political development in great britain

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political history of Britain overview

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political development in great britain

  1. 1. G reat B ritain The Impact of the Past on the Development of the British Political System
  2. 2. The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe. They are bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, the Celtic Sea, St. George’s Channel, the Irish Sea and Ireland. to the north . . . the North Sea, to the south, the English Channel
  3. 4. CONSTITUENT COUNTRIES OF THE BRITISH ISLES The British Isles comprise Great Britain, Ireland, and a number of smaller islands (Isle of Man & Channel Islands). Two sovereign states located in the islands: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland + The Republic of Ireland
  4. 5. THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy composed of 4 constituent countries England Scotland Wales & Northern Ireland.
  5. 6. British Isles / UK / Britain / England
  6. 7. THE UNION JACK The Union Flag (also known as the Union Jack ) is the national flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland . Its design includes the flags of England Scotland Ireland
  7. 8. ENGLAND England the largest & most populous constituent country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Capital : London. Flag : St. George’s cross.
  8. 9. S COTLAND Scotland is one of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Capital : Edinburgh. Flag : Cross of Saint Andrew.
  9. 10. WALES Wales is one of four constituent countries of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Capital : Cardiff. Flag : the red dragon of Prince Cadwalader plus the Tudor colours .
  10. 11. T HE R EPUBLIC OF I RELAND The Republic of Ireland is a member of the European Union. Capital : Dublin. Flag : Green, white, orange.
  11. 12. NORTHERN IRELAND Northern Ireland – The Irish province of Ulster remains occupied as Northern Ireland , still a part of the United Kingdom and 1 of 4 constituent countries of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Capital : Belfast. Flag : the Union Flag is the official flag . . . Wanna fight about it?
  12. 13. Britannia Insulae Est
  13. 14. From Shakespeare’s Richard III : This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall, Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands, This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England ,
  14. 15. Geographic Providence - England is an island <ul><li>Insularity </li></ul><ul><li>Relative peace & security </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnic, linguistic, religious . . . Cultural Homogeneity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Less need for a standing army </li></ul><ul><li>Navy . . . Navigation . . . Necessity of Trade </li></ul><ul><li>Far distant from papal authority </li></ul><ul><li>Greater independence and self governance </li></ul><ul><li>We’ll return to these points later </li></ul>
  15. 16. T RADITION P ERMEATES B RITISH POLITICS The Opening of Parliament – Black Rod & the Slammed Door Pageantry, drama, history, & legitimacy
  16. 17. Members of House of Commons are each year summoned to Lord’s Chamber to dutifully hear the Queen’s commands to Parliament for the next year’s session in the “ Queen’s Speech from the Throne ”
  17. 18. “ Queen’s Speech from the Throne ” NOT her speech! She did not write it She may not even agree with it . . . But she MUST read it to Parliament Who’s in charge?
  18. 19. Parliament vs. the Monarch <ul><li>A bit of background . . . . </li></ul>
  19. 20. House of Commons, 1642 <ul><li>King Charles I led troops into Commons to arrest 5 leading dissident Members of Parliament (MPs). </li></ul><ul><li>the five received warning, escaped. Avoided bloodshed on the floor of House of Commons. </li></ul><ul><li>Finding the five had flown, the King angrily threatened the Speaker, Lenthall, whose reply has become legendary, - </li></ul>“ May it please your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see, nor tongue to speak in this place, but as this House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am .” - Speaker Lenthall
  20. 21. A yearly drama reminding Britons of where Power resides . . . King ? or Commons?
  21. 24. What’s the symbolism?
  22. 25. Traditions, Rituals, Ceremony, and Pageantry <ul><li>reinforce the dignity of government </li></ul><ul><li>legitimize government by evoking historical memories </li></ul><ul><li>impress upon Govt officers weight of office - dignity, responsibility, duty </li></ul><ul><li>provide continuity w/ past </li></ul><ul><li>engender legitimacy & patriotism through pageantry </li></ul><ul><li>promote national unity </li></ul>
  23. 26. Prehistoric to 1000 yrs ago <ul><li>Earliest Britain </li></ul><ul><li>Celtic Britain (arrive 500 BC) </li></ul><ul><li>Romano-Celtic Britannia (43 AD to 410). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Romans 1 st arrived 55 BC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roman law, peace, trade, Christianity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hadrian’s Wall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Withdrawal of Roman power in 5 th Century AD </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Angles, Saxons, Jutes 5 th Century </li></ul><ul><li>Norman England </li></ul><ul><li>The Danelaw </li></ul>
  24. 27. Celtic Britain : Britons Scots Welsh Irish Cornish
  25. 28. Celtic tribes of Britain
  26. 29. Celtic Britain
  27. 30. A nglo- S axon B ritain <ul><li>feudal aristocracy - weak kings </li></ul><ul><li>Post Roman reality - memory of central govt and its desirability but </li></ul><ul><li>feudal fractionalization </li></ul><ul><li>Anglo-Saxon Witan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>King's council of nobles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>tribal, clannish, scattered power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Related to Scandinavian / Viking system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>eg. Icelandic ALTHING </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lacked focus / centralization / power too dispersed </li></ul></ul>
  28. 32. The Lord's Prayer in Olde English Matthew 6:9-13 Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum ; Father our thou that art in heavens Si þin nama gehalgod be thy name hallowed to becume þin rice come thy kingdom gewurþe ðin willa be-done thy will on eorðan swa swa on heofonum. on earth as in heavens urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg our dailybread give us today and forgyf us ure gyltas and forgive us our sins swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum as we forgive those- who have-sinned-against-us and ne gelæd þu us on costnunge and not lead thou us into temptation ac alys us of yfele. soþlice but deliver us from evil. truly.
  29. 34. Norman England <ul><li>Norman Conquest </li></ul><ul><ul><li>William the . . . . unofficial heir </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1066 battle of Hastings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>William… the Conqueror </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Centralization of power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domesday Book </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exchequer </li></ul></ul>
  30. 35. Norman England Norman Conquest brought Wm's own nobility & a plan to organize & govern England * William replaced the entire English ruling class w/Norman nobles and his rule was backed by brutal military power and much better administration plan
  31. 36. Norman England and so political stability & centralization were brought to England relatively early: earlier than in continental Europe * however, while sovereign power resided in the Monarch, British Kings were still expected to consult w/the earls, barons, and leading clergymen (i.e., nobility) in order to declare laws and levy taxes
  32. 38. Norman Reforms <ul><li>Magna Carta 1215 – explicit protection of </li></ul><ul><li>feudal customs, rights, and law </li></ul><ul><li>Rule of law – the LAW is the King </li></ul><ul><li>Limited monarchy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>implies individual rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>power sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>King rules w/ Lord’s advice & consent – parliament </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mixed monarchy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Common Law </li></ul>
  33. 39. Common Law <ul><li>Prior to Norman Conquest,1066, justice was administered primarily by county courts </li></ul><ul><li>Courts were presided over by diocesan bishop or by county sheriff </li></ul><ul><li>both ecclesiastical & civil </li></ul><ul><li>jurisdiction. </li></ul><ul><li>Trial by Jury began in </li></ul><ul><li>these courts. </li></ul>
  34. 40. Common Law <ul><li>By 1150s Henry II began sending judges from his own central court to hear disputes throughout England, </li></ul><ul><li>resolving cases on an ad hoc basis. </li></ul><ul><li>Judge-made law, legal precedent , jury trial, - Supremacy of Law </li></ul><ul><li>Stare Decisis - Precedent </li></ul><ul><li>curbed power of canonical (church) courts and manoral courts (feudal) </li></ul>
  35. 41. Magna Carta of 1215 <ul><li>King John recognized it as a right of his subjects “to have common council of the kingdom” for the assessment of extraordinary aids </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Taxation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>crafting law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>war </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>military conscription </li></ul></ul>
  36. 43. Consequences of Common Law <ul><li>conflict of King w/ church </li></ul><ul><ul><li>most famously with Thomas á Becket , Archbishop of Canterbury </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writ of Right - Royal order for a feudal lord to provide justice to plaintiff or the King would intercede through the Sheriff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>) Writ of Praecipe - ignored manoral courts, ordered disputed lands to be restored to plaintiff or have defendant appear in King’s Court to explain </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>) in effect an automatic presumption against the feudal lord </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>)encouraged and empowered the rising middle class </li></ul>
  37. 44. W ales <ul><li>Edward I brings Wales under British sovereignty in 1283 </li></ul><ul><li>Prince of Wales </li></ul>
  38. 45. Sovereignty <ul><li>power was still largely in the hands of the Monarchy who ruled by divine right </li></ul><ul><li>Kings and Queens of Britain were practicalities nonetheless required to consult Parliament before levying taxes or making law </li></ul><ul><li>tensions b/n Crown and Parliament grew. </li></ul>
  39. 47. <ul><li>* Parliament’s power got a major boost during the reign of Henry VIII (1509-1547) when Henry formed a partnership w/ the Parliament in his struggle w/ Rome </li></ul><ul><li>Henry VIII wanted a divorce because Catherine couldn’t bear him a male child, </li></ul><ul><li>Pope wouldn’t grant it </li></ul><ul><li>so Henry (w/Parliament’s consent) bolted Catholic Church and </li></ul><ul><li>created Church of England : </li></ul><ul><li>Henry’s new church, with Henry as its head, granted the divorce </li></ul>
  40. 48. Protestant Reformation <ul><li>Henry VIII </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Break w/ Rome </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Elizabeth I </li></ul><ul><li>1588 Defeat of the </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spanish Armada </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Colonization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mercantilism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><li>James I and the Stuart dynasty stew </li></ul>
  41. 49. Good Queen Bess Elizabeth I
  42. 50. Eventually the tensions b/n the institutions boiled over, as the efforts of the Stuarts (Charles I & James II) to centralize authority in the 1600s led to all out war b/n Crown & Parliament * Charles I took England to unsuccessful wars w/Spain and France which increased his desperation for $ and Charles tried to levy taxes w/o consent of the Parliament
  43. 51. Charles I (1625-1649) English Civil War (1642-48) &quot;who should rule the country?&quot; Parliamentarians vs. Royalists
  44. 52. Parliamentarians <ul><ul><li>Puritans – Roundheads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>House of Commons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Merchant class </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oliver Cromwell </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New Model Army </li></ul></ul>Royalists <ul><li>Aristocratic, supported King </li></ul><ul><ul><li>called Cavaliers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>House of Lords & the Court </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roman Catholics or High </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Church of </li></ul><ul><li>England </li></ul>
  45. 54. Charles I beheaded by Parliament
  46. 55. The Glorious Revolution 1689 <ul><li>James II ousted </li></ul><ul><li>Parliament invites William & Mary to the throne </li></ul><ul><li>Bill of Rights – relationship between Parliament and Crown – shared rule </li></ul><ul><li>1714, Anne w/out heir, Parliament invites George of Hanover </li></ul>
  47. 56. The English Bill of Rights To prevent abuse of power by William & Mary and all future monarchs, Parliament, in 1689, drew up a list of provisions to which Wm & Mary had to agree .
  48. 57. This document, the English Bill of Rights, prohibited a standing army in peacetime, except with the consent of Parliament required that all parliamentary elections be free. Monarch's authority, only with consent of Parliament guarantees right to a fair trial, freedom from excessive bail and protection from cruel and unusual punishment. Our nation has built on, changed, & added to those ideas and institutions that settlers brought here from England.
  49. 58. Political Reform 19 th Century <ul><li>Industrialization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Population shifts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inequities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>exploitation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dickens’ Novels </li></ul>riots in 1819 led the Reform Act of 1832 Chartist Movement in the 1830s and 1840s
  50. 61. Representation of the People Act 1832 , commonly known as the Reform Act 1832 <ul><li>, </li></ul>
  51. 62. The Great Reform Act of 1832 <ul><li>Began 1760 as reaction to supposed autocratic policies of the new young King George III </li></ul><ul><li>began The early liberal or radical tradition in Britain </li></ul><ul><li>culminated with the Great Reform Act of 1832. </li></ul><ul><li>Masterminded by liberal Whig Earl Grey </li></ul><ul><li>abolished the so called “Rotten Boroughs” in England </li></ul><ul><li>led to complete overhaul of the entirely venal electoral system in Scotland </li></ul><ul><li>Extension of the franchise across Britain. </li></ul><ul><li>early beginnings of modern mass democracy in the UK </li></ul>
  52. 64. Industrial Era start of the modern party-political system Liberally-minded Whigs gradually organised themselves into the Liberal Party those holding more conservative views – nicknamed “ Tories” by their liberal opponents (Tory was a term of abuse by the late 18 th century) – organised themselves into the Conservative Party and gradually adopted term “Tory” for themselves
  53. 65. <ul><li>In The Tree of Corruption from 1831, caricaturist H. H. Heath depicts hacking away the old Rotten Borough System, </li></ul><ul><li>to the strenuous protests </li></ul><ul><li>from those whose livelihood depend on it. </li></ul><ul><li>© the Library of Congress . </li></ul>
  54. 66. The Great Reform Act of 1832 <ul><li>Removed Rotten Burroughs / Pocket Burroughs </li></ul><ul><li>disenfranchised 56 boroughs in England & Wales and reduced another 31 to only one MP </li></ul><ul><li>created 67 new constituencies </li></ul><ul><li>broadened the franchise's property qualification in the counties, to include small landowners, tenant farmers, and shopkeepers </li></ul>
  55. 67. The Great Reform Act of 1832 created a uniform franchise in the boroughs, giving the vote to all householders who paid a yearly rental of £10 or more and some lodgers Expanded franchise among middle class 7% of adult Brits could vote House of Commons to represent masses 2 nd Reform Act 1867 2X electorate to 16% 3 rd Reform Act 1884 nearly universal male suffrage
  56. 68. <ul><li>2 nd Reform Act 1867 </li></ul><ul><li>2X electorate to 16% of pop. </li></ul><ul><li>3 rd Reform Act 1884 </li></ul><ul><li>nearly universal male suffrage </li></ul>
  57. 69. When the Houses of Parliament burnt down in 1834, Queen Adelaide openly spoke of it being God's just punishment for passing the Great Reform Act
  58. 70. Political Reform 20 th Century <ul><li>1900 – Labour Party speaks for the working class & socialist reforms </li></ul><ul><li>Parliamentary Acts in 1911 stripped all the remaining significant powers away from the aristocratic House of Lords </li></ul><ul><li>reform of the system made Britain a more substantive and expansive democracy was complete </li></ul>
  59. 71. Women’s suffrage Emmiline Pankhurst, suffragette leader, used arson and window smashing to further their cause - “breaking glass is the most eloquent argument in politics.”
  60. 72. Emmeline Pankhurst being arrested in 1914
  61. 73. <ul><li>1918 the Representation of the People Act </li></ul><ul><li>gave women over 30 yrs old the vote if they </li></ul><ul><li>were householders, or wives of householders </li></ul><ul><li>occupiers of property w/ an annual rent of £5 </li></ul><ul><li>or if they were graduates of British universities. </li></ul><ul><li>enfranchised only about 8.5 million women </li></ul><ul><li>Ten years later, in 1928, women won the right to vote on the same terms as men. </li></ul>
  62. 74. WWII & Churchill
  63. 76. WWII & Post-War Britain <ul><li>1939-45 World War II </li></ul><ul><li>1945 – Labour takes power </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the beginning of the British Welfare State </li></ul></ul>
  64. 79. PM Margaret Thatcher - Conservative Prime Minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990
  65. 80. PM Tony Blair – New Labour Prime Minister 1990 - 2007
  66. 81. Current PM Gordon Brown 2007-

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