PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-World History
9.12 Points to Remember
Origin of Democracy in England
The Anglo-Saxons ruled in consultation with
the people through the Consultative Council called the ’Witan.’
The Normans also ruled in a similar manner,
except their council was called’The Great Council’. It participated
in all administrative proceedings and also acted a Supreme Court.
Magna Carta - The Great Charter (1215)
King John of the Normans was unpopular autocrat.
During his rule, the barons, the nobles and the bishops united
and drew out a charter of rights over which they demanded his
ascent in the form of a seal.
This was an unprecedented event in the history
of England and it laid the foundations of democracy in the country.
It ensured a number of important rights to
Establishment and Development of Parliament
Simon de Montford chaired a Parliamentary meeting
that decided on the methods of administration and the levying
King Edward co-operated with the provisions
of the Magna Carta and the Parliament under him was regarded
as the "model Parliament". Gradually, England came
to be known as the "mother of Parliaments."
Though the medieval parliament consisted of
three factions, there later arose only two: the House of Lords
and the House of Commons.
A struggle between the king and the Parliament
emerged which grew to a peak during the reign of King Charles
I. A petition of Rights was served against him. But he dissolved
the Petition. Eventually a"long parliament" was called
for, which lasted for twenty years.
Oliver Cromwell then established a Republic
in England. However, the army revolted against his son and the
Republic came to an end.
King Charles II was invited to rule the country.
The Glorious Revolution of 1688
The Parliament invited the King of Holland
(William of Orange) to replace the ruling autocrat James II,
of its own accord.
As James could not revolt, it turned out a
The parliament was summoned and the crown was
offered to the king on the condition that he would accept the
laws of the country. William of Orange and his wife Mary accepted
With this development, England established
the supremacy of the Parliament and the long drawn struggle
between the ruler and the Parliament was finally settled.
The Bill of Rights was laid down which is significant
as it converted a powerful monarchy to a nominal one. Thus the
Parliament gained supreme power.
Rise of a Responsible Council Of Ministers
The King chose as Ministers those who were
popular in the House of Commons which represented the opinion
of the majority in the House of Commons.
As King George I abstained from Parliament,
the designation of the Prime minister was introduced. He was
to be the leader of the majority party, who commanded the most
confidence in the House.
The resignation of the first Prime Minister
Sir Robert Walpole brought in the concept of collective responsibility
of the Council of Ministers, which was expected to resign in
case of the resignation of the Prime Minister.
Reform Act Of 1832
Before the passing of this Act, the right to
vote was restricted only to the rich class.
Thanks to this act, the parliamentary influence
exercised by ministers was greatly reduced.
The House of Lords had to give in to the House
of Commons in case of differences based on policy.
Representation of the People Act, 1867
Thanks to the Industrial Revolution, the artisan
class was interested in political, power and came up with a
charter of demands. This was known as the Chartist Movement.
As a result the Representation of the People
Act was introduced by Benjamin Disraeli.
Gladstone introduced the Secret Ballot Act
in 1872 which put an end to the practices of bribery as well
as of intimidating influential candidates.
Representation of the People Act, 1884
Parliamentary Act, 1911
This act guaranteed the legislative and financial
superiority of the House of Commons over the House of Lords.
A number of provisions were laid down relating
to money and other bills to be passed in the Parliament. Further,
the term of the Parliament was reduced to five years.
Salaries of the non-official members of the
Parliament were fixed.
Representation of the People Acts 1918 & 1928
The Female Suffrage Movement ensured voting
rights for women. An important forerunner was John Stuart Mill.
As a result of the work of a number of women
organizations, women gained the right to vote above the age
of thirty (1918) and then by the age of twenty-one (1928) just
as their male counterparts.
9.1 Origin of Democracy in England
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