually hereditary
 Possess veto power
House of Commons
 Made
up mostly of landed gentry
 Elected
 Given the say over all
measures to initiate taxation
 Could
not vote
 Could not hold an office
 Discouraged from expressing
their political views in public
 Indirectly influenced politics
ENCYCLOPEDIA. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct 2012.
"Motivating People to Find a Good Government." The Religious and Civil
Wars Continued: What’s War Good For?. N.p.. Web. 24 Oct 2012.
Constitutionalism in England and Netherlands.htm>.
"Constitutionalism in Western Europe: c. 1600-1725.", n.d. Web. 24 Oct 2012.
< Euro/Assignment
Calendar/5-Absolutism & Constitutionalism/7westernconstitutionalism.pdf>.
Stip, Roger. Unit 3.2: 1 English Society in the 17th Century.WMV. 2011.
Video. Youtube.comWeb. 29 Oct 2012.
The Political
Problems of the
17 century
leading up to
the English Civil
Whitney Longenecker
Question 2
Political Problems
King and Parliament
struggled to determine
each other’s role in
James I came into
power after Elizabeth's
death, exercising the
divine right of kings
and alienating
Religious controversies
between the Anglican
Church and Puritans.
Charles I and Parliament
Parliament passed the
Petition of Right, which
prohibited the monarch
from taxing the people
without Parliament’s
Charles I accepted it at first,
but later realized how much
it limited his power, and
decided since he could not
work with the Parliament,
he would not summon it to
meet at all.
Charles I Religious Policy
Charles I married a
Catholic woman,
Henrietta Maria, from
France, which aroused
suspicion for his
religious preference.
Tried to introduce more
ritual to the Anglican
church; Puritans
believed it was a return
to Catholicism.
Charles I Religious Policy
 Attempted
to impose the Anglican Book
of Common Prayer on the Scottish
Presbyterian church, who rose up in
rebellion against the king.
 Charles I was forced to summon
Parliament because he did not have the
funds to raise an army in order to defend
against the Scots.
 This was their first meeting in 11 years.
Charles I vs. Parliament
 Limited
royal authority in their first session.
 Abolished arbitrary court and taxes
imposed without Parliaments consent.
 Pushed for the elimination of bishops in
the Anglican church.
 Charles I tried to arrest some of the more
radical Parliament members such as John
Pym and his fellow Puritans.
The Start of the Civil War
Because Charles I
had tried to arrest
members of
Parliament without
any justification to
any crimes,
Parliament came to
the agreement that
the king had over
stepped his bounds,
and England slipped
into a civil war.
 Walwyn,
William. "Lecture 7: The English
Civil War." The History Guide. N.p., 3 Aug.
2009. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.
 "The Causes of the English Civil War." The
History Learning Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 27
Oct. 2012.
Events of the English Civil War
The English Civil War
The English Civil war
was a series of conflicts
in England between
Parliamentarians and
The Parliamentarians
Supporters of the English
Also known as Roundheads.
Led by Oliver Cromwell.
Wanted to bring more power
to the English Parliament and
remove power from the
The Royalists
Supporters of King
Charles I and Charles II.
Also known as
Sought to keep power
with the Monarch. (King
Charles I)
Events – Start of the War
1642 – King Charles
raises his standard at
Nottingham signaling
the start of the war.
Royalists won most of
the early battles routing
the Parliamentarians
until 1644.
Events – New Model Army
1645 – Cromwell created
the “New Model Army”
Army ranks are based
upon skill and ability rather
than social class.
Becomes modern military
Leads to success for the
Events – End of the 1st Civil War
1646 – King Charles I is
captured by the
Parliamentarian army.
King Charles I escapes
and seeks help from
the Scots.
This signals the start of
the Second Civil War.
Events – End of the 2nd Civil War
1649 – King Charles is
captured by the
Parliamentarian army.
He is beheaded and
the Parliamentarians
claim victory over the
second civil war.
Wallwyn, William. "Lecture 7: The English Civil War." History Guide.
N.p., 03 2009. Web. 28 Oct 2012.
"The English Civil War." History Learning Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct
2012. <>.
5. The Impact of
the Glorious
Revolution on
the Creation of
New Acts
Tayler Shreve
What is the Glorious Revolution?
Also called the Revolution of 1688 or
the Bloodless Revolution
Constitutional crisis resolved through
Came at the end of a reign when
James II had made it evident that he
wanted Roman Catholicism
reinstalled as the country’s religion
Parliament engineered the ouster of
the legitimate male line of the Stuart
Imported a new Protestant king and
 William III and Mary II
William III and
Mary II
What Did The Glorious Revolution Do?
"established an elected Parliament as supreme in the
fundamentals of taxation and legislation and set clear
limits to royal power.“
Established the victory of Parliament over the King
Various contested issues of power were resolved in favor
of Parliament
Parliament had to be convened regularly
All new taxes had to be approved by Parliament
New political arrangements were made with Scotland
English Convention Parliament
 1689
 Met
amid the confusion
created by James’s flight
 In February, the Convention
agreed that James had
“abdicated the government
and that the throne has
thereby become vacant.”
 The leaders of the Convention
prepared the Declaration of
Rights to be presented to
William and Mary
James II
Bill of Rights
Conservative document passed
into law
Established the principle that only a
Protestant could wear the crown of
A new coronation oath required
the monarch to uphold
Protestantism and the statutes,
laws, and customs of the realm as
Had a major political bent to it that
handed a great deal of power to
Some historians view it as the start
of constitutional monarchy
Bill of Rights
Declared that James had
abdicated and that the Crown
had legally passed to William and
Mary and their heirs
Forbade the monarch from being
a Catholic and from marrying a
Taxation raised through anything
else other than Parliament was
A standing army raised without
Parliament’s consent was banned
The prosecution of anyone
petitioning the Crown was
Mutiny Act
 March
 Gave the monarch the legal means to maintain
army discipline but Parliament had to support this
every six months at a time
This was later increased to a year
 Restrained
the monarch’s control over military
forces in England by restricting the use of martial
 Passed for one year only
When it lapsed between 1698 and 1701, the crown’s
military power was not appreciably affected
Toleration Act
May 1689
Did not introduce classic religious toleration
Exempted Dissenters from certain laws
The Toleration Act permitted most forms of Protestant
Unitarians were explicitly excluded, as were Catholics and
Allowed freedom of worship but not full citizenship
except Catholics and Unitarians
Test and Corporation acts were still in force.
Originally intended to be part of a new comprehensive
religious settlement in which most mainline Dissenters
would be admitted into the church
This failed for the same reasons that comprehension had
been failing for 30 years
the Anglican clergy would not give up its monopoly
Dissenters would not compromise their principles
Triennial Act
December 1694
No Parliament should exceed three years
No dissolution of Parliament should be longer than three
Reluctantly agreed to by Charles I
Stated that there had to be a parliament of at least 50
days duration every three years
It was designed to prevent a repetition of the long
absences of parliament
Said it reduced his sovereign powers
Seen in the '11 Years Tyranny' of 1629-1640.
It was never used
Parliaments after the Civil War greatly moderated it
At least recognized the importance of parliament in the
government of the country
Civil List Act
December 1698
Provided the Crown with money to pay for its
as well as financing extraordinary expenditure
such as wars
Previously these expenses had been paid
entirely from the monarch’s hereditary
revenues and from certain taxes voted to
the sovereign for life by Parliament
During the reign of George I, the Civil List
became a fixed sum, with Parliament paying
any debts that were incurred
For George II there were assigned revenues
in addition to fixed grants and a guaranteed
total of £800,000
George III made a political tool of his Civil List
(at a fixed sum of £800,000), rewarding his
supporters in Parliament with secret pensions
and bribes.
Parliament, in turn, sometimes used a
sovereign’s dependence on the Civil List as a
means of persuading him to give up other
income or powers
Act of Settlement
June 1701
A piece of English legislation governing the succession to
the English Crown
It was passed in 1701 to amend the English Bill of Rights,
following the death of the last child of the then Princess
The Act of Settlement wanted to clarify what would
happen if Anne left no heirs The House of Hanover was
Protestant and the act ensured that the Protestant faith
would continue after Anne died
Provides that only Protestant descendants of Sophia, who
have not married a Roman Catholic, can succeed to the
English Crown
In addition, it specifies that it is for Parliament to determine
who should succeed to the throne, not the monarch.
Sophia died before Anne, so the result of the Act was the
succession of Sophia’s son George in preference to many
of his cousins.
As a result of the Act of Settlement, several members of
the British Royal Family who have converted to Roman
Catholicism or married Roman Catholics have been
barred from succeeding to the Crown, though since
George I no individual has been excluded from the
throne on the grounds of religion
Sophia of
Alien Act of 1705
A law passed by the English parliament as a response to
the Scottish parliament's Act of Security of 1704
Provided that Scottish estates held in England were to
be treated as alien property
Also had an embargo on the import of Scottish products
into England and English colonies
Making inheritance much less certain
About half of Scotland's trade, covering sectors such as
linen, cattle and coal
Contained a provision that it would be suspended if the
Scottish entered into negotiations on the dispute
between the two parliaments
Achieved its aim, leading to the Act of Union 1707
uniting the two countries as Great Britain
Passed by the English and Scottish Parliaments
Led to the creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
May 1st, 1707
The UK Parliament met for the first time in October 1707
Scotland’s needed economic security and material assistance
England’s needed political safeguards against French attacks and a
possible Jacobite restoration
for which Scotland might serve as a conveniently open back door
England’s ‘bargaining card’ was freedom of trade
Scotland’s was acquiescence in the Hanoverian succession
The Protestant succession was adopted
Trade was to be free and equal throughout Great Britain and its
Subject to certain temporary concessions, taxation, direct and
indirect, would also be uniform
England compensated Scotland for undertaking to share
responsibility for England’s national debt by payment of an
equivalent of £398,085
Scots law and the law courts were to be preserved
Scottish Parliament passed the treaty in January 1707
The royal assent was given on March 6
The union went into effect on May 1, 1707.
English passed it soon after
Primary Source:
Secondary Sources:
The British Cabinet of the 18th
Question 6
By: Amber Tilicky
The British Cabinet
The Cabinet developed during the 18th
century as an inner committee of the Privy
Council. It is composed of about 20 ministers
chosen by the Prime Minister. The job of the
Cabinet is to determine policy and ensure the
control and co-ordination of government.
The Privy Council was the chief source of
executive power until the system of Cabinet
government developed. Its main function these
days is to advise the Sovereign.
The Privy Council
in 1837
Meetings of the Privy
Council were normally
held once each month
wherever the Sovereign
was residing at the
What is the Cabinet?
The Cabinet is the executive committee of Her
Majesty's Privy Council, a body which has legislative,
judicial and executive functions, and whose large
membership includes members of the Opposition.
The Cabinet is the ultimate decision-making body of
the executive within the Westminster system of government
in traditional constitutional theory
Its decisions are generally implemented either under the existing powers
of individual government departments, or by Orders in Council
The political and decision-making authority of the cabinet has
been gradually reduced over the last several decades, with
some claiming its role has been usurped by a "prime ministerial“
Composed of the Prime Minister and some 22 Cabinet
ministers, the most senior of the government ministers
Within the Cabinet
The Cabinet meets on a regular basis, usually
weekly on a Thursday morning notionally to discuss
the most important issues of government policy,
and to make decisions
The length of meetings varies according to the style of
the Prime Minister and political conditions
The Cabinet has numerous sub-committees which
focus on particular policy areas, particularly ones
which cut across several ministerial responsibilities,
and therefore need coordination. These may be
permanent committees or set up for a short
duration to look at particular issues
 "Top
Sources." Office-Holders in Modern
Britain: Volume 5. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct.
2012. <>.
 "Internet History Sourcebooks." Internet
History Sourcebooks. N.p., n.d. Web. 27
Oct. 2012.
British Constitutionalism
By John
Who has been sick
But is now feeling better
And has returned
The British Constitution (or lack
 There is no written document for the British Constitution
(referred to as “uncodified”)
 Acts
of Parliament are the most though out parts, they
are approved by the Monarch, the House of Lords,
and The House of Commons.
>These acts are sometimes used by the House of
commons to overturn decisions by the House of Lords
 The doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, the Magna
Carta, and the Act of Settlement of 1701 have
influenced many of the ideas
 Amendments are still made even though it is unwritten
by a majority of support from both houses of
Bill of Rights
(Unless under direction of Parliament)
 It is illegal to suspend or put into action
any laws
 It is illegal to have a standing army during
a time of peace
Bill of Rights
(Always illegal)
 Religious courts for (ecclesiastic causes)
 Levying money for the crown unless the
same is given to parliament
 Removing rights to petition against the
 Unfair or excessive fines, juries, or
treatment while under conviction, The
reinstatement of fines before conviction
Bill of Rights
(Granted Rights)
 Subjects are allowed to petition against the king
 Protestants were allowed to have guns when the
Papists had already been building armies against
 Speeches, debates, and proceedings cannot be
questioned (freedom of speech)
 The election of parliament members ought to be
Roland, John. "English Bill of Rights 1689." Constitution. Constitution Society, 10 Oct.
1997. Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <
Trueman, Chris . "The British Constitution." History Learning Site. History learnng, n.d.
Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <
National Archives. "Bill of Rights (1688)." The National Archives UK,
n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <

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