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Parliament Triumphs in England. By: Anji Chandiram. In the 1600s, England’s power changed course. Although royal authority was potentially increasing, Parliament “expanded its own influence.”. The Tudors & Parliament. The Tudor monarchy valued good relationships with parliament.

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In the 1600s, England’s power changed course.

Although royal authority was potentially increasing, Parliament “expanded its own influence.”

the tudors parliament
The Tudors & Parliament

The Tudor monarchy valued good relationships with parliament.

King Henry VIII turned to parliament for many different things such as legalizing his actions and becoming the head of the Church of England, a non-stop need for money and to impose taxes.

When Elizabeth I took the throne, she also valued good relations with parliament; The Queen’s wishes were known by the parliament through her advisors.

a century of revolution
“A Century Of Revolution”

When Elizabeth died, her heir was James Stuart, the King of Scotland.

Because the Stuarts were not as popular as the Tudors and did not have the relationship that the Tudors had with parliament, they encountered problems that Elizabeth I and King Henry VIII put an end to.

A revolution began that caused conflict between the Stuarts and Parliament.

the stuarts the challenge
The Stuarts & The Challenge

James I, the first Stuart monarch, agreed to rule in accordance with English laws and customs.

James I began to conflict with Parliament arguing about divine right.

James conflicted with Parliament over money and foreign policy. For example, James collected taxes on his own.

James also conflicted with dissenters, Protestants who differed with the Church of England and Puritans, people who wanted to purify the church of Catholic customs.

parliament vs monarchs
Parliament VS. Monarchs

When Charles I took the throne, he signed the Petition of Right which stated that the king was not allowed to raise taxes without Parliament’s permission or imprison anyone without legal justifications.

However, later on he ignored the petition and ruled without Parliament causing himself to gain enemies.

During the Scottish rebellion when taxes needed to be ended, Charles I had to consult Parliament.

Parliament revolted.

the long parliament begins
“The Long Parliament Begins”

Parliament became known as The Long Parliament because “it lasted on and off until 1653.”

Parliament against Charles I killed his chief ministers.

Charles reacted, led troops and raised his own army.

The war then moved to the battlefield.

the civil war
The Civil War

The Civil War lasted from 1642 – 1651, and “posed as a major challenge to absolutism.”

Charles’ people were known as The Cavaliers and Parliament’s people were known as Roundheads – The Cavaliers expected an instant victory.

The Roundhead’s genius leader was known as Oliver Cromwell, who organized an army for Parliament.

The Roundheads continuously won battles because of Cromwell.

execution of king charles i
Execution of King Charles I

Now that the king was in the hands of Parliament after various victories in battles, Charles I was now going to be executed.

After praying, Charles I placed his own head on the the block and after a single stroke, he was dead.

This was the first time a monarch had been killed by his own people.

This was Parliament’s way of proving that one cannot rule and ignore the law.

cromwell the commonwealth
Cromwell & The Commonwealth

After Charles I was executed, the monarchy was abolished and the Church of England was established.

England became a republic, known as the Commonwealth, ruled by Oliver Cromwell.


The government then faced many threats.

Charles II’s (uncrowned heir) people attacked England, which caused Parliament to exile all Catholics to Ireland.

Groups that threatened Parliament were then forcibly put an end to. For example, Levellers. These were people that believed that the poor had as much say in Parliament as the gentry.

When Cromwell put an end to the Levellers, he became known as a dictator by the name of Lord Protector.

influence of the puritans
Influence Of The Puritans

Because of the Purtians goal to “root out godlessness,” theatres were looked at as pointless, and activities like gambling and dancing were “frowned on.”

Puritans also believed that all Christians should be able to read the bible, regardless of their social class, thus advocating education.

They also advocated marriage based on love.

Although, Cromwell did not allow Roman Catholics to openly worship, he believed in religious freedom of Protestants and other groups which is why he allowed Jews back into England.

the commonwealth ends
The Commonwealth Ends

After Cromwell died, the Puritans also lost their “grip” on England.

Charles II was invited by Parliament back to England from exile. Therefore England’s “kingless decade” had ended.

restoration glorious revolution
Restoration  Glorious Revolution

Charles II was welcomed back to England – he was a very popular ruler.

Charles II reopened theatres, reestablished the Church of England, and more.

Charles II signed the Petition of Right, and avoided his father’s mistakes of conflicts with Parliament.

james ii
James II

James II, Charles’ brother, inherited the throne.

He angered his subjects for man reasons.

When his daughter and her husband took over the kingdom, James II fled to France.

This was known as The Glorious Revolution.

the english bill of rights
The English Bill Of Rights

Before Mary, James’ daughter and her husband, William took the throne, they were ordered to accept several acts passed by Parliament known as The Bill Of Rights.

The Bill of Rights ensured Parliament’s supremacy over the monarchy.

It also affirmed habeas corpus which was the rule that no one could be imprisoned without being charged of a crime.

a limited monarchy
A Limited Monarchy

The Glorious Revolution caused a limited monarchy which means that “a constitution or legislative body limits the monarch’s powers.”

English monarch’s still had a lot of power, but they had to obey laws and were in partnership with Parliament.

constitutional government evolves
Constitutional Government Evolves

During the Glorious Revolution, political parties, the cabinet and institutions arose in Britain.

These were part of Britain’s constitutional government – a government whose power is defined and limited by law.


There were only two political parties: Tories and Whigs.

The cabinet was established when Parliament was needed to assist the ruler because George I (a ruler) spoke no English.

The head of the cabinet became known as the Prime Minister.

The cabinet was molded so that all of its members agreed on important issues.

Robert Walpole was known as Britain’s first Prime Minister.

Other countries like the United States then adopted the cabinet system.

a society still ruled by the few
“A Society Still Ruled By The Few”

When Walpole leaded, Britain was in a time of “peace and prosperity.”

However, Britain was far from a democracy; they were an oligarchy.

An oligarchy is when the government is run by a few people.

Landowners were said to be the ruling class.

A middle class began to grow of manufacturers, merchants and craftspeople.

They controlled affairs in the towns and cities.

The middle class also eventually produced inventors that played a huge role in the Industrial Revolution.


Ellis Eller, World History Pearson Success Net. 8 December 2010.