Land of the Brave

English Bill of Rights 1689

 

Colonial America - Land of the Brave

Definition of the English Bill of Rights of 1689
The Meaning and Definition of the English Bill of Rights: The 1689 English Bill of Rights was a British Law, passed by the Parliament of Great Britain in 1689 that declared the rights and liberties of the people and settling the succession in William III and Mary II following the of 1688 when James II was deposed.

Note: The date of the English Bill of Rights is referred to as either dated as March 1689 or as February 13, 1688 in Old Style dating.

Summary of the English Bill of Rights
The 1689 English Bill of Rights had a massive influence on the colonies in North America and the Constitution of the United States. The most important Articles of the 1689 English Bill of Rights are as follows:

  • A frequently summoned Parliament and free elections
  • Members should have freedom of speech in Parliament
  • No armies should be raised in peacetime
  • No taxes could be levied, without the authority of parliament
  • Laws should not be dispensed with, or suspended, without the consent of parliament
  • No excessive fines should imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted
The English Bill of Rights
The English Bill of Rights established a constitutional monarchy in Great Britain. A constitutional monarchy is one in which the King or Queen has a largely ceremonial position. It is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state but their powers are defined and limited by law. Constitutional monarchies employ a parliamentary system with a Prime Minister as head of the government. The English Bill denounced King James II for abusing his power and the bill was passed as British law in December 1688. The English Bill of Rights clearly established that the monarchy could not rule without consent of Parliament. The English Bill put in place a constitutional form of government in which the rights and liberties of the individual  were protected under English law. The English Bill of Rights had a great influence on the colonies in North America and the Constitution of the United States. The English Bill of Rights and the American Declaration of Independence
The 1776 American Declaration of Independence states that:
  • All men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; these are unalienable rights - rights that government cannot take away
  • Governments obtained their power from the consent of the people

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