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PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-World History

The struggle between the king and the Parliament during the Stuart period increased tremendously. James I (1603-25) was a strong champion of the doctrine of the Divine Right of kings. He made laws as he pleased and people were forced to obey them.

The reign of Charles I (1625-49) saw the peak of the struggle between the king and the Parliament. His attempts to rule and tax the people, without the consent of the Parliament, led to failure in 1628. He was forced to call a parliament, which laid certain conditions on him in the famous document known as "The Petition of Rights." It included the following terms:

  1. Loans and taxes, without consent of Parliament, were illegal.

  2. No one should be imprisoned without a fair trial.

  3. Martial law should not be imposed during peacetime.

  4. People should be forced to meet the expense of the army.

The Petition of Rights was an important step in the evolution of parliamentary democracy in England. Though the ’Petition of Rights’ was accepted by Charles I, he dissolved the Parliament and ruled from 1629 to 1640 without a parliament. He was finally forced to call a parliament in 1640, which continued to work for twenty years. It thus came to known as the "Long Parliament."

The Long Parliament had great achievements to its credit. The king’s tyrannical and unjust courts were disbanded. The self-seeking advisors to the king, Strafford and Laud, were tried and sentenced to death. The tenure of Parliament was fixed at three years. When the king refused to summon the Parliament, it did so on its own, which enraged the king. He then organized his own army. In turn, an army was organized by the parliament, under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell. The king was defeated and the parliament found him guilty of tyranny, treason and treachery. He was then sentenced to death and beheaded in 1649. Thus the institution of monarchy in England was put to an end by the Long Parliament.

After this, England became a Commonwealth or a Republic, that is a country ruled by the elected members of the Parliament, in the absence of a king. All powers were concentrated in the hands of Oliver Cromwell who was called the "Great Protector."

A new written constitution was drafted, with all military, judicial and administrative powers, being concentrated in the hands of Cromwell. He was succeeded by his son Richard who was forced to resign, after the army revolted against him.

England then invited Charles II (1660-85) the son of Charles I (1625-49) from France to rule England in 1660.


9.0 - Introduction
9.1 Origin of Democracy in England
9.2 Magna Carta-The Great Charter (1215)
9.3 Establishment and Development of Parliament
9.4 The Glorious Revolution of 1688
9.5 Rise of a Responsible Council Of Ministers
9.6 Reform Act Of 1832
9.7 Representation of the People Act, 1867
9.8 Representation of the People Act, 1884
9.9 Parliamentary Act, 1911
9.10 Representation of the People Acts 1918 & 1928
9.11 Dates & Events
9.12 Points to Remember

Chapter 10


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