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The Struggle for Democracy in Britain, Mexico and Nigeria. Questions for Reflection. What do the histories of Britain, Mexico and Nigeria have to tell us about the capacity of established power to resist popular demands for democratization?
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Questions for Reflection • What do the histories of Britain, Mexico and Nigeria have to tell us about the capacity of established power to resist popular demands for democratization? • Looking at these histories, do you think that we in Canada take our democratic institutions for granted?
Saxon Culture:The origin of British democratic practices? • The Saxon’s brought with them a tradition of Kings whose power was limited and who required the consent of the community to govern
Magna Carta – 1215 AD • Arose from a conflict between King John and a group of rebellious feudal barons • Established that the King’s power is not arbitrary and must be subject to the laws of the land. • "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land."
Limiting Suffrage • Concerned that county elections for the English House of Parliament were becoming “crowded by many persons of low estate”, in 1432 King Henry VI limits the right to vote to male owners of property worth at least forty shillings. • This provision would remain in place until 1832
Reasons for the English Civil War • In 1603, Elizabeth died. She never married, so there were no heirs to continue the Tudor Dynasty • Mary Stuart’s son James I became the King of England— started StuartDynastyin England
Reasons for the English Civil War • Queen Elizabeth recognized the importance of working with Parliament • James I did not; believed he should be absolute monarch because of Divine Right (God chooses royal families to rule); James I did not listen to Parliament • Major problems between Parliament & King over issues of Authority, Money, & Religion
Problems between the King and Parliament • Authority—James I believed in divine right and absolutism; Parliament felt king should be limited by Parliament • Money—James I has to ask Parliament for money to finance government and life style
Problems between the King and Parliament • Religion—Puritans were members of the Anglican Church who wanted all Catholic rituals removed; Puritans were active members of Parliament & were angered when James I arranged marriage of son (Charles) to a Catholic princess
Reasons for the English Civil War • When James I died in 1625, his son Charles I became king • Charles was “worse” than James: • Charles believed in divine right & absolute monarchy; refused to discuss ideas with Parliament—only called Parliament when he needed money
Reasons for the English Civil War • Parliament got fed up with Charles I & refused to give him money unless signed Petition of Rights in 1628: • King could not jail people without a good reason • King could not make taxes without Parliament's approval • King could not keep his soldiers in peoples’ homes & could not use army to maintain order during peacetime
Civil War • Charles I was really mad at Parliament & refused to call another Parliament for 11 years until he needed money to end revolts in Ireland & Scotland • Conflict between supporters of King (Royalists/Cavaliers) & Parliament grew so bad that a civil war was inevitable
Civil War • War between Cavaliers(Royalists)vsRoundheads(supporters of Parliament) lasted for 5 years • Roundheads found a strong leader in Oliver Cromwell; Cromwell and Roundheads won & behead the king (1st public execution of a king)
After the Civil War • After the Civil War, a Commonwealth was created—type of government with no king & ruled by Parliament • Oliver Cromwell led the Commonwealth, but did not use democracy— he became a military dictator
New Commonwealth • Life in the Commonwealth was harsh because it was led by Cromwell & the Puritans; Forced strict religious rules on people of England: • It was illegal to go to theaters & sporting events; “merrymaking” & “amusement” were illegal • Citizens hated living this way & began to want to bring back a king again
Restoration • People grew tired of the severe, religious rule of Oliver Cromwell & the Puritans; many wanted a king again • In 1660, Charles I’s son became King of England—Charles II was called the “Merry Monarch” because he brought back theatres, sporting events, dancing & he got along with Parliament!!
Restoration • Charles II learned from the lessons of his father & grandfather: • Did not try to rule by Divine Right & did not threaten Parliament’s authority • Passed Habeas CorpusLaw—everyone guaranteed a trial after arrest; cannot be held in jail forever • Anglicanism was official religion, but treated Puritans & Catholics equally
Restoration • During the Restoration, Parliament strengthened the Church of England—only Anglicans could attend universities, serve in Parliament, be priests in Anglican Church • Parliament created Constitutional Monarchy based on Magna Carta & Petition of Right (Guaranteed rights of people & limited king)
Restoration • BUT, there were problems: • Charles II needed more money than Parliament was willing to give; so he made a secretagreement with Louis XIV of France to convert to Catholicism in exchange for money • Charles II had no children; when he died, his openly-Catholic brother James II will be king (Parliament's worst fear!!)
Glorious Revolution • James ignoring Parliament’s religious laws, James appointed Catholics to government and university positions. • Parliament was worried the throne would go to James II son who was to be raised Catholic. • Encouraged William of Orange (ruler of the Netherlands who was married to James II daughter Mary) to invade and take over.
Glorious Revolution (Cont) • James II fled to France when he realized he had little support from England. • This peaceful transfer of power was called the Glorious Revolution.
William and Mary • William and Mary swore an oath that they would govern the people of England. • Parliament passed the Bill of Rights. • This passage made it clear that Parliament was in control. • Thus was created what is considered the first modern state.
The Gradual March to Universal Suffrage • Reform Act 1832 - extended voting rights to adult males who rented propertied land of a certain value, so allowing 1 in 7 males in the UK voting rights • Reform Act 1867 - enfranchised all male householders • Representation of the People Act 1884 - amended the Reform Act of 1867 so that it would apply equally to the countryside; 40% of males were still disenfranchised, whilst women could not vote • Representation of the People Act 1918 - Property restrictions for voting were lifted for men, who could vote at 21; however women's votes were given with these property restrictions, and were limited to those over 30 years old. • Representation of the People Act 1928 - this made women's voting rights equal with men, with voting possible at 21 with no property restrictions • Representation of the People Act 1969 - extension of suffrage to those 18 and older
Colonial Era • Slaughter and enslavement of indigenous people by Spanish • Dispossession of indigenous communal lands by Spanish settlers • Bartolomé de las Casas
Colonial Era From an eyewitness account in Carib Islands 1519: “Some Christians encountered an Indian woman, who was carrying in her arms a child at suck; and since the dog they had with them was hungry, they tore the child from the mother’s arms and flung it still living to the dog, which proceeded to devour him before the mother’s eyes”
Colonial Era: Caste System • Peninsulares: the permanent residence colonists born in Spain • Criollos: people of pure or mostly Spanish ancestry born in the colonies • Mestizos: people of mixed Spanish and Amerindian or African heritage • Amerindians • African Slaves
Mexican War of Independence • While Spain is distracted with Napoleon's invasion, Criollos unhappy with Spanish rule see an opportunity • Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a local priest and member of a group of educated Criollos in Querétaro began to assemble a revolutionary army in 1810 • Declared independence from the Spanish crown with the “Cry of Dolores”
Mexican War of Independence • After some initial victories against the Spanish, Hidalgo’s army was defeated attempting to capture Mexico City. • Hidalgo was captured and along with other rebel leaders was executed and had his body publicly mutilated.
Mexican War of Independence • Following Hidalgo’s death another RC Priest, José María Morelos took over the revolutionary forces attempting to establish a Mexican republic. • Following the restoration of the Spanish King by Napoleon, the Spanish were able to fight back • Morelos captured and killed for treason in 1815
Mexican War of Independence • 1815-1820 Civil War between rebel republicans and conservative monarchists. • Conservative forces lead by Agustín de Iturbide
Mexican War of Independence • Iturbide’s forces were on the edge of finally crushing the rebels when a coup d’etat in Spain dethroned the King and established a liberal constitution. • Iturbide and the Mexican conservative monarchists were horrified at this turn of events. • They proposed an alliance with the rebels based on 3 elements for independent Mexico: an independent constitutional monarchy, a religious monopoly for the Catholic Church, and equality for Spaniards and creoles
Mexican War of Independence • Mexican independence was achieved in 1821 with the signing of the Treaty of Cordoba • As the Spanish monarchy had been restored Iturbide crowned himself Emperor • This controversial move kicked off a 40 year period of political instability that say 50 changes in government
Post Independence • Continued confiscation of Indigenous communal lands by wealthy land owners • Election of Benito Juarez in 1861, Mexico’s 1st and only indigenous President did not change this trend.
“Stability” and Dictatorship • The 1876 election of PorfirioDíaz began a 30 year period known as “The Porfiriato” • This period was marked by fixed elections, cronyism, industrialization and the continued encroachments on indigenous lands • Strong links established with foreign investors including British Petroleum and Standard Oil
The Porfiriato • Diaz won his first campaign on the slogan “no re-election”, a principal he would violate again and again by running for re-election • In 1908 Diaz made public statements that Mexico was ready for democracy • Francisco Madero, a wealthy land owner from the North emerged as a popular political rival. • Diaz had him imprisoned (he later escaped to Texas) and then proceeded to fix yet another election.
Mexican Revolution • Tired of Diaz revolutionary peasant movements demanding land reform are formed • Emiliano Zapata – organized peasants from southern Mexico • Francisco “Pancho” Villa organized peasants from northern Mexico • Understood new technology—machine guns • Understood role of media better than most
Mexican Revolution • Francisco Madero returned as a political rival to Diaz • With the Zapatista and Northern Villa armies surrounding Mexico, Madero negotiated Diaz’s surrender. Elections were then held which Madero won with the support of Zapata and Villa
Mexican Revolution • Following his election Madero turned his back on commitments for land reform and betrayed Zapata and Villa by reappointing several Diaz men • Zapata and Villa then returned to hostilities against the government
Mexican Revolution • In the ensuing chaos conservative ‘constitutionalist’ forces regrouped with US arms on the coast at Verracruz • They captured the capital, installing Venustiano Carranza as leader.
Mexican Revolution • To consolidate his power Carranza accepted concessions to the 1917 constitution which would grant rights to organized labour, limit the power of the Church and begin a process of land reform. • However the new constitution would concentrate enormous power in the executive branch of government