Write a detail note on the Magna Carta 1215?

(1) Introduction to Bill Of Rights:

Glorious Revolution removed James II from British Monarchy in while Bill of Rights restored British Monarchy. Bill of Rights limited powers of British Monarch, introduced some civil and political rights and enforced Protestant religion and barred Roman Catholics.

(2) Creation of Bill Of Rights:

Transferring of English Monarchy into hands of Catholics gave birth to a movement especially against James II. This movement ended in the form of Glorious Revolution and passing of Bill of Rights. Following circumstances paved a way for passing of Bill of Rights in 1689:

  • a. Death of Oliver Cromwell
  • b. Restoration of British Monarchy to Catholics
  • c. Exclusion Bill of Parliament
  • d. Declaration of Indulgence
  • e. Passing of British Monarchy to William & Marry.

(a) Death of Oliver Cromwell:

It was during 1650s that England was first time governed under a formal constitution and ruler was Oliver Cromwell. However, situation changed with death of Oliver Cromwell and military took over.

(b) Restoration Of British Monarchy To Catholics:

After this, Monarchy was restored to Charles II. Undoubtedly Charles II was Anglican, but he married a Catholic. After Charles II, James II became King and he was a complete Catholic. In this way, British Monarchy was restored to Catholics.

(c) Exclusion Bill of Parliament:

During those days, Parliament passed an Exclusion Bill to stop Catholics from inheriting British Monarchy. However, Charles II barred it.

(d) Declaration of Indulgence:

During his reign, James II issued a Declaration of Indulgence, and this declaration restored all rights to Catholics.

(e) Passing Of British Monarchy To William & Marry:

People of Great Britain could not accept Declaration of Indulgence. Consequently, they invited James’ daughter Mary and her husband William from Netherlands. William and Mary accepted British Monarchy by accepting Bill of Rights.

 (3) Main Features Of Bill Of Rights:

Followings are main features of Bill of Rights:

  • i. Protestant religion
  • ii. Roman Catholics & British Monarchy
  • iii. Abdication of James II
  • iv. William & Mary
  • v. Imposition of new taxes
  • vi. Freedom of the people to have arms
  • vii. Law & British Monarch
  • viii. Election of members
  • ix. Right of petition of parliament
  • x. Proceedings in Parliament
  • xi. Freedom of speech & debates
  • xii. Standing army

(i) Protestant Religion:

It was decided through Bill of Rights that British Monarch would be responsible to maintain Protestant religion.

(ii) Roman Catholics & British Monarchy:

Through Bill of Rights, Roman Catholics were barred from British Monarchy.

(iii) Abdication Of James II:

Bill of Rights not only declared some acts of James II illegal, but also abdicated him from British Monarchy.

(iv) William & Mary:

Bill of Rights declared William and Mary as successors of James VII and James II, and they were named as William III and Mary II.

(v) Imposition Of New Taxes:

It was decided in Bill of Rights that new tax would not be imposed through royal arbitrary powers. In fact, it was decided that consent of Parliament would be necessary for imposition of new taxes.

(vi) Freedom Of People To Have Arms:

Bill of Rights recognized freedom of people to have arms for their own defence.

(vii) Law & British Monarch:

Bill of Rights barred British Monarch from interfering with law. Even he/she could not make new courts and act as judge.

(viii) Election Of Members Of Parliament:

Through Bill of Rights, British Monarch was forbidden from interfering into elections of members of Parliament.

(ix) Right Of Petition:

Bill of Rights put an end to fear of retribution and provided people freedom of petition to British Monarch without such fear.

(x) Proceedings In Parliament:

Bill of Rights had provided right of proceedings in Parliament.

(xi) Freedom Of Speech & Debates:

Bill of Rights also provided freedom of speech and debate during proceedings of Parliament.

(xii) Standing Army:

It was decided through Bill of Rights that standing army could only be maintained during time of peace with consent of Parliament.

 (4) Conclusion:

To conclude, it can be stated that Bill of Rights not only made powers of British Monarch limited, but also provided some civil and constitutional rights. In this way, it had been proved a positive step towards constitutional development in Great Britain.

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