POSC374-MidtermReview - 1 Sovereignty The exclusive right...

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1 Sovereignty : The exclusive right to exercise supreme political authority over a geographic region, group of people, or oneself. 1. Can be viewed in three ways: As a divine act – 2 The Divine Right of Kings : only the King is sovereign. He is subject only to God. The King rules through divine right, and, though he is not God himself (though some rulers would go on to claim this, eg – James I of England, Louis XIV of France), his power is granted to him by God. Therefore, to question the King is to question God. The only being who can tell the King what he is doing is wrong is God. Supporters of sovereignty as a divine act justified their view in two basic ways: 1. Biblical – They claimed that “it’s in the Bible” 2. Father – The King was chosen by God as the patriarch of the land. God sent the King to be the father of the people. His children are his subjects – they need to be nurtured, educated, and explained to what’s “right and wrong” If a law didn’t have the sanction of the King, it was irrelevant. In 1626, Parliament attempted to impeach the Duke of Buckingham, so the King punished them by dissolving them. Two years later, Parliament presented the King with a list of grievances about the Duke. The King punished Parliament by refusing to allow them to meet for 10 years. They finally went to war over it, and Parliament won. They made 4 important changes: 1. Replaced Catholic rule with Protestant – Roman Catholics were no longer allowed to be Kings or Queens. The King was forced to swear allegiance to the Protestant ruler 2. Abolished the divine right of Kings – declared James I’s laws null and void 3. Replaced monarchy with Parliamentary Democracy – monarchy remained as a symbol, but the executive branch begins to derive its authority from the legislative branch 4. Created a 5 Parliamentary Bill of Rights (1688) : they believed, as Englishmen, they had certain immutable rights: The King could no longer question the legality of laws Parliamentary elections would be independent of the King’s say Freedom of speech in Parliament Freedom from cruel and unusual punishments No taxation without representation The people could petition the King As a legal act – 3 Legislative Sovereignty : sovereignty can only be expressed by those who make the laws. Power exists solely in the legislative branch. There are 4 main components of Parliamentary Sovereignty (Legislative Sovereignty): 1. Parliament can make any law
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2. No precedent may exist – new laws supersede old laws 3. There is no veto – executive can’t veto and judiciary can’t review. Only Parliament can decide not to pass a law 4. Limited government does not exist – there is no appeal above Parliament How did Parliament justify this? Through the notion of popular sovereignty –
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POSC374-MidtermReview - 1 Sovereignty The exclusive right...

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