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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 the people.

Establishment and Development of Parliament

  • Simon de Montford chaired a Parliamentary meeting that decided on the methods of administration and the levying of taxes.

  • 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 bloodless revolution.

  • 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 this demand.

  • 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

  • This regulation brought in equal representation of equal numbers. Thus all the farmers of Scotland, England and Ireland secured franchise.

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.



9.0 - 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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