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Triumph of Parliament in England. Magna Carta , 1215. King John I forced to accept it. A list of demands made by the nobility. Created a CONTRACT between the king and the aristocracy. Established principles which limited the power of the king: Established basic legal rights.

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Magna Carta, 1215

  • King John I forced to accept it.

  • A list of demands made by the nobility.

  • Created a CONTRACT between the king and the aristocracy.

  • Established principles which limited the power of the king:

    • Established basic legal rights.

    • The king must ask for popular consent for taxes.

    • Accused must have jury trial.

Model Parliament, 1295

  • King Edward I brought his military leaders and nobility together as a Parliament to ask their consent to new taxes.

  • Established the principle of parliamentary “power of the purse.”

  • A radical new idea for any monarch to ask for anything!

TheEarly Stuarts


James I 1603-1625 aka James VI of Scotland

  • Wanted absolute power.

  • He quickly alienated a Parliament grown accustomed under the Tudors to act on the premise that monarch and Parliament TOGETHER ruled England as a “balance polity.”

James I 1603-1625

  • He alienated the Puritans by his strong defense of the Anglican Church.

  • Many of England’s gentry [mostly rich landowners below the level of the nobility] became Puritans.

    • These Puritan gentry formed an important and large part of the House of Commons.

    • It was NOT WISE to alienate them!

James I 1603-1625

  • Problems he faced:

    • Large royal debt.

    • He wasn’t English  he didn’t understand English customs [esp. English law!]

    • Believed in Divine Right of Kings.

    • Pro-Catholic sympathies.

    • Clashed with Parliament

      • He raised money without Parliament’s consent!

Charles I 1625-1649

  • Ruled without regard to the rights of the people=Absolute rule

  • More openly pro-Catholic

Charles I & Parliament

  • Constantly at war with Spain and France.

    • Always need £, but how to get it??

  • Usually Parliament would give Charles £ from taxes to fund his wars.

  • Periodically, Parliament would deny funds.

    • In return, Charles would dissolve Parliament and try to rule England without it  find funds in other ways.

      • Forced “loans,” selling aristocratic titles, etc.

The Petition of Rights, 1628

  • In return for money to fund his wars, Charles I agreed:

    • No imprisonment without due cause.

    • No taxation without Parliament’s consent.

    • No putting soldiers in private homes.

    • No martial law during peacetime.

  • Charles signed it, and then ignored it, dissolving Parliament!

The “Long” Parliament

  • No Parliament in 20 yrs.

  • Rebellion in Scotland 

  • Charles needs £ £ £ war with France

  • Calls Parliament into session in 1640

  • In session from 1640 to 1660.

    • Triennial Act passed  Parliament must be called in session at least once every 3 yrs.

    • Parliament can’t be adjourned without its own consent

  • Charles enters the House of Commons to end the session and arrest 5 MPs unsuccessful

  • Charles heads north to form an army! Supporters of the king were the Cavaliers and the opponents were the Roundheads

  • The EnglishCivil War


    Civil War (1642-1649)



    • House of Lords

    • N & W England

    • Aristocracy

    • Large landowners

    • Church officials

    • More rural

    • House of Commons

    • S & E England

    • Puritans

    • Merchants

    • Townspeople

    • More urban

    Regicide  Beheading of Charles I, 1649

    • The vote by the Rump Parliament was 68-67.

    Lord protector of england oliver cromwell 1649 1658
    Lord Protector of England: Oliver Cromwell-1649-1658

    • Led the Roundheadsthat defeated royal forces and now controlled the government(abolishing the monarchy)

    • 1658-Richard Cromwell succeeds his father…for only two years.

    The Restoration


    Parliament could no more exist without the Crown than the Crown without Parliament.This was the most important lesson of the English Civil War!

    King Charles II 1660-1685

    • Restored the monarchy and ruled for 25 years.

    • Had charm, poise, & political skills [unlike his father!].

    • Restored the theaters and reopened the pubs and brothels closed during the Protectorate.

    • Attitude towards Catholics: Favored religious toleration.

    • Had secret Catholic sympathies.

    The restoration charles ii the king of bling 1 55 m
    The Restoration: Charles II-The King of Bling(1:55 m)

    King James II 1685-1688

    • Was a bigoted convert to Catholicism without any of Charles II’s shrewdness or ability to compromise.

    • Openly supported the Catholics. Protestants feared that he would restore the power of the Catholic Church.

    • Attitude toward Catholics: Gave Catholics government jobs.

    The GloriousRevolution


    The “Glorious” Revolution: 1688

    • To avoid the fate of his father, James II sets sail for France.

    • Parliament leaders offered the throne jointly to James II’s daughter Mary [raised a Protestant] & her husband, William of Orange.

      • He was a vigorous enemy of Louis XIV.

      • He was seen as a champion of the Protestant cause.

    English Bill of Rights 1689

    • It settled all of the major issues between King & Parliament.

    • It served as a model for the U. S. Bill of Rights.

    • It also formed a base for the steady expansion of civil liberties in the 18c and early 19c in England.

    English Bill of Rights 1689

    Ensured the superiority of Parliament over the monarchy

    It required the monarch to summon Parliament regularly

    Gave the House of Commons the “power of the purse”

    A king or queen could no longer interfere in Parliamentary debates or suspend laws

    Barred any Roman Catholic from sitting on the throne

    Restated the traditional rights of citizens:

    a. Allowed trial by jury

    b. Affirmed the principle of habeas corpus- no person could be held in prison without first being charged with a specific crime

    c. Abolished cruel and unusual punishment

    Toleration Act (1689) – granted religious freedom to Puritans, Quakers, and other dissenters, though not yet to Catholics; only members of the Church of England could hold public office

    English bill of rights
    English Bill of Rights

    Limited Monarchy:

    Ties to America:

    • The power of the king was limited by Parliament. England became a constitutional monarchy.