Constitutionalism in Western Europe England and the Dutch Republic

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Text of Constitutionalism in Western Europe England and the Dutch Republic

  • Constitutionalism in Western EuropeEngland and the Dutch Republic

  • What is Constitutionalism? Limitation of a government by lawBalance between authority and power of the government vs. the rights of the subjectsConstitution can be written or unwrittenOr part written part unwritten (England)Becomes the protector of rights, government agrees to follow the lawsRepublican v. Monarchical formNot the same as a democracy- all v. some have the ability to participate

  • English Society in the 17th Century High degree of social mobilityMiddle class grows because of capitalism and Commercial Revolution GentryDominated the House of CommonsMoved from middle to upper classWilling to pay taxes so long as they had say in how spent Brings them in conflict with the monarchy

  • English Society in the 17th CenturyReligionCalvinists were largest percentageAnglicans losing groundPuritans (purify the English Church)Conflict with monarchs who are sympathetic to Catholicism Protestant work ethic- social mobility

  • Problems facing the MonarchyRestrained by the growth of ParliamentJames I- struggles with ParliamentCharles I- twice dissolves Parliament, executedCharles II- restored but only with consent of ParliamentJames II- exiled to France during Glorious RevolutionTwo major issues: Could the king govern without the consent of Parliament?Would the Church become more Anglican or Presbyterian?

  • James ISon of Mary Queen of Scots; heir to Elizabeth IBelieved in divine right of kings Believed in absolutism Twice dissolves Parliament over taxation Damages the prestige of the monarchy by flaunting his wealth and male lovers

  • Charles ISon of James IClaimed divine right Sought control of the Church of EnglandTax issues- dissolves ParliamentPetition of Right (1629) Parliament attempts to encourage the king to grant basic legal rights in return for granting tax increases

  • Charles I Continued Short Parliament (1640)Needs new taxes to fight ScotlandRefuse to grant taxes, disbands themLong Parliament (1640-1648)Finally agrees to certain demandsEnglish Civil WarCavaliers v. Roundheads Oliver CromwellInterregnum

  • The Restoration Charles IIRestored by Cavalier ParliamentOnly retains throne if he agrees to Parliaments post-war settlementStronger in relation to the kingDevelopment of Political PartiesTories- nobles, gentry, Anglican supported the monarchy over ParliamentWhigs- middle class and Puritan who favored Parliament

  • The Clarendon CodeSought to drive Puritans our of political and religious lifeTest Act of 1673Excluded those unwilling to receive the sacrament of the Church of England from: Voting, holding office, preaching, teaching, attending universities, or assembling for meetings

  • Charles IISeemed to support Catholicism and drew criticisms from the WhigsGranted freedom of worship to Catholics Made a deal with Louis XIV= Louis gives him money every year and Charles reduces restrictions on CatholicsCharles dissolves Parliament when it passes a law denying succession to CatholicsHis brother James was a Catholic Declared himself a Catholic on his deathbed

  • Habeas Corpus Act, 1679Sought to limit Charles power: Judges can demand that prisoners be in court during their trialsRequired just cause for imprisonmentProvided for speedy trialsForbade double jeopardy

  • Charles IITook control of Scotland (had gained its independence when Charles II took the throne)Wanted to impose the Anglican ChurchThousands killed for resisting The Killing Time

  • James IIInherited from his brother, Charles IISought to return England to Catholicism

  • The Glorious Revolution

  • The Glorious Revolution, 1688Final act in the struggle for political sovereignty Parliament not willing to sacrifice gains of the Civil War and return to an absolute monarchyTwo issues: James grants freedom of worship to the Catholics (Declaration of Indulgence)Birth of a Catholic heir to the throne in 1688

  • James II forced to abdicate Jamess daughters Mary and Anne were Protestants Parliament invited Marys husband, William of Orange, to assume the throneWilliam agrees only if he had popular support in England and could keep his Dutch troopsWilliam prepares to invadeJames II flees to France after his offers of concession were refusedWilliam and Mary declared joint sovereigns by Parliament

  • The Bill of Rights (1689)Becomes an official Constitutional MonarchyThe Petition of Right, Habeas Corpus Act, and the Bill of Rights form the foundation of the ConstitutionProvisionsKing could not be Roman CatholicLaws made only with consent of ParliamentParliament had right of free speech No standing army in peace time without Parliamentary approvalTaxation illegal without Parliamentary approval

  • Provisions ContinuedExcessive bail and cruel and unusual punishments were prohibitedRight to trial by jury, due process of law, and reasonable bail Right to bear arms (not Catholics)Free elections to Parliament and could only be dissolved by its own consentRight to petition

  • Was this a democratic revolution?NOPower concentrated in the hands of the nobility and gentryRepresents only the upper classes Majority did not have a say in politics

  • Three Issues: What about religion?What about the succession?What about Scotland?

  • Toleration Act of 1689Granted right of worship for Protestant non-conformists (Puritans, Quakers, etc.) but could not hold officeDid not extend liberties to Catholics and Jews

  • Act of Settlement, 1701If King William or his sister-in-law Anne died without children, the Crown would pass to the granddaughter of James I, or her Protestant heirsExcluded the Stuarts from the successionWhen Anne died in 1714, her Hanoverian heir assumed the throne as George I

  • Act of Union, 1707United England and Scotland into Great BritainWhy would Scotland agree to give up independence?Access to Englands trade empire, did not want to fall behindFear that the Catholic Stuarts would try to return

  • The Cabinet System in the 18th Century Leading ministers, who were members of the House of Commons and had the support of the majority of its members made common policyThe Prime Minister, a member of the majority, was the leader of the government

  • Robert Walpole Viewed as the first Prime Minister Led the cabinet from 1721-1742Precedent: the cabinet is responsible to the House of Commons

  • The Kings RoleGeorge I (1714-1727) - first Hanoverian kingPresided at cabinet meetingsGeorge II (1727-1760)- Did not meet with cabinetDecision making of the Crown declined

  • The United Provinces of the Netherlands (Dutch Republic)

  • The Dutch Republic 1st half of the 17th century is the Golden Age of the NetherlandsGovernment dominated by bourgeoisie whose wealth and power limit the power of the stateRun by representative organizations

  • Government Organized confederation of seven provinces, each with a representative governmentEach province sends a rep to the States General Each province and city was autonomous Each province elected a stadholder (governor) and military leaderDuring times of crisis, all seven would elect the stadholder, usually from the House of Orange

  • Religious TolerationCalvinism is dominant Split between Dutch Reformed and ArminianArminian- Calvinism without predestination Merchant classCatholics and Jews had religious toleration but fewer rightsReligious toleration allowed for an increase in trade and business

  • Mercantilism Greatest mercantilist nation of the 17th centuryAmsterdam became the banking and commercial center of EuropeRichest city and over 100,000 peopleOffered lower interest rates so promoted bankingHad to rely on commerce because of so few natural resourcesLargest fleet in the world dedicated to tradeDid not have government controls or monopolies that prohibited trade

  • Mercantilism ContdFishing was the cornerstone of the economyMajor industries: wool, furniture, tobacco cutting, sugar refining, glass, printing, etc. Dutch East India Company and Dutch West India Company