English Political History.2016.doc

English Political History.2016.doc - EnglandsPolitical&...

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England’s Political & Religious History 16 th  – 19 th  Century Wikipedia   – reviewed and seriously condensed and edited for accuracy by Bro. Fish There are three very important English documents that have a direct impact on the future of the United States. They are the Magna Carta , the Petition of Right , and English Bill of Rights . This article starts with a brief history of these three documents and their influence on the notion of the social contract . Then the article puts England’s political and religious history of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in context with the country’s kings and queens. Key People & Terms : Magna Carta Petition of Right English Bill of Rights King John Thomas Hobbes Leviathan John Locke Second Treatise of Govt. social contract Elizabeth I James I Charles I Oliver Cromwell Charles II James II Spanish Armada Divine Right of Kings Parliament George I George II Whigs Tories Puritans Commonwealth Glorious Revolution Anglican Church George III Montesquieu Spirit of the Laws Magna Carta (Great Charter) was originally issued in the year 1215, and reissued in various forms and versions in later years and over several centuries. The 1215 Charter required King John of England to proclaim certain liberties, and accept that his will was not arbitrary, for example by explicitly accepting that no "freeman" (in the sense of non-serf) could be punished except through the law of the land, a right which is still in existence today. Magna Carta was the first document forced onto an England king by a group of his subjects (the barons) in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges. The barons hoped that if they united and forced King John to limit his powers, that perhaps a civil war could be averted. The barons, however, soon realized after the King affixed his seal to the document (the King nor the barons signed it), that John was not going to abide by the charter. In fact, as soon as the barons had left London (three months later), John renounced the agreement. Pope Innocent II joined King John in renouncing the document as well, saying that only the Church could limit the power of a king, not the people. Consequently, the barons sought a new king, and England was plunged into a civil war (the First Baron’s War). In 1216, King John died, but the idea of people having liberty or being protected from a despotic ruler never faded. In 1297, Magna Carta was revised. Three of the 1297 clauses are still statues for England and Wales including the right to due process. However, in practice, Magna Carta during the medieval period did not seriously limit the power of kings, but by the time of Charles I and the English Civil War, it had become an important symbol for those who wished to show that the King was bound by the law. In fact, the Petition of Right (a major English constitutional document that sets out specific liberties that the king is prohibited from infringing) was loosely founded on the ideas of Magna Carta. Although Parliament produced the Petition of Right prior to the English Civil War in May 1628, Charles I assented to the document – at least at first.
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