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English Government. Who made the laws?. Legislature – lawmaking body of a government Parliament – legislative body in Britain. In 1215, nobles forced King John to sign this document giving nobles certain rights, especially over land ownership

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who made the laws
Who made the laws?
  • Legislature – lawmaking body of a government
  • Parliament – legislative body in Britain
magna carta

In 1215, nobles forced King John to sign this document giving nobles certain rights, especially over land ownership

  • Showed the king would now have limits to power by guaranteeing no one was above the law
  • Rule of Law
  • Viewed as the most important document in the history of government
  • Established the concept of limited government
    • Page 768
Magna Carta

King Henry III met with nobles regularly

  • Developed into Parliament or the legislative body for England
  • Britain moved from an Authoritarian Absolute Monarchy to a Democratic Constitutional Monarchy by the late 1300s
other key events in english gov t history

1688 – Parliament removed King James from his position

    • Showed parliament was the true power of England
  • 1689 – English Bill of Rights
    • Gave parliament power to raise taxes, make laws and control the army
    • Monarch could not suspend Parliamentary laws
      • Parliament is the TRUE power
    • Parliament would be elected freely
    • Free speech & a right to trial were established
    • Banned cruel & unusual punishment
Other Key Events in English Gov’t History
common law

Based on precedents (an earlier ruling in a similar situation)

  • Rests on Court decisions rather than lawmakers
Common Law
the enlightenment

Greatest influence on American government

  • Philosophy in which reason or ability to think was used as the basis for authority
  • Examples
    • Documents: Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights
  • People: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson
The Enlightenment
principals of american democracy

Rule of Law – Magna Carta – no one is above the law

  • Limited Government – Magna Carta & John Locke– government is not all powerful, it may only do what people have given it to do
  • Consent of the Governed – John Locke – citizens source of power
  • Individual rights – John Locke – seen in the Declaration of Independence – protected by the government
Principals of American Democracy
principals of american democracy cont

Representative Government – government represents the wants & needs of citizens

  • Majority Rule – When differences arise, we will abide by what most people want
  • Minority Rights – at the same time as going with the majority, we will respect the rights of the minority
Principals of American Democracy cont.
john locke

English philosopher – believed in limited government

    • Wrote the Second Treatise of Government
  • Natural Rights
    • People have certain rights that cannot be taken away
    • Life, Liberty & Property
  • His ideas led to the rebirth of democracy
    • “Whenever Law ends, Tyranny begins.” – Second Treatise of Government
  • Class Discussion: What do you think he means by this quote?
John Locke
Helped develop the Social Contract Theory with Jean Jacques Rousseau
    • Government is bound by contract with its people but people give up absolute freedom
    • In exchange, the government protects the rights of citizens
    • The role of government is protect citizens’ rights
    • If the government is not doing this, the people can redefine their government (EX: vote them out of office)
    • If the government itself infringes on the rights of people or seriously undermines the people, the people have a right to revolution