Parliament Limits the
English Monarchy
London, England
Some Vocab
• Constitutionalism: Laws limit the rulers
• Parliament: The legislative body of
government in England and other parts of
the world. They check the power of the
monarch and make laws. Similar to
Congress in the USA.
Monarchs Clash with Parliament
* James I—King of England 1603-1625 (Remember
Elizabeth died w/o an heir. He was already James VI
of Scotland and her cousin.)
-believed in divine right of kings
-struggled with Parliament over money
-he was a Calvinist, yet refused to make Puritan
reforms like getting rid of bishops
-He seemed to favor the Catholics because he didn’t
cater to the Puritans (who were extreme Protestants).
Charles I
-Began taxing w/o Par. consent
-When Par. objected, he dissolved (dismissed) Parliament
-Petition of Right 1628 (he ignores it in the end)
-Charles agreed to:
1) not imprison subjects w/o due cause
2) not levy high taxes w/o Par. consent
3) not house soldiers in private homes
4) not impose martial law in peacetime
-yet it was important, indicating the law was higher than
the king
- “Long Parliament” forces king to sign Triennial Act (Par. Must
be called every 3 years)
English Civil War (1642-1649)
-Charles I wanted both his kingdoms (England and
Scotland which he inherited through his
grandmother, Mary Queen of Scots) to follow
one religion.
-the Scots rebelled (Presbyterian)
-Charles I needed $ to fight the Scots
-called on Parliament
-Par. used this opportunity to pass laws
limiting royal power and wouldn’t give him
an army
-angered Charles I
-raised his own army
Execution of the King
• More Religious Issues
– Charles had married a French Catholic
– Seemed too sympathetic to the Cath. Church
• Tried to bring back more ritual to the Anglican
Church of England
• Angered the Puritans
• Execution (regicide), 1649
– The Puritans demanded that Charles be tried
for treason after the Civil War
Parliament: London, England
Oliver Cromwell (r.1653-1658)
*English Civil War:1642-1649
-Royalists/Cavaliers = supported Charles I
-Roundheads = Puritan supporters of Par.
*Oliver Cromwell
-Led the Roundheads
-Defeated Cavaliers
-Put Charles on trial for treason, beheaded
-Created a republican form of govt.
-Promoted religious tolerance
-Ruled until 1658 as a dictator
Cromwell Statue in Front of
Westminster Abbey
Restoration and Revolution
-Charles II succeeded Cromwell (elected by Par.) 1660
-restored the monarchy
-habeas corpus 1679
-gave every prisoner the right to trial
-James II and the Glorious Revolution
-1685 James II came to power
-Catholic bro of Charles II
-Parliament members helped overthrow James II
-put Mary (daughter of James) and William of
Orange on the throne
-bloodless revolution 1688
William and Mary
Political Changes
-Constitutional Monarchy
-Laws limit the ruler’s power
-English Bill of Rights 1689
-Listed what a ruler could not do
-Cabinet system develops
-Group of gov’t ministers representing
-Model for U.S. gov’t
• In what ways did the English monarchs of
the 17th and 18th century challenge the
concept of Constitutionalism? (In other
words, what did they do to oppose the
English Parliament?)