Democratic Developments in England Growth of Royal Power During medieval England, the Christian Church, the nobility, and the monarchy had wealth and power. Monarchs = supreme authority over the church and the nobility European monarchs showed that they were too weak to maintain law and order and the people needed protection for themselves, their homes, and their lands. Due to this problem, feudalism evolved. Feudalism was a new, loosely organized system of rule, where the powerful lords separated, or divided, their landholdings. The vassals (lesser lords) pledged service and loyalty to the greater lord (example: The vassals provided knights to fight their lord's battles). The greater lords also pledged loyalty to the even more powerful lords. The king, the greatest lord, had the highest position on the feudal pyramid. Monarchs, Nobles, and the Church Feudal monarchs = head of society, most had limited power, and relied on vassals for military support. Nobles and the Church had the same amount of power as the monarch, and sometimes even more. Nobles and Church = own courts, collected own taxes, and fielded their own armies. They jealously protected their rights and privileges against any effort by rulers to increase royal authority. Strong Monarchs in England Early Middle Ages- Angles, Saxons, and Vikings invaded and settled in England. English rulers kept their kingdoms united, even though feudalism had already developed. 1066- Edward, the Anglo-Saxon king, died without an heir, so two men, William and Harold, wanted to claim the empty throne. To solve the issue, William sailed across the English Channel from Normandy to have a battle with Edward's brother-in-law, Harold. This battle was called the Battle of Hastings and William and his Norman knights won the fight. William the Conqueror took the throne of England. William's French-speaking nobles (barons) made up most of the population of England, but the Anglo-Saxon population still remained. Soon, over the next 300 years, the NormanFrench and Anglo-Saxon customs, languages and traditions slowly began to combine. William had firm control over the lands and required every vassal to swear first allegiance to him, instead of any other feudal lord. 1086- A complete census was taken and this information allowed William and later monarchs to create a tax collecting system. Common Law 1154- Henry II, an energetic and welleducated king, inherited the throne. He made the system of royal justice broader. A king could not just write out any new laws, since he had to follow accepted customs. Henry II, found forms to expand the customs into the law. He did this by sending out traveling judges to enforce royal laws. The choices made by the royal courts is the foundation of English common law, which is a legal system based on custom and court rulings. The common law applied to all of England (it standardized laws and punishments), unlike the local feudal laws. After awhile, the people of England chose the royal courts over those of the nobles or the church. The royal courts charged fees, so the growth of royal justice benefited the treasury. The idea that local citizens should take part in trials also developed. The local officials gathered some men to form a jury (group of people sworn to speak the truth) when traveling judges visited the area. Jury (French- jure') = "sworn to oath" The jury decided which cases should be brought to trial. Early jury = ancestor of today's grand jury Another type of jury, which consisted of 12 neighbors of the accused person. This is an ancestor of today's trial jury. England's establishment of common law and a jury system led to further advances in democratic rule. Evolving Traditions of Government Henry's efforts to extend royal power led to a bitter dispute with the church. He claimed the right to try clergy in royal courts, but church officials strongly opposed the king's move. This ended in the ******(that six-lettered word that is not to be mentioned) of a church leader. Later, English rulers often clashed with nobles and the church. Most of these fights were a result of efforts by the monarch to raise taxes or to impose royal authority over the traditional feudal rights. From these difficulties evolved traditions of government that would later influence the modern world. The Magna Carta John, Henry's son, was a clever, but greedy ruler. He got his bad reputation due to his failed struggles with the French king and the pope. He is best remembered for a momentous power struggle with his very own nobles. The anger of the nobles was due to the fact that King John gave oppressive taxes and he abused his power. 1215- A group of rebellious barons cornered King John and forced him to accept the Magna Carta (Great Charter). The Magna Carta was a document where the king affirmed a long list of feudal rights. The barons included a few clauses recognizing the legal rights of the townspeople and the church, besides the protection of their own privileges. The most significant clause protected every freedom from arbitrary arrest, imprisonment, and other legal actions, except "by judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." The clause above is the source of the democratic right which is known as "due process of law" today. The king agreed not to raise new taxes without the consent of his Great Council of Lords and Clergy (centuries later this would be known as "taxation without representation" to the American colonists), but this was not an idea imagined by the king or his lords in 1215. The Magna Carta consisted of two important principles that would shape England's government traditions. 1st Principle- It stated that nobles had certain rights. Over time these rights were extended to all English citizens. 2nd Principle- It also stated that the monarch must obey the law too. King had to ask before raising taxes Development of Parliament Following the Magna Carta, English rulers often asked the Great Council for advice. 1200s- This body, the Great Council, became the Parliament. Parliament = from French word parler"to talk" As the Parliament became a major role in government, it helped unify England. 1295- Edward I called for the Parliament to approve money for his wars in France. Edward I arranged for representatives of the "common people" to take part with the lords and clergy. The "commons" included two knights from each county and delegates from the towns. This set up the basis for England's legislature and is known as the Model Parliament. After some time, the Parliament became a two-house body. House of Lords = nobles and clergy House of Commons = knights and middle-class citizens Parliament Gains Strength England and France battled each other over politics, land claims, and other issues on and off for many centuries. 1337-1453 - These two countries fought a series of destructive conflicts known together as the Hundred Years' War. At the end, England had lost nearly all of its lands in France. The Hundred Years' War changed England politically. During the fighting, English rulers turned constantly to the Parliament for money, which helped this body win the "power of the purse" (Parliament had the right to approve new taxes and could limit the power of the monarch). Later on, the majority of democratic governments would adapt similar checks (limitations) into their constitutions. Triumph of Parliament 1485-1603 - The Tudor dynasty (includes Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, his daughter) ruled England. The Tudors hardly recognized the value of good relations with Parliament, but they did continue to consult the Parliament, especially on issues involving money. Christians throughout Europe formed protests about questionable church practices. This religious reform movement is known as the Protestant Reformation. The Catholic Church resisted these protesters, and they eventually split off to form several Protestant groups. Henry VIII broke with Rome to form the Church of England. Elizabeth I died in 1603 without a direct heir, so the throne was passed to her relatives, the Stuarts (the ruling family of Scotland). The Stuarts were neither as popular as the Tudors and weren't skillful in dealing with the Parliament. "Century of revolution" = ongoing battle between the Stuart monarchs and Parliament The Royal Challenge James I, the first Stuart monarch, agreed to rule according to English laws and customs, although he behaved like an absolute monarch (a ruler with complete control over the government and the lives of people). He rejected the demands of Puritans (a group wanting to "purify" the Church of England of Catholic practices). 1611 & 1614- James dissolved the Parliament, by sending the members home. His son, Charles I, also claimed absolute power. Charles I imprisoned his enemies without them having a trial and squeezed the nation for money. 1628- He was obligated to call upon Parliament to raise taxes, due to the need of money. Parliament insisted that Charles accept the Petition of Right, which didn’t allow the king to raise taxes without consulting the Parliament and also banned imprisonment without just cause. Charles signed the petition, but the very next year he dissolved the Parliament. 1640- Charles needed funds, but this time to combat a rebellion in Scotland. He summoned Parliament once again, but this time they revolted. The Long Parliament (lasted until 1653) started the greatest political revolution in English history. Parliament tried and executed the king's chief ministers. It was declared that the Parliament couldn't be dissolved without its own consent. 1642- Charles fought back and led troops into the House of Commons to arrest leaders. The leaders escaped through the back door and soon formed their own army. Then the conflict moved to the battlefield. The English Civil War 1642-1649 - Years of the civil war The majority of the wealthy nobles supported Charles, but rural landowners, town dwelling manufacturers, and Puritan clergy took the Parliament's side. Oliver Cromwell was a skilled general that led the Parliament forces in battle. Cromwell's army defeated the king's troops after a series of battles. 1647- Parliament had Charles I in their hands. A court was set up to try the king two years later and it condemned Charles to death as "a tyrant, traitor, murderer, and public enemy." The execution of the king really shocked Europe and for the first time a ruling monarch had been tried and was sentenced to death by his own people. This made it clear that no ruler could hold absolute power and ignore the rule of law. The Commonwealth After the death of Charles I, monarchy, the House of Lords, and the official Church of England was abolished by the House of Commons. Parliament declared that England was a republic, or Commonwealth, and Cromwell was in charge. 1653- A set of threats led Cromwell to apply military rule. Under the Commonwealth, Parliament exiled Catholics to barren land in the west of Ireland Puritans gained influence throughout the society and government (imposed a "rule of saints"). Puritans encouraged greater religious observance and there were certain restrictions on some forms of entertainment. 1658- Oliver Cromwell died and soon the Puritans lost there grip on England. 1660- A new Parliament was elected. Monarchy was restored and Charles's son was welcomed to take the throne (this was done, since the people were tired of military rule and the strict Puritan ways). From Restoration to Glorious Revolution Charles II shared his father's feelings in absolute monarchy and secretly sympathized the Catholic ways. Even though he had that faith, he accepted the Petition of Right smartly avoided his father's mistakes when dealing with the Parliament. 1685- James II, Charles's brother, inherited the throne. He suspended laws when he pleased and flaunted his Catholic faith. James II appointed Catholics to high office and English Protestants feared that he may restore the Roman Catholic Church. 1688- Leaders of the Parliament invited James's daughter, Mary (Protestant), and her Dutch husband, William III of Orange (also Protestant) to become the rulers of England. Late 1688- James II fled to France when William and Mary came with their army to England. The overthrow of the king is called the Glorious Revolution. English Bill of Rights 1689- Parliament passed several acts, known as the English Bill of Rights. These acts had to be accepted by both William and Mary before they could be crowned king and queen. The Bills of Rights ensured the superiority of Parliament over the monarchy. The monarch had to summon Parliament often and the House of Commons was given the "power of the purse." A king or queen no longer had permission to interfere in parliamentary debates or suspend laws. The English Bill of Rights also barred any Roman Catholic from taking the throne. It also restated the traditional rights of the English citizens (example: trial by jury). Excessive fines, cruel or unjust punishment were also abolished in the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights affirmed the principle of habeas corpus, which states that no person could be held in prison without 1st being charged with a certain crime. The Glorious Revolution and the English Bill of Rights didn't form a democracy. Instead they created a type of government called a limited monarchy. A constitution or a legislative body limits the monarch's power. The English rulers still had a lot of power, but they just had to obey the law and govern together with Parliament.