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Democratic Developments in England

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by

Tasia Cox

on 15 August 2016

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Transcript of Democratic Developments in England

Growth of Royal Power
The Story begins with....

While not entirely foolproof, feudalism offered monarchs a better sense of security as the people of their kingdom came together to protect the land.
William Destroys Feudalism
In 1066, after King Edward died without a son, there was no heir to the throne.
Two men, William from Normandy and Harold, Edward's brother-in-law, laid claim to the throne.
After battling it out, William beat Edward and became known as 'William the Conqueror.
Democratic Developments in England
At a time when ruthless Vikings and other warrior tribes are invading Europe, existing monarchies were proven too weak to protect themselves.
Existing monarchs needed a way to systematically defend themselves.
This system is going to become known as
feudalism
.
Feudalism was a loosely organized system of rule in which powerful local lords divided their land-holdings amongst lesser lords. In exchange, these lesser lords, or vassals, would provide knights/warriors to fight the lords' battles.
Once in throne, William the Conqueror got rid of Feudalism by requiring that everyone in his kingdom swear first allegiance to him than any other feudal lord.
He also set up a very harsh tax system.
In 1154, Henry II inherited the throne and broadened the system of royal justice by establishing common law.
Common Law
is a legal system based on customs and court rulings.
It served to standardize laws and punishments.
The biggest thing that came out of it was integrating a 'jury' into the justice system.
The jury consisted of local citizens who participated in the outcome of a local trial
This will set the stage for further advances on the road to democratic rule.
Review: What new practices did strong monarchs introduce in England?
Evolving Traditions of Government
Henry's new approach to power infuriated the church and during his rule and his son's, John, there were frequent battles between royalty and the nobility and clergy.
King John responds by developing the Magna Carta.
The
Magna Carta
, also known as the Great Charter, listed the King's feudal rights in order to protect his privileges.
In addition, the MC also recognized the rights of the townspeople and the church.
The MC contained two other important principles that would shape government in the long run:
it would assert that nobles had certain rights that overtime will get extended to regular citizens
It made clear that the monarch must obey the law.
In addition, 'Due Process of Law' was developed in order to protect citizens from arbitrary arrest and imprisonment and that each citizen had a right to a trial by jury.
Development of Parliament
In keeping with the MC, English rulers often called on the 'Great Council' for advice about raising taxes and other matters.
The '
Great Council
' consisted of Lords and Clergy.
This 'Great Council' evolved into the Parliament.
Parliament comes from the french word 'parler', which means 'to speak'.
Parliament
during this time consisted of the lords, clergy and eventually knights and selected delegates from the towns.
This will help unify England.
Over time, parliament will divide into two 'houses'
House of Lords: Nobles and Clergy
House of Commons: Knights and Middle class
Parliament Gains Strength

England and France went into conflict over land claims, politics, and other issues which became known as the 'Hundred Years War'.
This war changed England politically as English rulers turned repeatedly to Parliament for funds.
With that power, Parliament could insist that the monarch meet its demands before voting on taxes.
Later, most democratic governments would incorporate similar checks on power into their constitutions.
Triumph of Parliament
Parliament is going to become more powerful over time especially when Christians begin to question church practices.
While parliament gains power and approval by the country, its powers are going to become questioned as absolute monarchs will assume the throne.
An
absolute monarch
is a ruler with complete authority over the lives of the people.
The English Civil War
Tensions are going to arise between absolute monarchs (supported by rich land owners) and parliament (supported mainly by the rest of the people) which will eventually lead to a civil war.
Oliver Cromwell
was a skilled general backed by Parliament that will lead them to victory and the king's position of power will be limited back to the way it was before absolute rule.
Two years later, Parliament set up a court to try the king. It condemned King Charles I, the last of the absolute monarchs, to death as a 'tyrant, traitor, murderer and public enemy.
From Restoration to Glorious Revolution
The new king, Charles II followed in his father's footsteps by continuing with absolute monarchy and also secretly practiced Catholicism.
He even appointed Catholics into high office
Parliamentary reacted by inviting James's protestant daughter, Mary, and her dutch husband William III of Orange to become the rulers of England.
The bloodless overthrow of the king became know as the
Glorious Revolution.
Aside from being the only 'bloodless' revolution of its time, the Glorious Revolution resulted in what becomes the
English Bill of Rights
.
This will affirm 'habeus corpus', one of the most important rights, which states that no person can be held in prison without officially being charged with a crime
This will also result in a
limited democracy
, in which a legislative body limits the monarch's powers.
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