Sona Is the Key

In: English and Literature

Submitted By tajscorpion
Words 299
Pages 2
Charles II’s reign was relatively uneventful in regard to constitutional matters. However, he was succeeded by his brother James II, who was not only a Roman Catholic, but, like his father Charles I, was prepared to disregard the will of Parliament. The use of his royal authority to promote Catholics to prominent positions in what had become a strongly Protestant nation sparked a strong backlash with far-reaching constitutional implications. With the prospect of revolt on the horizon, James dissolved Parliament in 1688 before fleeing the country. In the meantime the opponents of James II invited William of Orange (a Dutch Protestant), who was married to James’s daughter Mary, to take up the throne on certain conditions. The position of the King in relation to Parliament was set out in the Bill of Rights of 1689, later enacted as the Parliament Recognition Act of 1689. This landmark document was not a charter of citizens’ rights in the modern sense, because it was not concerned to define comprehensively the rights of citizens. Nonetheless, it is extremely important for setting in place certain fundamentals of the contemporary constitution. In particular, it confirmed that it was illegal for the Crown to execute laws, raise taxes, or keep an army in peacetime without the consent of Parliament (Articles I, IV, and VI). It provided not only that a freely elected Parliament should meet on a regular basis, but it gave formal recognition to the privileges of Parliament, which included a right to free speech and debate for MPs, and it gave them right to regulate their own proceedings without limitation or interference either from the Crown or from the courts. Shortly afterwards, the Act of Settlement 1701 regulated the succession to the throne and it also established the security of tenure of…...

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