Free Essay: The English Bill of Rights
The English bill of rights refers to the British Law that the Parliament of the Great Britain passed in 1689 declaring the liberties and rights of the citizens while setting a succession in Mary II and William II following the 1688’s Glorious Revolution during which deposition of James II took place. The English bill of rights is dated as either February 13th 1688 or March 1689 in the old dating style.
This bill of rights is the English precursor to the Constitution, the petition of Right and the Magna Carta. It limited the English sovereign power because King William and Queen Mary accepted it as a condition that dictated their rule. The bill inserted certain inalienable political and civil rights to the Englishmen.
Non-Protestants had limited religious liberty. Catholics could not take over the throne. Queens and Kings were required to swear an oath of maintaining Protestantism as the England’s official religion. Monarchs did not have the power to establish courts or be judges with the consent of the parliament.
They could also not prevent the Protestants in England from owning arms, creating an army, imposing punishments or fines without trial. They could also not impose unusual and cruel punishment or even excessive bail. The bill of rights protected the parliamentary freedom of speech.
The English bill of rights was established after the English elites ousted King James who was a catholic. King James offended Protestants in England for promoting the religion of the Roman Catholic Church aggressively despite parliament passing laws against this.
On 11th April 1689, the William of Orange and Mary, his wife were crowned the new King and Queen in Westminster Abbey. One of the parts of their oaths required them to swear or declare their respect and obedience to the laws passed by the parliament. William agreed that he would be subject to the new law and that the decisions made by Parliament would guide his actions.
The parliament passed the bill after coronation. On 16th December 1689, the Queen and the King gave the bill a Royal Assent to represent the end of a concept of divine right given to the past kings. The main role of the bill was to control powers that the king and queen in England had. It also made the king and queen subjects to any law passed by the Parliament.
This concession made by the royal family in England was known as the glorious revolution or the bloodless revolution. It marked the beginning of an era of a tolerant prerogative. For instance, King William did not start oppressing those who supported the deposed King James the second. King James tried to rally the Catholics in Scotland, Ireland and England against King William but he did not succeed.
The English bill of rights of 1689 influenced the North American colonies and the United States’ constitution massively.
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