Canadian Democracy • Most of the democratic traditions of government that Canada has today come from Britain • A number of events in British history would lead in time to democracy in Britain
Roots of Democracy in Britain • During Middle Ages, kings began to ask nobles for advice, or ideas, about government. • Soon councils of nobles and church leaders formed in most of Western Europe • The English called their council Parliament.
Magna Carta • Signed in 1215 • Means Great Charter • Was an important landmark on the way to democracy
Magna Carta – Mr. Zoller • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUVnpe8uffs
Recognized individual freedoms and gave rights to feudal nobles and to towns • Promised church leaders some freedoms • Required king to consult an elected parliament • King could not introduce new taxes without consent of parliament • Said that the king had torule lawfully/obey the law
Parliament in 1295 • Parliament was made up of a House of Lords and a House of Commons • Lords (included bishops and other high officials of the Anglican Church) inherited their places in the House of Lords
House of Commons was made up of wealthy landowners and townspeople, who were elected to represent people of property • Most people did not have a right to vote or sit in parliament
Tudor Era in Britain • Tudor monarchs, especially Elizabeth I, accepted the democratic traditions that had been gained by the English people in the past. • Tudor monarchs also tried hard to keep parliament on their side.
Stuart Monarchs • Elizabeth I died in 1603 • James I, a Stuart, became king of England • The Stuart monarchs did not respect the democratic traditions → this would lead to serious conflict between the monarchs and parliament
James I • Wanted to rule as an absolute monarch – there would be no limits on his powers
He introduced the idea of the Divine Right of Kings – king’s powers came from God and he was God’s representative on earth • Since the king was God’s representative, he could not be questioned by ordinary people
James I • Parliament did not like James’ idea of the Divine Right of Kings • James often acted like a tyrant – cruel and unjust leader • Picked incompetent (unskilled) people to advise him and gave them titles • Was always short of money
Tried to find new sources of money without consulting parliament, which would have been the proper thing to do. • Parliament said they would only give the king tax money if he gave it more powers • Did things to anger the Puritans • King died in 1625 and left behind a divided nation and a lot of unhappy people
Charles I • James’s son, Charles I, also believed in the Divine Right of Kings
Charles enjoyed the good life (liked art and expensive things) and was always in need of money • His advisors were disliked a lot. • Charles had alienated a lot of people.
Fight With Parliament • Charles tried getting money from Parliament • Parliament said it would only agree to more taxes if Charles respected its wishes • Charles would not agree to do so • He looked for different ways to raise money – ship money, forced people to make loans to Crown, customs duties, etc.
He also forced people to take in and feed his soldiers • Sold noble titles to anyone who would agree to support him or give him money • Set up the secret Court of Star Chamber – people could be convicted, imprisoned, and fined – they had no rights
Parliament’s Reaction • Charles was partly successful trying to rule without parliament • He still had money problems • He recalled parliament hoping it would be more willing to give him money this time • Parliament told Charles that they would not give him any money until he stopped his illegal activities and signed a document called Petition of Right.
Petition of Right, 1628 • Petition was a big step in the growth of English democracy • By signing it, the king agreed to three things: • Only Parliament can collect taxes • The king can send no one to prison without trial • No one, not even the king, can force citizens to house soldiers unless the citizens want to
Charles is Defiant • Charles dissolved parliament and was determined to rule without it • King was still desperate for money. • He and his advisors still tried to find different ways to raise money
In 1629, Charles asked for more money • Parliament passed a resolution, or formal statement, that said three things: • King cannot change English Protestantism • King cannot tax the English people unless Parliament says he can • If the king does these things, he commits the crime of treason – he turns his back on the country and its laws
Charles is in Trouble • People in England and Scotland were all angry at Charles • He still needed money, but parliament was not willing to give it to him • Instead, they executed two of his closest advisors • Parliament also wanted to make sure that the king would never again have absolute power
They wanted to change the king’s role and take away most of his powers • Parliament wasdivided between those who supported the king and those who supported parliament • Charles decided to arrest the radical parliamentary leaders and punish them
He gathered 500 soldiers and invaded the House of Commons where he tried to arrest the leaders • The radicals escaped and parliament called for an army • People became so angry that Charles headed north to Nottingham, where he declared war on parliament (see p. 34)
Why did English Civil War Start? • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzh_7orEBU0
Civil War • Civil war broke out between those people who supported the king and those people who supported Parliament • The two sides were very different – they had different religions and dressed differently
Cavaliers or Royalists • Cavaliers fought for the king – they were mostly rich Anglicans or Catholics • They dressed in fancy clothes and wore wigs with long curls.
Roundheads • Puritans fought for Parliament. They were English Protestants who wanted to purify the Anglican Church. • They dressed simply and wore their hair very short – they got the nickname Roundheads
Oliver Cromwell • He was the leader of the Roundheads • His army was better than the king’s Cavaliers. • In 1643, Roundheads defeated the Cavaliers.
Trial of the King • Winners of the war put Charles I on trial for the crime of treason – they said he had turned against England and its laws • Charles was found guilty and beheaded in 1649. • This was first time that anyone had put a king on trial and then put him to death before a crowd of people.
Cromwell in Charge • In 1653, Cromwell took control of English government. • He became a military dictator. • The Puritans began to change English society. • They closed the theatres and said no one could play sports. • All this lasted until Cromwell’s death in 1658.
Restoration • People in England grew tired of the Puritans. • In 1659, Parliament voted to restore, or bring back, the monarchy to England. • In 1660, the oldest son of Charles I returned to England and was crowned Charles II.
Charles II • Charles II rejected the idea of the divine right of kings • He tried to avoid religious problems by asking Catholics and Puritans to be tolerant of one another – they should respect one another’s beliefs and customs
The “Merry Monarch” • English people liked Charles II • He encouraged theater, sports, and other entertainment • He loved to have fun
Habeas Corpus Act • Parliament passed Habeas Corpus Act in 1679 • Said that the government had to charge someone with a crime before putting a person in prison • Habeas corpus is Latin for “you should have the body.” • It is an important protection of a citizen’s rights • Not even the king could take away this legal right from his people
Glorious Revolution • Charles II died in 1685 and his brother James became king • James II was Catholic and wanted the monarchy to have more power • The two political groups – Tories and Whigs – that had power in England did not want a Catholic king • They said James’s oldest daughter, Mary, who was Protestant should become queen.
In 1688, Mary and her husband, William, left the Netherlands and arrived in England with an army. • James II had no support and fled to France
Mary and William became queen and king of England and Scotland • The English had rebelled against their king without anyone being killed
English Bill of Rights • Before William and Mary could become monarchs, they had to sign an English Bill of Rights • It said that only Parliament can make laws • It also said that the king must obey the laws that Parliament passes • The Bill also gave members of Parliament the right to speak freely while in Parliament – the king could not arrest them if he did not like what they said.
Constitutional Monarchy • Within 60 years – 1628 to 1688 – Parliament passed the Petition of Right, the Habeas Corpus Act, and the English Bill of Rights – this showed that England did not want an absolute monarch • Instead, they wanted both democracy and a king – this is called a constitutional monarchy. • England had a monarch, a body of laws, and elected officials to protect the rights of its people.